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Protect Fine Arts High School Graduation Requirement

Dear Senator Schwertner, 
On behalf of the Texas Cultural Trust and those organizations and individuals listed below who have added their signature to this letter, thank you for your public service representing District 5 in the Texas Senate. The Texas Cultural Trust represents a passionate group of arts education advocates in Texas who are very concerned about SB 473. We appreciate your passion for CTE and respectfully request that you take time to understand our commitment to protecting the single fine arts credit required for high school graduation for all Texas students. 
Building a competitive workforce requires more than one skill set. The Texas Cultural Trust’s research demonstrates how fine arts education prepares the 21st Century workforce by developing creativity, collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. We believe all students deserve an opportunity to be exposed to arts education not because they necessarily plan to make it a career in the arts, but because the invaluable skills they learn will help them be successful in any career they choose to pursue.  
The unintended consequences of SB 473 may limit a child's opportunity for a well-rounded education and opportunity of exposure to art and culture education. CTE programs across the state have significant support through funding incentives and school accountability ratings. Fine arts education receives none of these incentives. Access to arts education in Texas is not equitable especially among Title I school districts, minority, and low socioeconomic communities. Removing the fine arts requirement while CTE is bolstered by school administration and counselors because of incentives, unintentionally furthers the disparity among students in these communities in receiving quality well rounded education. 
Thank you for partnering with the Texas Cultural Trust and arts leaders to protect arts education and exposure to art and culture in Texas. We look forward to supporting you in finding a solution that does not remove the one fine arts credit required over four years for high school graduation.  
We are committed to ensuring every student in Texas, regardless of their geographic or socioeconomic background, has access to fine arts education.  

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