Unfortunately, when schools face budget issues, the first courses to be cut are the art courses. This is concerning to me because I am someone who has grown up with the arts my entire life. In my school district I have gotten to take choir, art, and theatre. It is hard for me to imagine how different my life would be if I had gotten the opportunity to explore those classes from an early age. I am currently working on a research paper regarding the question, “Should the arts continue to be funded in schools?” An article I found interesting was “School Arts Programs: Should They Be Saved?” written by Valeriya Metla. Metla is in favor of continued funding of the arts programs in schools, and I agree with her. She states many interesting reasons why she is in favor of art programs. It has been proven that students who take art classes have an increased performance in their core classes. “Students who took four years of art classes scored 91 points higher on their SAT exams than those who took half a year or less” (Metla). She also points out the fact that a majority of students enjoy art classes, so it motivates them to stay in school. And because of this, “Schools with long-standing art programs have higher graduation rates” (Metla). This topic also reaches far beyond the topic of the arts; it also has to do with race and privilege. Metla points out an interesting fact that students from impoverished communities and and minority students suffer the most from declining art programs. Metla states that, “Art programs can keep at-risk youth off the streets, and, consequently, away from correctional institutions.” By providing art classes, it encourages these students to develop their creativity, help them perform better in their academic classes, and give them an incentive to come to school. If these are the students that need the most help to graduate, why are they the ones to have their art budget cut first? Metla makes a lot of good points, but I have a lot more research to do. There is a lot more I want to expand on such as privilege being a huge factor in schools. Wealthy schools have greater access to different opportunities such as art classes, and therefore have more resources and have higher graduation rates. Meanwhile, impoverished schools don’t have the money for certain opportunities, such as art classes, and they have a lower graduation rate. I think art programs should be guaranteed in every school. What do you think? What is your opinion on the topic? What do you think about the factor of privilege being involved in the determination of having art classes or not? I would like some other students’ perspectives.
Metla, Valeriya. “School Art Programs: Should They Be Saved?.” Law Street 14 May 2015. Accessed 18 Nov. 2016.Tags: art education music schools