With the regular stress affecting young people today, particularly in underserved communities, involvement in performing arts provides students a necessary outlet for self expression, often with the tools students care most about. Yet budget deficits in schools and school districts have reduced the availability of arts instruction for the students who may need it most.
- In the last five years, funding for arts education at Los Angeles Unified School District has dropped by 76%.
- This means that 50% of high school students and 75% of middle school students across the district will not receive any arts instruction throughout their time at school.
- California has recently scored the lowest among all 50 states in a national comparison of per capita arts education funding.
Research consistently shows that students involved in arts instruction perform better academically, are more socially and developmentally well-adjusted, and feel significantly stronger ties to their academic community.
- Schools with active music programs have an estimated 90.2% graduation rate and 93.9% attendance rate compared to schools without music education who average 72.9% graduation and 84.9% attendance.
- Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students who participate in high-quality music programs score 22% better on English and 20% better on Math standardized exams.
- Students who study arts are more cooperative with their teachers and peers, have higher levels of self-confidence, and are more equipped to express themselves and their ideas.