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What’s New in Arts Education Policy?

Date: 03 April 2024

Discover state arts education policy highlights in the 2024 ArtScan update.

We hope the anticipation has subsided as this year’s updates to the ArtScan database have finally been released! ArtScan is a comparison of 13 arts education policy areas across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The annual update to this database is made possible in collaboration with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) and Education Commission of the States (ECS), who offer critical feedback and support with review to ensure the arts education policies we capture are relevant and accurate.

Before our research process started this year, we hosted a focus group of members from SEADAE, ECS and our data and policy working groups to discuss ways to improve the 2024 update. The feedback we received during this meeting helped us clarify language for two policy areas:

  • Arts Requirement Alternatives for High School Graduation
  • Arts Requirements for Non-Arts Teacher Licensure

This year, we did not add new categories to the database; however, we saw significant changes in the existing policy areas across states. With this, let’s look at what’s new in 2024 arts education policy.

State Policy Changes

Idaho repealed its section of regulation that established the course requirements for candidates seeking a teaching certification in music, theater arts or visual arts. There are now 42 states who specify requirements for endorsement, initial licensure or certification of arts teachers or arts specialists.

Missouri repealed its Missouri School Improvement Program that specified fine arts (art and music) instruction requirements for elementary, middle and high school students. This piece of regulation also included the number of minutes required for fine arts instruction at each education level. Missouri is surely a state to keep an eye on for potential arts education policy updates.

New York updated its diploma regulations to now include alternative means of earning the required credit in the arts for graduation. A student may obtain their required credit in the arts by participating in a school’s major performing groups, such as band, chorus or theater group; or by participating in an approved advanced out-of-school art or music activity. This update promotes graduation flexibility for high school students!

Oklahoma updated its Academic Standards for Fine Arts. The new standards were written and revised by the 2022-23 Oklahoma Academic Standards for Fine Arts Executive Committee, made up of arts educators and arts education supporters. The update includes improvements to previous dance, drama/theatre, music and visual arts standards and adds new media arts standards for pre-K through 8th grade and high school.

North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas have recently adopted an arts related diploma endorsement to recognize high school students who have demonstrated a high level of competency in one or more arts disciplines. Oklahoma’s arts diploma endorsement is tailored for exploring a college and career pathway.

Miscellaneous Arts Education Policies

ArtScan includes an “other” policy category where we capture arts education related polices that do not fit within the specified policy areas. For example, Alabama, Nevada, Ohio and Rhode Island have all adopted a policy that creates a specialty license plate to support arts education advancement in their state. Funds collected from the purchase of these license plates are allocated to arts education in general (Alabama and Nevada) or to specific high schools (Ohio and Rhode Island).

Our ArtScan resource provides comprehensive arts education policy information that we hope will assist you in your individual research, curiosity and goal attainment. Our resource is a great starting place when looking into state policy implications related to arts education implementation in schools. Please reach out to our team with questions related to this resource or with feedback to improve it. We are committed to making arts education policy information accessible and await with pleasure the opportunity to continue this annual update!



Title: 2280 Pasos Bajo un Cielo Nublado | Artist: Hernán Jourdan | Medium: Film

When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.

Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music

My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.

Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film

Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.

Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio

La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.

Title: Literaseas | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite and ink on paper with digital edits

Title: A Riddle | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits

Title: False Binaries | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits