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bers and the power of our convictionswould sway public opinion and put an end to thewar.

I Linda James

During those tumultuous years, I blamed President Lyndon B. Johnson for the country’s involvement in Vietnam. Iwas seemingly blind to the social reforms

that President Johnson initiated during his time in office.

For the past four decades, the country has benefitted frommany of the domestic programs enacted during Johnson’s presidency.Among the “Great Society” initiatives launched during this periodwas the Elementary and Secondary EducationAct of 1965which provided sig- nificant federal aid to public education. That same year Johnson signed theNational Foundation on theArts andHumanitiesAct into law, creating both theNational Endowment for theArts andNational Endowment for theHumanities as separate, independent agencies.

I knowthe value of public education and the uplifting gift the arts provide. For thirty years, I have enjoyed the privilege of teaching dance at Booker T.WashingtonHigh School for the Performing and Visual Arts inDallas, Texas. I have seen the difference that arts education can make in the life of a child.Art indeed, saves lives!

OnMarch 12, 2001, I once again traveled toAustin to demonstratemy discontent. But this time, Iwas chanting “Save our schools.” I raised my voice not just for Booker T., or the schools in Texas, but for the future of our country.When the cost of doing business becomesmore


n 1969, I, alongwith thousands of fellowstu- dents, traveled toAustin to protest thewar in Vietnam.We hoped that the strength of our num-

important than inspiring children to think,we are in danger of trans- forming a democratic state into a feudal systemof corporatemasters and serfs.

As dispirited as I amby the reformerswho have set out to destroy our school system, I knowthatwe cannot give up on the ideals of President Johnson’sGreat Society.

OnApril 12, 2011, the PerformingArtsAlliance reported that “advoca- cy efforts had paid off!” Congress released details of their compromise to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY11.Highlights of the budget plan include $155million for theNational Endowment for theArts (NEA) and $25.5million for theArts in Education pro- gramat theDepartment of Education (a partial restoration ofArts in Education funding).As heartening as this news is, the fight is ongo- ing.

Nowis the time to protect the common good!Wemust demonstrate the strength of our numbers and the power of our convictions.We must stay informed, keep up the debate, andwrite our legislators weekly.

To find outwho represents you in the Texas Senate, TexasHouse of Representatives, the Texas delegation to theU.S. Senate andHouse of Representatives, and the State Board of Education—go to

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may 2011


a publication of the dance council of north texas vol. 14 •

no. 2

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