by California State PTA Legislation Team
For almost thirty five years, California State PTA has strongly and actively advocated for a full curriculum that includes the arts. Arts education supports all kids. In the past, many schools have cut arts education even though studies show that the arts keep students in school, increase the graduation rate, increase academic performance, and add to students’ ability to create, collaborate, think critically, and communicate.
Based on our long standing advocacy in this area, a study of the measure, and the strength of relevant organizational authorities, our Board of Managers voted to support Proposition 28. California State PTA is formally supporting and actively advocating for Proposition 28 – the Art and Music in Public Schools Measure. The measure is on the ballot of California’s statewide election on November 8.
How Proposition 28 Supports Arts Education
The passage of Proposition 28 is expected to generate more than $900 million a year in dedicated new funding for arts and music education for all public schools across California – without raising taxes. The measure provides extra funding for schools serving students in low-income communities, who are predominantly students of color, thus addressing current inequities in students’ access to arts and music education. This funding would be in addition to the state’s Proposition 98 minimum funding guarantee.
The majority of the funding is to be used to hire new teachers and staff (80 percent). That represents about a 50 percent increase in arts and music educators in classrooms in California. Besides traditional Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) programs, funds will be used to pay for instruction in computer graphics, animation, coding, and costume design. The measure helps address cuts to arts education which have occurred in many California school districts.
The initiative also includes strong accountability and transparency measures. It requires school districts to submit annual, public reports to verify the funds are spent as intended, to directly benefit students.
Local PTAs Can Use Their Organizational Voice to Lend Support
When there is an officially adopted California State PTA position on a ballot measure, such as Proposition 28, local PTAs can use that as their authority for their own local advocacy. Many PTAs in California already actively advocate for arts education, for equity, and for strong education funding. This measure has all three!
Local PTAs can use your regular local meetings, social media channels, newsletters and other communications platforms to encourage your community to Vote Yes on Proposition 28. California State PTA will also be putting together social media messages for your convenience.
Remind families (and students!) to register to vote. And don’t forget to encourage everyone to vote in the November 8 election.
Individual action and advocacy is also important. The official Yes on Prop 28 campaign website encourages individuals to join the campaign and has a sign-up for volunteers.
A Wealth of Education and Arts Organizations Support Proposition 28.
California State PTA is not alone in supporting Proposition 28. A growing list of organizations in the Arts, Education, and many other fields have signed on to the coalition. You’ll find the full coalition list on the campaign website.