Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies - A Program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
How supportive are Americans of arts education in the public schools?

The 1992 Americans and the Arts survey, conducted by Louis Harris and Associates, measured support for the arts and arts education by adults in the continental United States. Respondents were asked about the importance of childhood arts exposure, the skills children gain from arts participation, and support for arts and cultural courses in school. When asked whether arts courses should be paid for by the school system as part of the regular budget, the majority of respondents agreed. A total of 77% of Americans said that arts courses should be paid for as part of the regular school budget.

Pie Chart: Should arts courses be  paid for as part of the regular school buget?

The responses did not vary significantly by gender. A majority of both men (73%) and women (78%) agreed that the school system should fund arts education courses.

Support for the arts in public schools tends to grow with the respondent's education level. Sixty percent of those with some high school education or less agreed that arts courses in schools should be publicly funded. Among high school graduates, support rises to 75%. Those with some college (84%), college graduates (82%), and those who have done postgraduate work (91%) were even more supportive of arts education.

Bar graph: Should arts courses be paid for by the regular school budget? (Americans for the Arts VI, 1992.)

Researchers may want to use the 1992 Americans and the Arts study to examine this issue further. For example, does support vary by income? Or is support higher among those who had arts courses when they were in school, or among those who have children under age 18?

A related question in the survey asked whether or not Americans would agree to cut back on money spent by the schools on sports, extracurricular activities, or administrative expenses if it were necessary to be able to have arts as part of the regular curriculum.

The results for these and other questions may be obtained through Quick Analysis, CPANDA's user-friendly online analysis interface.


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