Geiss on bill to require more elementary music, art education

LANSING — Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) issued the following statement about legislation she introduced today that would require music and art education be a regular part of the curriculum for K-5 students:

“Music and art education have, time and again, proven to benefit students by enhancing and complementing what traditional subjects achieve. As we teach the younger generation to be innovative and thoughtful leaders, instruction in music and the arts should be an integral part of the public-school experience. A recent Forbes article cites an extensive study that related higher academic achievement in core subjects in students with regular access to art and music education. 

“We should be expanding our students’ abilities to think outside the box by teaching them skills that enable them to both better understand themselves and collaborate with others — which is exactly what music and the arts do. The creativity that is innate in music and art education strengthens critical thinking skills and allows for a deeper level of engagement as kids interact with the world around them.”

Senate Bill 804 would require 90 minutes of music and 90 minutes of art instruction per week with certificated teachers for each respective subject area. It also would require districts to have a separate, dedicated budget for music and art, and the legislature to provide funding for any additional costs.

The bill was referred to the Senate Education Committee, where it awaits a hearing.


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