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Gov. Ducey Signs Bill Creating High School Diploma Seal For Students In The Arts

Gov. Ducey Signs Bill Creating High School Diploma Seal For Students In The Arts

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed into law a bill to create a State Seal of Arts Proficiency to be affixed to diplomas of graduating seniors from any Arizona public school demonstrating completion of a rigorous program of arts study based on state standards.

The seal qualifications, involving a combination of focused study in at least one arts discipline, volunteerism and a capstone project, are being developed by a working group of arts educators based on state standards for arts education and guidelines determined by the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona State Board of Education.

Schools will be able to opt-in to the voluntary program as soon as the 2019-20 school year.

"Arts programs are an essential part of a well-rounded education system, not just electives that are nice for students to have. Research has proven that a balanced, comprehensive and sequential program of study in the arts allows Arizona's students to learn and practice 21st-century skills and behaviors that improve critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creative problem solving," said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. "I commend the Legislature for passing SB1111, which recognizes the superb work accomplished by students across Arizona."

SB1111 was introduced by Sen. Paul Boyer of Phoenix and passed the Senate 30-1 and the House by a 51-6-3 vote.

"Numerous studies validate the role of arts education in encouraging high school completion and post-secondary education and improving overall academic performance," said Arizona Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Catherine "Rusty" Foley. "We are pleased that an overwhelming majority of the State Legislature and the Governor endorse the Arts Seal of Proficiency as a means of elevating this important role of arts education and the need to recognize students who pursue in-depth study of the arts. The Arts Seal also will support career development in Arizona's creative industries, a $9 billion sector that provides more than 90,000 jobs in our state."

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