Arts education on the rise in NYC public schools

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Department of Education officials say instruction in the arts is on the rise in city schools.

The department says there were 2,568 licensed arts teachers in city public schools in the last school year. That's 175 more than the previous year.

The numbers are from the Annual Arts in Schools Report released Wednesday.

Part of the increase is through program called Arts Matter that allows two middle or high schools to share a dance, music or theater teacher.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina (Fah-REEN'-yah) says 22,000 students are in arts classes that didn't exist before the $5.3 million Arts Matter program started last year.

Farina says arts education is especially critical in middle schools. She says students that age should be exposed to the joy of the arts.

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