Search   |   Contact   |   Donate   |   FAQ
Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Dr. Sharon Dunn

Dr. Sharon Dunn, Senior Assistant for the Arts, New York City Board of Education, testified that NYC public schools do not have the resources necessary to provide students with the opportunity to meet the state requirements in arts education. She stated:

We have issues of a need for additional staff. We have need for additional space. We have need for appropriate space. We have need for equipment, supplies, training. The schools are largely unprepared to teach arts to students K to 12.

Dr. Dunn testified that although arts education is critical to the development of a child’s communication skills and strength development, about 26% of elementary students did not participate in any of the four required arts education programs (art, music, dance and theater). Of those that did, only a slight fraction of the State Education Department’s recommended time was spent on art instruction.

Dr. Dunn testified that in NYC elementary schools: over 30% of arts teachers have no basic knowledge of the visual arts; more than 50% of music teachers have no basic knowledge of music; more than 50% of art teachers have no basic knowledge of dance; and 65% of art teachers have no basic knowledge of theater.

Dunn noted that during the 1970's fiscal crisis, arts education was virtually wiped out. While some programs have been restored, there is still an enormous lack of resources. Dunn also testified that the majority of NYC students were not eligible to apply to colleges of the arts due to the lack of the NYC arts curriculum.

Testimony given on January 13 & 14, 2000

Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >