Funding Cuts For Arts Programs

909 Words4 Pages
A recent development in public education has been the decline in arts programs nationwide. Budget cuts to arts programs are responsive to decreases in state funding, especially in states with conservative economic policies. Many states have also enacted legislation disabling local school districts’ abilities to justify employing art and music teachers. Consequently, several problems have manifested themselves, including the loss of arts programs proving detrimental to the overall quality of education for today’s children. First and foremost, arts programs improve overall performance in core school subjects; this is demonstrated clearly through higher test scores amongst students with exposure to arts and positive correlations between arts and core class engagement. Other reasons supporting retaining arts programs include to help foster community development, produce creative minds, develop problem-solving skills, aid in child development and visual-spatial skills, and encourage underprivileged students to remain in school (Metla, 2015). By removing arts programs from some public schools, an alarming issue of public concern arises. Public education, given that it is considered to be a non-rivalrous and non-excludable, is deemed a public good (Clark, 2016). Cutting arts programs in public schools, especially when cuts transpire in schools saturated with heavy minority populations, creates inequitable education and creates a serious issue of public concern. Since 2008, approximately 80% of school districts in America have experienced cuts within their arts budget (Metla, 2015). Legislation at the federal and state levels have enabled these drastic and controversial cuts. No Child Left Behind enforced Common Core standards ensured t... ... middle of paper ... ...ions may be presented to stakeholders. Benefits of thick participation would include its higher success rate and diversity of opinions; however, thick participation is also the most time and labor intensive. Concerned Detroit citizens could also engage in thin participation. Opportunities could include signing petitions to institute arts programs, supporting school levies, etc. Thin engagement is an easy way to make a difference on an individual level; however, the collective impact is limited. In sum, cutting arts programs poses concerns on local and national levels. The inequity in education, epitomized by the disturbing revolving door of arts teachers in Detroit, is an issue that cannot be taken lightly. It is imperative that citizens engage individually and collectively through different participation mediums in order to reverse the trend regarding arts programs.
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