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Arts In Education Week
September 13-19, 2020
Be the Good News

In March 2020 the Tennessee General Assembly unanimously approved Resolution 759, affirming the value of the arts in the school curriculum.  Signed by Governor Lee, this resolution sets September 13-19, 2020, as Arts In Education Week in Tennessee.  This represents the first such resolution in support of arts education in our state’s history.  ArtsEd Tennessee is proud to sponsor this Resolution and shepherd it through the adoption process.

Now is our chance to thank our elected officials and let them know the great work you do every day to ensure strong arts education programs in the schools.  At a time legislators are hearing mainly about the problems of this school year, our field has an opportunity to Be the Good News.  Every day you reach a student through the arts is a reason to celebrate!

To celebrate Arts In Education week with your legislators and more broadly with your communities, ArtsEd Tennessee has tips and templates.  Click HERE to see a sample thank you letter to legislators, an op-ed for your local newspaper, and tips for amplifying your good news stories.  

This is a great way for us to build strong relationships with the state legislature and strengthen our position in the schools.  Creating support now will pay dividends in the future.

State Board of Education
Recommends an Increase in
School Funding for 2021/22

The State Board of Education (SBE) recently sent their school funding priorities for the 2021-22 fiscal year to Governor Lee.  In this document, the SBE has recommended an increase in the funding the state provides for schools.  We view these recommendations as largely positive for arts education.  Key SBE priorities:

  • State funding levels to schools should not be reduced as a result of a drop in student enrollment in the current academic year.  Traditionally, state funding to school systems has been based on total student enrollment.
  • Increase teacher pay
  • Increase funding for technology
  • Increase funding for school counselors and school nurses
  • Increase funding for RTI2

While these are funding recommendations, it is important to note that in the past the Governor has followed the recommendations suggested by the SBE.

TDOE Releases Arts Guidance for
School Administrators 

Earlier this month the Tennessee Department of Education released guidelines for district leaders and school administrators on making effective and informed decisions related to arts education courses. This document offers suggestions for balancing health and safety considerations while maintaining best practices for standards-based fine arts teaching and learning.  The recommendations pertain to the arts classroom, studio, rehearsal room, and performance settings.  A great advocacy tool now and in future years, please share with school administrators and let them know you stand ready to implement these guidelines.  You can see this document HERE

For more information about this guiding document, or to see more resources prepared for arts educators, contact Todd Shipley, TDOE Coordinator of Fine Arts, at


Arts Teachers: Are You With Us?
It is vitally important for you to be
a member of your state arts association

We urge you to be a member of your regional and state arts education association.  Doing so connects you with your colleagues across the state and nation, provides valuable resources, and keeps you informed about your profession.  During this trying time your membership is even more critical.  As we look ahead, we could face a number of challenges.  We must address what lies ahead together.

ArtsEd Tennessee believes that in unity there is strength, and we encourage you to join your state arts association.  If you are already a member - Fantastic!  Please recruit your non-member colleagues to join.  

Links to state arts education associations: 
TN Music Education Association 
TN Art Education Association 
TN Association of Dance 
TN Educational Theatre Association


Join ArtsEd Tennessee

You are receiving our newsletter, but are you a member of ArtsEd Tennessee?  A free membership in ArtsEdTN complements your membership in your state arts education association, keeps you informed on state level policy decisions that impact arts education, and makes our statewide coalition even stronger.

To join ArtsEd Tennessee, click HERE.  Not sure if you are already a member?  Sign up now just in case, and we will take care of any duplicate memberships.



Prepared by

Stephen Coleman

Director, ArtsEd Tennessee

Want to become an ArtsEd Tennessee member? 
Sign up for free HERE.

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