Doug Israel, Director of Research and Policy at The Center for Arts Education
Each and every state is different when it comes to instructional hours required for arts education. Many, in fact, have no requirements at all.
Here in New York State, for instance, at the elementary level each year students are required to receive instruction in four recognized art forms (music, dance, theater, and visual arts). Depending on grade level it is "recommended" that 10-20% of school day instructional time be spent on the arts, according to state education department guidelines.
Many states have also developed specific learning standards for the arts at each grade level. The standards typically describe the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn in each art form. A set of National Core Arts Standards have also recently been developed that provide a universal framework for quality arts instruction. States are now in the process of considering these standards for voluntary adoption.
To review your state's arts education standards and requirements policies check out the Arts Education Partnership's ArtScan.
To get more tips on how to build a quality arts program at schools in your district, check out The Center for Arts Education's Arts Education Parent Advocacy Toolkit.