Art in public schools is being cut constantly. In late 2017, Pennsylvania’s Scranton School District experienced a devastating $19 million budget shortfall. In response, the board decided they had no choice but to layoff 89 employees, the majority of which were teachers in music, art, and physical education.
This scenario plays out regularly in school districts across the country. Art programs in public schools are identified as the most responsible places from which to make cuts. Art is seen as frivolous and expendable compared to math, English, history and science, seen as more critical to students’ development and job prospects.
We at IPaintMyMind feel this reflects a profound misunderstanding of how art education benefits a student’s personal development, academic prowess, and professional prospects. It also misunderstands the trajectory of the current economy, which favors creative talent more and more every day.
Articles we’ve published explain how art education can improve proficiency in reading, writing, and math, boost discipline, attendance, and test scores, improve graduation rates and societal cohesion, and connect young people to a wider world. But those only begin to lay out the wide-reaching benefits of art in schools.
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