Public middle and high schools in New York are required by state law to provide arts instruction to students, but according to a report from NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, 20 percent of schools in the five boroughs are failing to do so. Unsurprisingly — given the ways in which city schools are economically segregated — this disproportionately effects schools in low-income areas like the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn, which are home to 42 percent of arts lacking-schools.
Stringer’s report calls for a series designed to place higher precedence on art education. “We treat arts classroom space the way we treat janitorial space — it’s just expendable. And it shouldn’t be,” he told the New York Times. “This is not a toolshed or a closet; this is where the next great artist or musician is going to happen.”