From Hollywood movies to the Beach Boys and Snoop Dogg, California has become a world-renowned center for artistic incubators.
However, art education is lagging behind in government schools. Advocacy organizations say less than a quarter have a full-time art or music teacher, and many schools that serve low-income students offer few courses. if any, of dance, music, theater and visual arts.
The effort is backed by a celebrity lineup that includes Barbra Streisand and Los Angeles-born rappers will.i.am and Dr. Dre is trying to change that with the help of voters in November.
Proposition 28 would pump as much as $1 billion a year from the state’s general fund into arts education, California’s legislative auditor estimates.
Programs that can benefit you go beyond traditional art, theater, dance and music classes to include graphic design, computer coding, animation, music composition and scripting.
Austin Beutner, former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, is at the helm. He and former US Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the funding will help the arts continue to thrive in California, contribute to its strong economy, and will be critical to helping students who have struggled during the pandemic. of COVID-19.
“It’s an exciting time for California to be the capital of the world’s creative economy,” Beutner and Duncan said in a guest statement this year for CalMatters, a nonprofit news organization.
They wrote: “This initiative is timely as our country seeks to create a fair and equal future for all children. “Increased arts and music education will help ensure that future workers in the media news and technology better reflect the diversity of children in our public schools.”
The measure would require the state to provide 1% of California’s state budget for public schools from preschool through 12th grade. The measure would send 30% of that money in low-income school districts with large numbers of Black and Latino students.
The campaign in favor of the measure has broad support and no organized opposition, which is rare. It has been backed by everyone from the state teachers union to the Los Angeles County Business Federation, and has received more than $8 million in donations, according to the latest campaign finance reports.
Some analysts have expressed concern about raising more money from the state’s general fund as California faces a host of other problems, from homelessness to wildfires.
The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times initially opposed the measure for that reason, but later supported it.
“This effort is a backdoor to getting more government money into schools and that their approach is more effective than perfect,” said a recent Times editor. But that’s not a good enough reason to vote and deprive California’s children of these opportunities.
It said: “All children deserve the arts education that California promises but fails to provide in many of its public schools.”