Research shows that education in the arts improves student social-emotional well-being, keeps students in school, increases the graduation rate, boosts academic performance, and adds to students’ ability to create, collaborate, think critically, and communicate.
Prop 28 – Arts Education funding in public schools
Proposition 28 was passed by voters in November 2022. Starting this February, the state will send more than $900 million a year in dedicated new funding for arts and music education to school districts to be used by all public schools across California – without raising taxes!
The majority of the funding is to be used to hire new teachers and staff (80%), which represents a more than 50 percent increase in arts and music educators in classrooms in California. The remaining 20% will be used for supplies and facilities. Besides paying for traditional visual and performing arts programs, funds will be used for instruction in computer graphics, animation, coding, and costume design. The initiative also includes strong accountability and transparency measures. It requires school districts to submit annual public reports to verify that the funds are spent as intended-to directly benefit students.
Be an advocate for the Arts
For 35 years, California State PTA has actively advocated for a full curriculum that includes the arts, and we encourage you to advocate locally as well. School boards should represent the community’s values – Are they representing yours when it comes to arts education? CreateCA, a statewide arts education advocacy organization, has developed a tool for you to contact your school leaders and let them know that arts education is important, necessary, and mandated.
Visit https://createca.org/school-leaders-search/ to look up your school board members and send them a letter directly from the website! The website also includes guidance to help schools implement strategic arts education planning.
Stay Informed – Many resources are available
CreateCA and the California Department of Education joined forces to launch the California Arts Education Data Project. This suite of powerful tools allows users to analyze data on arts education enrollment and courses for the entire state of California, for grades 6 through 12. Arts participation can be viewed by school, district, county or statewide. Data has been added annually since 2014, which also allows users to view progress over time.
Check out the new links and resources we have added to our CA State PTA Arts Education page. Listen to stories from students about how their lives have been impacted by the arts. Download the Parents’ Guide to The Visual and Performing Arts in California Public Schools (aka VAPA Guide). The guide provides an overview of what your child will learn in each arts discipline by the end of each grade level.
Together, we can ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn and create in our public schools.