On February 15th Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, (Wilkes County Visual Art Teacher) along with Arts Caucus Chairs Rep. Becky Carney and Rep. Kyle Hall, filed H136, which would create an Arts Proficiency Endorsement for High School Diplomas in North Carolina. The endorsement would be awarded to those graduates who have completed at least four arts credits with an average GPA of 3.0 or higher and participated in at least 40 hours of extra-curricular arts activities. Per Arts North Carolina: H136 already has bipartisan support at the NC General Assembly. Of the 25 current sponsors, 9 are Republicans and 16 are Democrats.
Studies show that low-income students are five times less likely to drop out and twice as likely to achieve a college degree if they are involved in the arts throughout high school. On average students engaged in the arts score 100 points higher on their SATs. Also, 72% of business leaders consider creativity to be the most important skill for an employee to possess. The Arts Proficiency Endorsement could help prepare NC students for higher education and lifelong careers.