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Arts Funding Down in New York City Schools


Between the years of 2006 and 2009, spending on the arts and music in New York City public schools went in the opposite direction of overall education spending. The former plummeted by nearly 70 percent, while the latter ballooned by nearly 20 percent, says a story in the New York Daily News. The figures are from a report by The Center for Arts Education.
By some measures, the result has been a reduction of arts classes. The percentage of high school students taking three or more arts classes dropped to 28% last year from 46% during the 2006 school year, Education Department data show. And only 39% of elementary school students met state arts education mandates.
Arts advocates say the drop is linked to the Education Department's 2007 decision to stop requiring principals to spend a specific amount of their budget on the arts.
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There's plenty of evidence that these classes are beneficial to students' overall development; and, frankly, they are the only classes these days where students have the opportunity to be creative. Despite those facts, these classes are often considered luxuries.
With more budget cuts on the horizon, what will become of the programs that are left?
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