Arts education across all 81 school districts in LA County has held steady since 2005/06, despite the recession and even as the total number of students enrolled in public schools has declined.

That’s what Arts and Culture learned when analyzing data on arts courses, enrollment, and teachers that was reported by school districts to the California Department of Education (CDE). CDE posts this data on DataQuest. Below is a one-page handout summarizing our findings. In addition, Arts and Culture has compiled the data into Excel tables for download and use. Compare your district to others in LA County. Use the data in writing grants. Tell the story of arts education in your own data visualizations.

This is the first in a series of arts education briefs planned from Arts and Culture. The next brief will ask whether there is a correlation between arts education offerings and factors like poverty levels or the share of the student body that is English language learners. Arts and Culture also plans to take a closer look at historical trends in arts education by discipline.

As Arts and Culture develops ideas for future arts education briefs, we’d like to hear from you. What would you like us to analyze? Do you have questions about arts education that you’d like us to explore? We invite you to submit your ideas to us.

We’re also interested in tracking how this information is applied so if you use these tables or data, please let us know.

Download the data tables, or take a closer look at the chart in the infographic above.

A note on methods

“Arts instruction” was defined here as all courses coded as:

  • Art
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Dance
  • Drama/Theater
  • Fine and Performing Arts
  • Music

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes in the arts were included. Arts-related courses coded under Physical Education or Career Technical Education were excluded. This data replaces an earlier analysis of CDE data where we used a slightly different definition of arts education.

These tables and our analysis of them are only as accurate as the data submitted by each district to CDE.

If you have any questions, please contact our Research Coordinator, Matt Agustin.