Senator José M. Serrano today addressed the New York State Art Teachers Association Legislative Exhibit (NYSATA), which is co-sponsored by the New York State Alliance for the Arts in Education (NYSSAE). Held at the Legislative Well in the Capitol Building in Albany each spring, this exhibit showcases the artistic accomplishments of students from throughout the state, and invites them to celebrate arts education with their legislators.
"The incredible talent seen around the room today is a perfect reminder of why arts education should not be a privilege, but the right of every student in New York State," said Senator Serrano, who is the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation. "The Arts open doors for improved cognitive thinking, and awaken passions for self expression and individual thinking – attributes that will foster our next generation of great thinkers and leaders."
According to the Department of Education, during the 2007-2008 school year only 8% of elementary schools and less than half of middle schools in in New York City met the minimum arts education requirements established by the State. Serrano is the sponsor of a bill (S5878) which requires the State Commissioner of Education to conduct an audit on arts education in order to determine compliance levels throughout the state.