Arts requirement for NC diploma OK'd by committee

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Some North Carolina legislators want to make students take a painting, music or theater class to graduate from high school.

The House Education Committee approved a bill Tuesday requiring public school students to take one arts education credit to get a diploma starting in fall 2016 with ninth graders. The measure would allow students to satisfy the requirement in middle school.

Study commissions have recommended the arts requirement. Bill sponsors told the committee the idea has been slowed because of worries it would crowd out academic requirements.

Rep. Becky Carney of Charlotte says the requirement will encourage creativity and arts discourage children from dropping out of school. But bill opponent Rep. Larry Pittman of Concord says arts classes should remain optional and says he never needed them for his career.

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