California law requires arts education: Does your school district follow it?

Fifth grade students practice jazz moves that incorporate samba techniques. At Gabriella Charter School most students get nearly five hours of dance per week as part of their normal school day. State law requires dance to be taught in schools, but many districts across the state don't offer comprehensive access to arts instruction. Mary Plummer/KPCC

California's state education code requires that the arts are taught to first-12th graders, but is that really happening?

Pass/Fail first covered this issue back in July, when we profiled longtime arts educator Carl Schafer.

He's spent the past year and a half lobbying state officials to enforce the law, which requires that first through sixth graders receive instruction, "beginning in grade 1 and continuing through grade 6," in dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

Seventh through 12th graders are required to receive arts instruction, too: The education code requires that students in those grades experience an "adopted course of study" with courses offered in the same arts fields.

But currently, the state doesn't enforce those provisions of the education code. It's up to school districts to follow them on their own.

KPCC is surveying district superintendents throughout Southern California to find out more about how arts education is taught in the region.

Want in? Contact me via email at mplummer@kpcc.org or on Twitter @maryplummer for details.