Diegnan Bill to Include Visual & Performing Arts Grade Points in Student GPA Calculation Advanced by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) that would require public schools to include visual and performing arts courses when calculating a student’s grade point average was released Thursday by the Assembly Education Committee.

“This is about fairness,” said Diegnan, who chairs the committee. “Weighing these courses differently sends the wrong message to students who excel in the arts and puts them at a disadvantage when applying for college. A student who plans to study visual and performing arts in college should have the courses he or she took in this field considered when tallying his or her grade point average, which would be a better representation of the student’s academic capabilities and achievements.”

The bill (A-311) would require public schools to weigh courses in the visual and performing arts equally with other courses worth the same number of credits in calculating a student’s grade point average. The bill exempts advanced placement courses from this requirement.

The bill would take effect immediately and would first apply to the 2015-16 school year.