California State PTA Urges Support of Prop 28: Art and Music in Public Schools

by California State PTA Legislation Team

California State PTA supports Proposition 28 on the November ballot which funds art and music in public schools. California State PTA has strongly and actively advocated for a full curriculum that includes the arts for more than three decades. Based on that history,  a study of the measure, and the strength of relevant organizational authorities, our Board of Managers voted to support Proposition 28.

We encourage a yes vote on 28 and for all local PTAs to also encourage a yes vote on 28.

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. Our previous article about Proposition 28 provides more details on where those funds will come from, how they will be used, and how they will particularly benefit schools where the arts are often lacking.

Stronger Arts Education Improves the Lives of All Children

Guaranteed funding for arts education will support 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.

The evidence makes clear the many ways that arts education benefits students, including:

  • The arts help create well-rounded students and keep them motivated in school. 
  • Students who have an arts education are less likely to drop out of school. 
  • Access to the arts has led to higher attendance rates and lower dropout rates. 
  • An arts education can increase abilities in other subject areas such as language arts and math, especially for English language learners and students in low-income communities.

Did you know one out of 10 jobs in California are in a creative industry? Beyond those careers, the arts support the development of a reliable future for our students and our state. Nearly three out of four business leaders say that creativity is the #1 skill they are currently seeking. Creativity fosters 21st Century work skills like critical thinking and collaboration and provides social emotional learning that can help students face real-life problems in the workplace.  

Students with arts education are:

  • Five times less likely to drop out of school. 
  • Four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. 
  • Four times more likely to receive a bachelor’s degree. 
  • Thirty percent more inclined to pursue a professional career. 

Local PTAs Can Use Their Organizational Voice to Support Proposition 28

Many PTAs in California already actively advocate for arts education, for equity, and for strong education funding. This measure has all three! Because the California State PTA has already adopted a YES position on Proposition 28, local PTAs can use that as their authority for their own local advocacy. 

Your regular local meetings, social media channels, newsletters and other communications  platforms can all be used to encourage your community to Vote Yes on Proposition 28. The official Yes on Prop 28 campaign website has ideas for how you can take action. The campaign site also has a full coalition list of organizations that have signed on to actively support Proposition 28.

Be sure to remind families (and students over age 18!) to register to vote by October 24. And don’t forget to encourage everyone to vote in the November 8 election.

Learn more with an article in Ed100, by Carol Kocivar, Time to Fund Arts Education