Gov. Murphy Announces Universal Arts Access for State Public Schools

Governor Phil Murphy speaks on Monday, September 9 at Paramus High School, which was recognized in 2013 as a Model School in the Arts for the state of New Jersey during National Arts in Education Week, which began on Monday. Photo courtesy of Governor Phil Murphy Facebook page.

NEW JERSEY — On Monday, September 9, Governor Phil Murphy and Arts Ed NJ Founder and Director Bob Morrison announced that New Jersey has reached a new benchmark in offering universal arts education access to all state public schools.

Murphy says that with universal arts access to arts education children will “reach their full potential.”

“I am grateful that my own education included exposure to the arts, and I know that I would not be where I am today without the skills theater taught me,” Murphy said. “I am proud to announce that all New Jersey public schools are now offering arts education. The future of New Jersey is bright, and today’s announcement is a critical step in ensuring that our children reach their full potential.”

Over one million New Jersey students participate in some form of arts education including classes in Dance, Music Theatre, or Visual Arts.

Arts Ed NJ released its 2019 New Jersey Arts Education Annual Summary Report, which reviewed data from the New Jersey State Department of Education for the 2017-2018 school year. The report found that in the last ten years, there was a 25 percent increase in student participation in New Jersey, meaning that additional 250,000 students participated in arts programs in New Jersey Schools.

Commissioner of Education Dr. Lamont O. Repollet notes that students that participate in the arts are more likely to enroll in higher education.

“Research shows a compelling connection between the arts and achievement in school, and even after graduation,” Repollet, noting that studies have found students involved in the arts are more likely to score higher in language arts literacy and are more likely to enroll in college. “New Jersey’s focus on arts education is designed not only to provide students with an appreciation of the arts, but it helps unleash their creativity and innovation. Those are tools that can help them achieve greater success throughout life.”