Portland Falls Way Behind in Arts Education
A New National Study Highlights Our Critical Shortfalls
Last week, the US Department of Education released its first study of arts education in more than ten years. And while this study reflected what we already know – that arts education opportunities are declining nationally for those who need them most – it also showcased how far behind Portland has fallen.
The study found that across the US, 94% of elementary schools offer music instruction and 83% offer programming in visual arts. In contrast, Portland’s six public school districts, which educate over 33,000 K-5 students annually, only provide music instruction in 58% of elementary schools and visual arts instruction in a mere 18%.
And the rate of decline for arts education in Portland has been shockingly steep. In the last five years Parkrose and Centennial School Districts have cut their arts and music teaching staff by half, while PPS has dropped all arts instruction in 22 schools in just two years.
Today in Portland there are 11,596 children attending schools that do not have any art, dance, drama, and music instruction. With last week’s announcement that 110 teachers at PPS will be cut next year – that number is guaranteed to increase.
The Creative Advocacy Network has partnered with the City of Portland and Portland’s six school districts to restore arts and music education to our elementary schools. We are working to ensure that our children have the same opportunities to imagine and learn and thrive as we did.
But we can’t do it alone. Please donate $15 or more towards our efforts – today. Join us on Facebook and share this information with your friends, and follow us on Twitter.
Together, we can give our children the future they deserve.