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The requirements for Maryland's public schools are governed by the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR).  


While the regulations set out in this code do not have attached legislation that requires their funding, they outline what Maryland public school students are legally entitled to in their education, and what the state high school graduation requirements consist of.


Below is the COMAR regular about arts education. Note that these are not supplemental courses, and that an arts credit is required to graduate.


SEC 13A.04.16.


Sec. 13a.04.16.01. - Requirements for Fine Arts (Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, Visual Art) Instructional Programs for Grades Prekindergarten—12

A. Each local school system shall:

(1) Provide an instructional program in fine arts each year for all students in grades prekindergarten-8 as follows:

(a) Within the prekindergarten-5 grade span, students shall have experiences in the fine art forms of dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual art; and


(b) Within grades 6-8, students may specialize in one or more of the fine art forms of dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual art; and

(2) Provide an instructional program that enables all students in grades 9-12 to meet graduation requirements, and to select from among fine arts elective courses of dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual art that will prepare them for post-secondary education and careers.

Arts Ed Checklist for website rvs. 1.png

The first step of arts education advocacy is to assess the arts curriculum in your school community.

This checklist will help you determine if there is appropriate arts education access in your school community. Explore more of AEMS' resources, or contact if you can't check all of these boxes for your school community.


The Arts Advocacy 101 video series are tutorials led by experts in the arts education ecosystem covering a wide range of arts education advocacy topics!


Arts ARE Education is a national campaign in support of arts education for all students that includes advocacy resources, a podcast, action center updates, and more. Check out their 2022-2023 School Year talking points below!

AFTA Arts Ed Navigator
4-part e-booklet by Americans for the Arts (AFTA)

The series of e-books is designed to help educators, students, and advocates alike navigate the complex field of arts education. Each e-book in the Navigator series covers a specific topic, ensuring arts education supporters like you are equipped with the knowledge, statistics, and case-making techniques needed to effectively communicate with decision-makers.


Browse the blog resources below. These routinely-updated blog feeds provide the latest articles and resources on the benefits of arts education, trends in arts education policy, advocacy tip, and more! 

Additional Resources


The ArtsEd Digest is AEP’s bi-monthly newsletter highlighting news from AEP partner organizations and the field, including reports, research and job opportunities.


A regularly updated blog with studies and articles on how the arts support brain health

Arts Education Partnership (AEP)
Arts Ed Amplified Blog


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