Comprehensive Arts Ed Plan

North Carolina Legislation

Timeline of North Carolina Legislation on Arts Education

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Basic Education Program and the Every Student Succeeds Act

Public School Law 115C-81 (previously NC's Basic Education Program) specified arts education as part of each child's basic education. As of June 2017, G.S. 115C-81 now specifies a Sound, Basic Education and includes the arts as one of the areas for which instruction shall be offered. The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) identifies the Arts (Dance, Theatre Arts and Visual Arts) and Music alongside other subjects, like Math and Language Arts, as part of a Well Rounded Education. As part of ESSA, arts education programs and teachers are eligible to receive federal funds through provisions such as Title I, which supports disadvantaged students; Title II, which supports teachers; and Title IV, which provides direct support for arts education.

NEW: 115C-81.5 Standard Course of Study
This legislation repeals the BEP and replaces with sound, basic education, and other technical changes.

Relevant Bills passed during the 2017 Session Impacting Education

  • HB 135/SL 2017-126: Technical Changes to Course of Study Statute | Summary
  • HB 13 Class Size Requirement Changes - Ch. SL 2017-9
  • SB 169 Teaching Excellence Bonus Expansion - Ch. SL 2017-88
  • HB 770: Various Clarifying Changes- The Governor’s veto of HB 770 was overridden by the Senate on August 30, 2017 and is now Session Law 2017-206. This bill amends statutes governing the calculation of school achievement and growth scores and school report cards to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Complete list of relevant bills impacting public education:

Comprehensive Arts Education

In August 2010, the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) appointed a task force in response to Senate Bill 66: “An Act to Provide a Comprehensive Arts Education Plan.” S66 was ratified on June 24 and signed by the Governor on July 1, 2010. Senate Bill 66 directed the State Board of Education to appoint a task force of members from the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to create a Comprehensive Arts Education Development Plan for the public schools of North Carolina.

Included in this report, at the request of the NC General Assembly, are the Task Force recommendations for implementing a comprehensive arts education plan in North Carolina schools. The S66 Task Force recognizes a Comprehensive Arts Education Plan to include the following three components:

  • Arts Education (arts as core, academic subjects)
  • Arts Integration (arts as a catalyst for learning across the curriculum)
  • Arts Exposure (exposure to arts experiences)

Approved Legislation (2012)

S724: An Act to Implement Various Education Reforms (June 26, 2012) and
H23: An Act Directing the State Board of Education to Develop and Implement Digital Teaching and Learning Standards for Teachers and School Administrators (March 15, 2013)
115C-296 - Pre-service Arts Integration Requirement for Elementary Educators

In June 2012, Senate Bill 724: An Act to Implement Various Education Reforms (S724) was signed into North Carolina law. This law requires teacher preparation programs to ensure that pre-service elementary teachers are prepared to “integrate the arts across the curriculum.” This wide-scale legislation directs the State Board of Education to work with the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina and the State Board of Community Colleges to ensure that programs of study for pre-service and lateral entry teachers remain current and reflect a rigorous course of study that is aligned to State and national standards. The law addresses teacher preparation across many areas, including adequate coursework and requisite knowledge in scientifically based reading and mathematics instruction, knowledge of formative and summative assessments and technology-based assessment systems, and preparation to integrate the arts across all areas of learning. More recent legislation, including House Bill 23 (which adds a digital literacy component) and Senate Bill 168 (which provides clarifying language) continue to reinforce the General Statute 115C-296 arts integration legislation.

Recently Proposed Legislation Impacting Arts Education (2017)

Arts Education Requirement (2017) - an act to direct the State Board of Education to require one arts education credit prior to graduation from high school. Did not pass into legislation in the 2017 long session of the NCGA.

HB 13
Class Size Requirement Changes (2017) - an act to modify the maximum class size requirements and individual class size requirements for kindergarten through third grade. Became part of public school law with amendments in the budget bill.

HB 6
Ed Finance Reform Task Force PED Report (2017) - In consultation with the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction, the Task Force shall study various weighted student formula funding models and develop a new funding model for the elementary and secondary public schools of North Carolina based on a weighted student formula. The task force will meet and report in October 2018 on this topic.

Staying Informed

  • Interested parties can follow legislative action by visiting: and searching by bill number to view the bills, including their sponsors, and actions taken.
  • Audio Broadcasts - The North Carolina General Assembly broadcasts live, real-time audio of the daily House and Senate sessions, press conferences in the Press Conference Room, and meetings held in the Appropriations and Finance Committee Rooms. Refer to the Legislative Calendar for meeting and press conference schedules:

Historical Proposed Legislation Impacting Arts Education

  • H758 Arts Education Commission (May/June 2012 and April 2013) The following bills were introduced as a result of the H758 Arts Education Commission but did not proceed forward to be signed into legislation during the spring 2012 short session of the NC General Assembly:
    • S874 (H1112) Senate Bill 874 (House Bill 1112) proposed requiring one unit in arts education for high school graduation, directed the Department of Public Instruction to allocate appropriate staffing to low-wealth and rural areas, and called for appropriations funding for arts education positions beginning with its implementation with the freshman class of 2015.
    • H1113 directed LEA's (Local Educational Authority - school boards) to implement a comprehensive art education plan as recommended by the Arts Education Commission.
    • H1119 directed the State Board of Education to find funding and the LEA's to enhance their arts education programs as recommended by the Arts Education Commission.

Major National Reports

Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools
President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 1999-2000 and 2009-10
National Center for Education Statistics
Institute of Education Sciences

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies
National Endowment for the Arts

New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design
National Governors Association

SEADAE Arts Education White Paper:
Roles of Certified Arts Educators, Certified Non-Arts Educators, & Providers of Supplemental Arts Instruction
State Education Association Directors of Arts Education

Arts Research

Arts Education Partnership

NCDPI Policy Materials: Arts Education Partnership National Forum