There is a proposal to reduce elective courses for high school students at the Capitol that would reduce student’s access to arts education courses like music, band, orchestra, choir, visual arts, dance and theater. High schools are required to provide access to three arts disciplines and students are required to take at least one to graduate. Students with interest in the arts may take their class each year they are in high school as part of their electives.
We agree with some legislators who are questioning whether reducing electives means students would have less access to the arts.
Access to arts education is important for students because:
- The arts kick-start the success of students in school. Students in arts courses score higher on standardized tests, attain higher GPAs and are far less likely to drop out of school. They also reduce the achievement gap.
- The arts provide 21st Century work skills in our growing arts economy, including critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation, that business leaders are asking for.
- Americans show overwhelming support for arts education. 91% of Americans believe the arts are part of a well-rounded education for K-12 students.
Both state and federal law require schools to provide arts education. Reducing electives for high school students will reduce their capacity to serve their students and reduce student access to the arts education they need.
Please oppose reducing electives in Minnesota high schools.