Diegnan Bill to Include Visual & Performing Arts Grade Points in Student GPA Calculation Now Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Education Committee Chair Patrick Diegnan that would require public schools to include visual and performing arts courses when calculating a student’s grade point average has been signed into law.

“This is about fairness. 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,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “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 law (A-311) requires public schools to weigh courses in the visual and performing arts equally with other courses worth the same number of credits and of the same academic rigor in calculating a student’s grade point average. As used in the law, academic rigor means a course’s classification as a general education course, an honors course, or an advanced placement course.

The law will apply to the first full school year following enactment.