Well, it certainly seems like arts education is picking up STEAM - pardon the pun, but literally, arts integration is everywhere. Whether schools are calliing is STEM+Arts or STEAM, there is no denying the momentum of arts integration to make learning meaningful and connected.
Recent legislation also points towards support for the arts via STEAM as evidenced at the national level with Senator Suzanne Bonamici's STEAM caucus to the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). From our friends at Americans for the Arts:
The Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law last Thursday, includes the arts alongside math and language arts in its definition of a "well-rounded education." That ensures that arts education programs and teachers are eligible to receive federal funds through provisions such as Title I, which supports disadvantaged students, and Title II, which supports teachers.
The arts also make appearances in other parts of ESSA. The new law offers funding specifically for integrating arts into STEM, and also includes a $20 million grant program for arts education, known as the Assistance for Arts Education grant program, which replaces a similar program from the No Child Left Behind Act. The Every Student Succeeds Act also gives states "more flexibility in how they allocate resources to low-performing schools and set accountability measures than before, which means arts education advocates will now be turning to states to ensure that federal funds actually make their way to eligible arts programs."
In Sacramento, Senator Ben Allen is also sponsoring a bill to offer single subject credentials for theater and dance teachers. In an effort to increase the number of public schools offering theater and dance, Senator Allen unveiled SB916. After many years of recognizing this need, we are excited about having this bill pass this year!