School arts programs cut during lean times are making a comeback this budget season as districts across the Lower Hudson Valley shake off the lingering effects of the economic downturn.
On Tuesday, voters will consider budgets in 39 districts in Westchester, eight in Rockland and six in Putnam. Interviews and a review of documents by The Journal News show some positions and programs lost when budgets were cut are being restored.
“We’re seeing a trend across the country of increasing priority for arts funding in schools,” said Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the cultural adviser to the White House created in 1982 by President Reagan. “For a long time, the arts were seen as a flower that you give to children when they succeed. But we believe the arts aren’t a flower, they’re a wrench, part of the tool kit to help these schools turn themselves around.”
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