Over the last 30 years, Colorado’s support for the Career Technical Act (formerly the Colorado Vocational Act of 1970) has dropped even as the cost of providing those programs have increased dramatically. In 1971-72, the state provided just over 58 percent of the actual cost of CTE programs provided in Colorado. In 2009-10, the state provided only 23 percent of the actual cost of CTE programs. (Colorado Career & Technical Education)
One San Luis Valley school district faces $400,000 in budget cuts. As a result, this year’s cuts include the superintendent absorbing elementary school principal responsibilities after the school’s principal resigned and took another position. Because of the money saved by not hiring another principal, the District was able to hold onto the music program for this year, but will no longer offer culinary arts courses (have been a part of the school since the 1970s), cut a physical education teaching position, some classes and other educator positions have been absorbed in addition to the elementary principal position, and the fifth grade has been incorporated into the middle school to save on building heating and maintenance costs. (Valley Courier)
A new study by the National Endowment for the Arts The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies finds that at-risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school also tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman comments: “…Over the past four decades, budget pressures and an increasing focus on just reading and math have crowded the arts out of too many school days. What’s lost? The chance for a child to express himself”(NEA Report Press Release; Full Report). After four years of deep cuts to Colorado schools, many arts programs have been cut or are on the chopping block. Notably, Colorado has the second largest 4th grade reading achievement gap in the country.