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N.J. has near universal access to arts education, participation growing

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Students in New Jersey schools have more access to arts education than ever before.

According to a study conducted by Arts Ed NJ, 99 percent of New Jersey Schools provided arts education. Only 26 schools did not offer an arts education.

As access to arts education reaches near universal levels, participation in arts education programs has also increased steadily.

More than 76 percent of all students participated in one or more arts education during the 2015/2016 school year. This is an increase of 11 percent, or 105,000 students, since 2011. Student participation tends to decline as they get further along in education. Roughly 93 percent of students in elementary school participated in arts, compared to 86 percent in middle school and 46 percent in high school.

Art, music, theater and visual arts make up the four disciplines of arts education. Of these categories, art and music had the highest participation with 69 and 62 percent respectively. Whereas visual arts and music were the most widely available at 94 and 96 percent.

Public school principals are required to provide data on arts education to the Commissioner of Education. 

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Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn


Arthur Augustyn grew up in Massachusetts and previously covered the video game industry in Los Angeles, city politics in Malibu, California, and local news in Bergen County before working at NJBIZ. He currently covers education and politics.

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