OCDE-led consortium wins $1.4 million music, arts grant

A consortium led by the Orange County Department of Education has received a $1.4 million grant to help increase music and arts education among special needs students and those in alternative education programs across the county.

The state Department of Education awarded a combined $4 million in 2018 Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants to county agencies to help support Visual and Performing Arts education for students who might have limited access to the curriculum.

“This initiative addresses the lack of access to music and arts education for students in alternative placements such as continuation and alternative schools and for students with exceptional needs,” said Steve Venz, visual and performing arts coordinator for OCDE.

“The arts provide a way for many of these students to express themselves, connecting with those around them and giving them purpose to participate in school,” he added.

The OCDE-led consortium includes nine school districts in Orange County: La Habra City, Newport-Mesa Unified, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified, Santa Ana Unified, Magnolia, Garden Grove Unified, Saddleback Valley Unified, Capistrano Unified and OCDE’s ACCESS program.

“Every student deserves an education that prepares them for today’s competitive global workforce, and we’re proud to be working with our partner school districts to bring this exciting, new resource to our Orange County students,” Venz said.