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The Background June 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jbuttke @ 4:13 pm

This week, I began to put together the information surrounding this years state budget issues. I originally didn’t think it was necessarily important to my project, but I have since changed my mind. I’ve found some really interesting information in Governor Rounds’ speeches. In December, he gave a speech foreshadowing the budget issues. December’s state revenues were $3 million lower than projected. With revenues down and additional spending mandated by the federal government, South Dakota needed to cut $49 million dollars from its budget. Thus, Governor Rounds’ next budget did not include funding for the South Dakota Arts Council or the State Archeology Center. However, with the federal stimulus money and a temporary .5% increase in tourism tax, both are partially funded. 

I also found that three other states considered cutting arts funding in 2009-Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona. Some of which are still in the process of debating it. I really has been difficult year for most states. South Dakota is in relatively good shape compared to states like California and Iowa. Both cut education aid by several million dollars. I think the information that I’ve recently found reaffirms that this is the perfect time to study arts impact, especially when legislators and making such tough decisions.


6 Responses to “The Background”

  1. mlkreport Says:

    Money really is the backbone for any program. No one wants it to be that way, but everyone has to make a living, including artists. I’m not sure of the details but I believe my daughter’s school district in California has some kind of visiting artist program. I was pretty impressed that Kindergarteners and 1st graders were able to imitate the styles of O’Keefe and Chagall (and that I was instantly able to recognize them as such at Open House). While they only have an art teacher in class about 2-3 times per year, my daughter has had lasting benefits from their instruction. I’ll be very interested to see how your study turns out about the impact of arts here in SD. ~Claire

    • jbuttke Says:

      Thanks for your comment! I’ve gotten some really interesting comments from teachers about the program. Several have said that the program is the only bit of art that their students are exposed to (besides “craft” time) Its really encouraging that your daughter has benefitted from a similar program in California. Hopefully that program will survive CA’s budget crisis!

  2. usdneuro Says:

    Hey–Interesting project. You said that with the stimulus money and the increased tourism tax, part of the program was funded. I am curious as to what percentage of it was funded by these sources? Thanks-Adam

    • jbuttke Says:


      Excellent question! I hadn’t actually looked at the exact amount, and low and behold, I was very surprised at what I found. When the papers said that “the funding was restored” they were actually incorrect. The state provided $0 dollars to the arts council and the state archeological center (Rounds also cut) The funding which was requested for FY2010 (jointly) was $1,543,372, which was 40,000 more than they received last year. However, they received $1,834,372! All of this is federal money from the stimulus plan, which is kind of a one time thing. The funding for next year is supposed to come from two year increase in the tourism tax, which is also temporary. The SDAC director hasn’t gotten back to me on the exact budget for this year, but if its anything like last year, the Council likely got a little over a third of the stimulus money. Thanks for the question!

  3. evsociety09 Says:

    I think that Claire is right in the fact that everything is driven by dollars. I also think that the arts are integral to everyone in society but more so children. Without it, children do not learn to express themselves in different ways and that can have lasting effects on the negative side of child development. There are already too many negative outside factors on children’s lives and there needs to be more positives. Cannot wait to see what you find.


    • jbuttke Says:

      Thanks Chris!
      Your comment sounds a lot like the comments I’ve been receiving from teachers. Nearly everyone who has filled out the survey has said something about the positive influence of art in children’s lives. I think my evidence suggests that these program have a large social impact!

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