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New federal arts standards require Illinois education changes

Teachers and administrators are working on new guidelines for art education in Illinois. Some schools have no art programs, while others have limited time to teach it. 

New federal standards were released last year, though they came with no mandate.  The State Board of Education has been organizing meetings for teachers to make the guidelines fit for them.

Jonathan VanderBrugis with Arts Alliance Illinois, an advocacy group also helping plan meetings. He says the process is meant to show schools why education in the arts is important.

"The arts learning standards have not been updated since the mid-90s, so they are due for an update."

The federal recommendation separates the arts into five categories: music, theater, dance, visual art and media arts. Ultimately it will be up to local school districts to decide how to implement the new standards once they are approved next year.