New Jerseyans nearly unanimously agree that arts education is “very” or “somewhat” important and want state funding to support it
According to a Rutgers Eagleton poll, 90 percent of residents say education in the arts is “very” or “somewhat” important in the classroom. More agree that an arts education is important in after school programs (93 percent) and slightly less in their general community (89 percent).
Additionally, half of residents surveyed believe schools do not spend enough on arts education (48 percent). While a majority believes that both the state and local government should fund arts education (68 percent).
But when it comes promoting the arts outside of educational institutions, support declines.
Over half of New Jerseyans have not taken a child to an arts event (56 percent), donated money to an arts organization (63 percent), volunteered for an arts program (66 percent) or shared a social media link related to the topic (64 percent).
Some residents have not discussed an arts program with others (47 percent) or attended an arts event themselves (41 percent).
“While there is almost universal support for arts education in our schools, the public does not believe there is enough emphasis on, or resources to support, these programs,” co-director of Arts Ed NJ Robert Morrison said in a prepared statement. “As the state transitions to focusing on a ‘well-rounded education’ as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, this is an important moment for districts across the state to examine their arts education programs and look for ways to improve opportunities for all.”