It’s important for our country’s educational system to facilitate creative growth, particularly in the fine arts; however, when budgets must be cut, the arts are often the first place school districts look to.
Here are three reasons why that’s a mistake:
- Children Exposed to Arts Education Go to College
A 10-year study culminating in 2009 (conducted by James Catterall and colleagues) found that, of 25,000 secondary students of low socio-economic status, 40.4% of those who attended an Arts-Rich High School went on to attend a 4-year university, whereas only 26.5% of those who attended an Arts-Poor High School attended a 4-year university.
- Arts Education Makes Teachers Happier
Not only do students perform better in school when they are exposed to arts education, but teachers also reported higher job satisfaction and showed more interest in their work, according to a study: Learning In and Through the Arts.
- Arts Education Leads to Children Showing Up More and Misbehaving Less
According to public school data from the Missouri Department of Education, there exists a strong correlation between levels of art participation and school attendance, as well as a strong negative correlation between levels of art participation and disciplinary issue rates.
No school district is going to cut a football program before they cut the theater department – that’s just not how the world works; but it IS important to remember just how beneficial arts programs can be for students before making decisions about where budget cuts should come from.