US Dept. of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks at the Arts Education Partnership National Forum

(4-13-10) Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gave a speech at the Arts Education Partnership National Forum on Friday, April 9. A full transcript is now online. Some highlights:

“If there is a message that I hope you will take away from today's conference it is this: The arts can no longer be treated as a frill. As First Lady Michelle Obama has said, ‘the arts are not just a nice thing to have or do if there is free time or if one can afford it... Paintings and poetry, music and design... they all define who we are as a people.’

“I am not going to sugarcoat the tough choices that many districts are facing this year. State and local school budgets are absolutely strained across the country. Many of you are fighting lonely battles to preserve funding for arts education. There is no getting around that fact—and I applaud your commitment to fully educating America's children by engaging them in the arts...”