The Foundation for Palm Springs Unified School District raises funds to make possible unfunded and underfunded initiatives. 9 out of 10 students at Palm Springs Unified qualifies for free and reduced lunch. Our online auction is just one attempt to raise the necessary funds to keep arts education from being cut in our 27 public schools. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization Federal I.D. number: 26-1265520
Funds raised from our online auction will address urgent district needs to SAVE THE ARTS.
WHY DO WE NEED TO SAVE THE ARTS AT PALM SPRINGS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT?
Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) is quickly exhausting its general-fund accounts during the shutdown with urgent needs. The district serves 29,000 school meals remotely each day (a 34% increase over meals served in the school cafeterias); provides every 3rd – 12th grade student with a laptop and remote WiFi hotspot for online learning; and has been training teachers in online instruction.
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Funding to protect the arts (often the first area that gets cut in an economic downturn) is more important than ever to help the most vulnerable among our students stay engaged in school, earn their diplomas, and build a better future for themselves and our communities. The arts matter! After the recession of 2008, 80% of the nation’s schools faced budget cuts. In the meantime, No Child Left Behind and the Common Core State Standards pushed educators to prioritize science and math over other subjects. Arts programs were and still are the first victims. In Los Angeles County alone, one-third of the arts teachers were let go between 2008 and 2012; for half of the county’s K-5 students, art instruction disappeared altogether (EdSource Staff, 2014). As of 2015, only 26.2% of African-American students had access to art classes (Metla, 2015). Palm Springs Unified School District is 90 miles west of Los Angeles and predictably, is lower income with 74% of minority students being Latino and 90% of the 22,000 students qualifying for free and reduced lunch.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN STUDENTS RETURN TO SCHOOL IN THE FALL?
Social distancing and possibly staggered class schedules will further drain financial resources. The emphasis will most likely be on subjects that the government will fund like Science, Math and English/language arts. Because of low funding from the government, many schools will resort to cutting away programs that some may deem “unnecessary,” such as the arts, including fine and performing arts, musical theater, and our music education programs