JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Six members of the Missouri Arts Council will be part of a national panel on why art should be part of the core curriculum taught in schools.

The council says six of its members will attend a May conference in Chicago to talk about why states should continue funding school arts programs — even in economic difficulties.

The Arts Council is part of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The group says arts programs make students want to come to school and can help them score better on standardized tests.

Four other states — California, Idaho, South Dakota and Kansas — also will be sending representatives to the conference.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.