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Senate Passes Arts Education Month Resolution
by Legislative Counsel Thomas L. Birch

With a majority of senators signed on as cosponsors, Senate Resolution 128, designating March 2000 as Arts Education Month, passed the Senate floor by unanimous consent on March 2. The measure, introduced by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), provides advocates with a tool to encourage schools and communities to engage in activities that showcase, celebrate and reward arts education programs and student accomplishments in the arts.

Senate Resolution 128

Whereas arts literacy is a fundamental purpose of schooling for all students;

Whereas arts education stimulates, develops and refines many cognitive and creative skills, critical thinking and nimbleness in judgment, creativity and imagination, cooperative decisionmaking, leadership, high-level literacy and communication, and the capacity for problem posing and problem-solving;

Whereas arts education contributes significantly to the creation of flexible, adaptable, and knowledgeable workers who will be needed in the 21st century economy;

Whereas arts education improves teaching and learning;

Whereas when parents and families, artists, arts organizations, businesses, local civic and cultural leaders, and institutions are actively engaged in instructional programs, arts education is more successful;

Whereas effective teachers of the arts should be encouraged to continue to learn and grow in mastery of their art form as well as in their teaching competence;

Whereas the 1999 study, entitled "Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons from School Districts that Value Arts Education," found that the literacy, education, programs, learning and growth described in the preceding clauses contribute to successful district wide arts education;

Whereas the 1997 National Assessment of Educational Progress reported that students lack sufficient opportunity for participatory learning in the arts;

Whereas educators, schools, students, and other community members recognize the importance of arts education; and

Whereas arts programs, arts curriculum, and other arts activities in
schools across the Nation should be encouraged and publicly recognized:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved,


The Senate--

(1) designates March 2000, as "Arts Education Month"; and

(2) encourages schools, students, educators, parents, and other community members to engage in activities designed to--

(A) celebrate the positive impact and public benefits of the arts;

(B) encourage all schools to integrate the arts into the school curriculum;

(C) spotlight the relationship between the arts and student learning;

(D) demonstrate how community involvement in the creation and implementation of arts policies enriches schools;

(E) recognize school administrators and faculty who provide quality arts education to students;

(F) provide professional development opportunities in the arts for teachers;

(G) create opportunities for students to experience the relationship between participation in the arts and developing the life skills necessary for future personal and professional success;

(H) increase, encourage, and ensure comprehensive, sequential arts learning for all students;

(I) honor individual, class, and student group achievement in the arts; and

(J) increase awareness and accessibility to live performances, and original works of art

Senators who cosponsored S. Res. 28:

Alaska - Frank Murkowski (R), Ted Stevens (R)
Arkansas - Blanche Lincoln (D)
California - Barbara Boxer (D)
Colorado - Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R)
Connecticut - Christopher J. Dodd (D), Joseph I. Lieberman (D)
Delaware - Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D), William V. Roth, Jr. (R)
Florida - Bob Graham (D)
Georgia - Max Cleland (D), Paul Coverdell (R)
Hawaii - Daniel K. Akaka (D), Daniel K. Inouye (D)
Idaho - Michael D. Crapo (R)
Illinois - Richard J. Durbin (D)
Indiana - Evan Bayh (D), Richard G. Lugar (R)
Kentucky - Jim Bunning (R)
Louisiana - Mary L. Landrieu (D)
Maine - Olympia J. Snowe (R)
Maryland - Barbara A. Mikulski (D), Paul S. Sarbanes (D)
Massachusetts - Edward M. Kennedy (D), John F. Kerry (D)
Michigan - Carl Levin (D)
Minnesota - Paul Wellstone (D)
Mississippi - Thad Cochran (R), Trent Lott (R)
Missouri - Christopher S. Bond (R)
Montana - Max Baucus (D)
Nebraska - J. Robert Kerrey (D), Chuck Hagel (R)
Nevada - Harry Reid (D)
New Jersey - Frank R. Lautenberg (D), Robert G. Torricelli (D)
New Mexico - Jeff Bingaman (D), Pete V. Domenici (R)
New York - Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D), Charles E. Schumer (D)
North Dakota - Kent Conrad (D)
Ohio - Michael DeWine (R), George V. Voinovich (R)
Oregon - Gordon Smith (R)
Pennsylvania - Arlen Specter (R)
Rhode Island - Lincoln D. Chafee (R), Jack Reed (D)
South Carolina - Strom Thurmond (R)
South Dakota - Tim Johnson (D)
Tennessee - Bill Frist (R), Fred Thompson (R)
Utah - Robert F. Bennett (R), Orrin G. Hatch (R)
Vermont - James M. Jeffords (R)
Virginia - Charles S. Robb (D), John W. Warner (R)
Washington - Patty Murray (D)
Wyoming - Michael B. Enzi (R)