By Justin Fabiano
The South Carolina Arts Commission has survived the Governor's attempt to cut all of its funding from the state. Governor Nikki Haley said she didn't think the state should fund arts programs.
The South Carolina House of Representatives went ahead and approved a budget for the commission with just a six percent cut. The new budget, as well as the fate of the South Carolina Arts Commission, are still up for debate in the Senate.
This comes as good news for Hand Middle School, a school that combines education with the arts. The arts play one of the most important roles in the school's day to day operations.
"Our kids have a more enhanced experience," seventh grade language arts teacher Anne Shealy said. "Their education is so much deeper than it would be from what they might learn from a textbook or off the computer."
The teachers think the arts provide a more interactive experience and a good supplement to classroom learning.
"They have the real artists there performing for them and showing them their craft," Shealy said. "It makes a tremendous difference for what our kids can learn."
If you walk the halls of Hand Middle School, you'll find pictures lining the halls that demonstrates students integrating subjects like math with their artwork.
"I find that in my language arts class I have my students create art and write a reflection to their art, or maybe create artwork in response to something that they have read," Shealy said.
But if the South Carolina Arts Commission gets no state money to pass on to schools, some teachers say it would be bad for both students and education in the state as a whole.
"The question is does the state want to cut funding to the arts which helps ensure that all citizens have access to the arts," Milly Hough, the Arts Commission Communications Director said. "We do a lot with arts education so a lot of folks are realizing that if the Arts Commission goes away then a lot of their funding would be in danger."
Even though the South Carolina Arts Commission is still alive, its future is still in question.
"Let's just say we're cautiously optimistic at this point," Hough said.