Regulations


What do state regulations say about how much/how often arts education is provided to students?


Instruction in dance, music, theatre and visual arts is required for all students in Pennsylvania's schools.

Title 22, Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania Code outlines the requirements for students in grades K-12. Pennsylvania is a local control state. This means the Department of Education will not, for any subject, require a certain number of minutes per subject per day/week. However, Chapter 4 does give guidelines for schools as they plan instruction.

Chapter 4 Snapshot:

Elementary education- primary and intermediate levels Full text


The primary level includes students up to approximately 8 years of age. The intermediate level includes students up to approximately 11 years of age.

"Planned instruction aligned with academic standards in the following areas will be provided to every student every year in the primary program. Planned instruction may be provided as a separate course or other interdisciplinary activity.
...(7) The arts, including active learning experiences in art, music, dance and theatre."

"Planned instruction in the following areas shall be provided to every student every year in the intermediate level program. Planned instruction may be provided as a separate course or as an instructional unit within another course or other interdisciplinary instructional activity.
...(6) The arts, including art, music, dance and theatre."


Middle level education Full text


The middle level includes students who are approximately 11-14 years of age. However, the exact definition of "middle level" may be modified by school districts to better meet the needs of their students.

"Planned instruction aligned with academic standards in the following areas shall be provided to students in the middle level program. Planned instruction may be provided as a separate course or as an instructional unit within a course or other interdisciplinary instructional activity.
...(8) The arts, including art, music, dance and theatre."


High school education Full text


"Planned instruction aligned with academic standards in the following areas shall be provided to students in the high school program. Planned instruction may be provided as a separate course or as an instructional unit within a course or other interdisciplinary instructional activity.
...(6) The arts, including art, music, dance and theatre."

Assessment Full text


School districts are responsible for developing local assessment systems for areas that have academic standards but are not assessed by a state test.

"School entities shall apply academic standards for students in all areas described under subsections (a) and (c). The local assessment plan under section 4.52 (relating to local assessment system) must include a description of how the academic standards will be measured and how information from the assessments is used to assist students having difficulty meeting the academic standards."

A workbook is available to help school districts create a K-12 assessment system in the arts -



MENC's Opportunity-to-Learn Standards outline suggestions for curriculum, scheduling, staffing, materials, equipment, and facilities in school music programs.

NAEA's Purposes, Principles and Standards for School Art Programs outlines suggestions for curriculum development, personnel, time, scheduling, facilities, materials, equipment, resources and budget for school visual arts programs.

The National Dance Association and National Dance Education Organization require either a membership or a fee-for-download to view their opportunity to learn standards for school dance programs.