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GaDOE dedicates $200,000 to expand fine arts education in rural schools

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office,

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 The list of awardees is available at the bottom of this release.

December 22, 2020 – The Georgia Department of Education is awarding a total of $200,000 to rural school districts to help them expand the fine arts opportunities available to their students, the third round of such funding, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced today.

Twenty-one rural schools are receiving stART grants, which can be used to create or expand arts initiatives that significantly improve students' access to the arts. The grant is aligned to GaDOE's Roadmap to Reimagining K-12 Education, which calls for setting the expectation that every child, in every part of the state, has access to a well-rounded education -- including the fine arts.

This is the third round of funding provided through the grants; the first round was awarded in 2018, and the second in 2019.

“It is an absolute top priority of my administration to expand access to the fine arts for Georgia's students," Superintendent Woods said. “The arts are not an 'extra,' they are a crucial part of a well-rounded education, and students in all parts of our state deserve access to a high-quality arts education. This funding will help more rural districts expand that access to children."

Through the stART grants, GaDOE is taking advantage of the flexibility offered within the Every Student Succeeds Act to use some federal funds to support arts learning and other programs that provide a well-rounded education to students. 

GaDOE has also worked to expand fine arts instruction by creating a Fine Arts Department in Curriculum and Instruction at the state level, creating new virtual fine arts courses, refreshing standards, increasing the number of creative-industry-aligned high school arts courses, offering professional learning on arts content for arts teachers and arts integration for teachers of all content areas, creation of more than 4,000 instructional resources for arts teachers in the statewide SLDS, and developing a new Arts Integration School of Excellence Award for schools and a Fine Arts Diploma Seal for graduates.

All eligible school districts were given the opportunity to apply for the stART grant funding. For the purposes of the grant, a rural school district is any district currently eligible for funding under the federal Rural Education Achievement Program.

List of Awardees

Appling County Appling County High School 
Brooks County North Brooks Elementary School 
Brooks County Quitman Elementary School 
Brooks County Brooks County High School 
Brooks County Brooks County Middle School  
Cook County Cook County Middle School 
Cook County Cook High School 
Dooly County Dooly County Elementary School 
Fannin County West Fannin Elementary School 
Gilmer County Gilmer High School 
Jefferson County Jefferson County High School 
Laurens County Northwest Laurens Elementary 
McDuffie County J.A. Maxwell Elementary School 
Pierce County Blackshear Elementary School 
Pierce County Midway Elementary School 
Stewart County Stewart County Elementary School 
Thomas County Thomas County Middle School 
Thomas County Thomas County Central High School 
Thomas County Cross Creek Elementary School 
Union County Union County Middle School 
Union County Union County High School