Rural schools in Northeast Louisiana struggle with arts programs

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A new study by the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council shows half of the rural public schools in Northeast Louisiana don't have access to arts education. That includes music, drama, or visual arts.

They say it's mostly because of school budget cuts, and that it's a problem, because art can help kids in school and life.

"Children who study the arts have lower dropout rates, they have higher graduation rates, they do better in math and English, and ultimately it helps them out in life,” community development coordinator Danielle Kelley Tolbird says. “There are all the benefits that come from creativity and expressing yourself, but it also shows up in other tangible ways."

The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council plans to study how to get arts programs back in schools.