NYC public school students deserve funding for art program restoration

The Adams administration must approve the funding necessary for the restoration of art programs in New York City public schools. Art and music courses are crucial to nurturing children’s artistic sensibilities and propelling them into creative industries

Lawmakers requested an additional $79.9 million funding boost for arts offerings at public schools. This extra money must be approved in the city’s annual budget by June. 

The Department of Education defines art programs as curricula involving dance, moving images, music, theater and visual arts. These fields are vital to instilling students with values such as creativity, cooperation and discipline. 

Creativity is a valuable asset to any industry, whether it is traditionally artistic or not. Bay Atlantic University calls creativity a “skill of the future” because it leads to fast problem-solving and boosts productivity. Businesses with creative employees tend to stand out from their competition.  

The DOE’s website even recognizes that programs in the arts help “students also develop positive outlets for self-expression and exercise their voice.

Council members advocated that the proposal would increase the per-student arts allocation from $80 to $100, as well as support arts teacher training and certification

This additional training would equip teachers with skills for dealing with the learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extra $20 will also help schools to properly care for their students’ needs. Arts programs help young people to develop their creative side and provide a safe space for them to express themselves. 

Furthermore, a space dedicated for students to create art provides them with a sense of motivation. A study by U.S. News found that K-12 students receiving an arts education engage more in their studies and develop inter-personal skills faster than students who aren’t. 

Additional benefits consisted of students’ improved focus. When students are given the time to learn a craft, they simultaneously learn about impulse control.

A report released by the New York City Council in April stated that there is about $2.7 billion dollars in additional resources available for use.

The council proposed for these available funds to be allocated toward the influx of migrants, additional investments in housing and education initiatives such as art programs.

The increased funding for art programs will tremendously benefit children attending public schools and their families. Children who are given the opportunity to explore their interests in the arts at a younger age will be well-positioned when approaching educational and career crossroads in the future.