Report: Fewer elementary schools offering visual arts, drama, dance; poor students hurt most

Elementary schools without drama classes. High schools with large numbers of poor students that do not offer music.

Those are two of the bleaker pictures that emerged Monday from a report by the U.S. Department of Education on the state of arts education.

Fewer public elementary schools are offering visual arts, dance and drama classes than a decade ago, a decline many attribute to budget cuts and an increased focus on math and reading. The percentage of elementary schools with a visual arts class declined from 87 to 83 percent. In drama, the drop was larger: From 20 percent to 4 percent in the 2009-10 school year.

Music at the elementary and secondary school levels remained steady, though there were declines at the nation’s poorest schools.

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