Public Schools : Funding And Availability Of Arts Programs

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Public schools in America have seen a significant loss of funding which in turn has caused reductions in the funding and availability of arts programs country wide. School districts have cut the programs that they believe are least useful in boosting their testing averages which begs the question: In an age where students are taught simply to take tests, does education in the arts, and more specifically theatre, have a place in today’s schools.
In recent years this country has seen tremendous cuts to educational budgets at both federal and state levels throughout the country. As a result of this there has been increases in class sizes, the laying off staff and faculty members, reduced programs, and even shortened school calendars. In August of 2012 the Executive Office of the President released a report that states that since the end of the recession (June 2009), “we have lost more than 300,000 local education jobs, raising class sizes and threatening the education of our nation’s children.” (whitehouse). For an excellent example of how those deep budget cuts are effecting education at a state level, we look at Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Funding for education was reduced by approximately $900 million in the 2011-2012 school year. The aforementioned cuts resulted in drastic reduction of programs including arts and music education, layoffs, increase in class size, and reduction in tutoring (cgs). This can be seen in nearly every school district in the country, which not

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