Opinion: now is the time for New York City to invest in arts education

Posted on: July 12, 2021

“Happier days are near again as New York City springs back to life and moves toward a full reopening of its restaurants, arts and cultural venues, and schools,” write Misty Copeland, Wynton Marsalis, Jody Gottfried Arnhold, and Russell Granet in Thursday’s (7/8) Daily News (NY). “Happy days will not return to New York, however, until we finally address the health, economic and educational inequities that the pandemic exposed…. When we first heard that New York City’s public schools were getting $6.9 billion of federal stimulus dollars, we rejoiced about a once-in-a-generation opportunity to become a more vibrant, prosperous and equitable city…. Alas, … the mayor’s executive budget approved by the City Council last week does not target a single federal dollar toward investing in arts education beyond pre-pandemic levels…. The mayor, the chancellor, and Council should consider what three-and-a-half cents out of every stimulus dollar would mean to financially strapped schools…. Those schools could finally hire certified teachers in dance, music, theater and the visual arts…. Decades of disinvestment in arts education [have] left nearly a third of all public schools … without even a single, full-time certified arts instructor.”