Typically, when a school has to undergo budget cuts, the first programs to go are the arts: drama, painting, music, etc. These programs are seen as expendable and worthless compared to sports and standardized test prep. However, a recent study conducted by the Houston Education Research Consortium found that that’s not the case.
The study examined 10,548 students’ art education experience and growth throughout the courses. Three significant results were found after increasing students’ art education experience:
Reduced disciplinary infractions
Increased writing achievement
Increased students’ compassion for others
Art education for young children certainly has benefits. These benefits include: motor skill development, language development, decision making, visual learning, inventiveness, and cultural awareness.
Other research shows that, in high school, the benefits differ. Students in high school art classes show higher standardized tests, higher graduation rates, more community service, less time watching TV, less time being bored in school, more office positions held, and less drop-out rates. Students in low socio-economic status that had art programs reported only 4% drop out rates compared to a 22% drop out rate from students without art programs.
“As a teacher, I know that the two main factors that contribute to a lack of arts education are funding and time. With a greater emphasis being placed on math and literacy skills and on standardized testing, fine arts have been some of the first programs to be cut from a school budget and curriculum. This is disappointing, considering the research that links literacy skills to music and points to an intimate connection between rhythm, speech recognition, and reading”
-Keira Quintero, Pre-K-5th grade general music at Forest Glen Elementary School
Trouble arises when schools lose funding and have to resort to cutting programs. Typically, the arts programs are the first to go. Options are available to schools in these situations such as grants and community programs. The National Endowment for the Arts in 2015 funded over $74 million to nonprofit arts organizations.
Learn more about the benefit of arts education and art education funding here.
At KlickEngage, we are working to ensure that children in low-income communities have equal opportunity to succeed academically. Want to learn more? Ask us a question here.