Proposition 28 passed with over 64% of the statewide vote to dedicate ongoing art instruction funding for public schools. It allocates an additional 1% of the current Prop 98 education funding, usually 40% of the state’s budget, as a ground floor for public education funding. Next year this adds almost $1 billion for arts education based on this year’s $95.5 billion budget for K-12 grade education.
This money comes out of the general fund and does not generate additional taxes. It will be distributed according to the Local Control Funding Formula with a base amount for each student and supplemental amounts for low income, English language learners and foster youth. With almost 6 million K-12 students, this gives school districts around $150- 180 more per student to spend on visual and performing arts (VAPA) with an emphasis on hiring qualified art and music instructors.
Public school districts with over 500 students need to spend 20% of the money on programs, training, or supplies, and 80% on educators. Districts must submit a yearly audit report and will have 3 years to spend each year’s allotment.
Investing in VAPA instructors and programs in the elementary schools incentivizes expansion and maintenance of art programs which research shows helps students cope with social and emotional development through their exposure to VAPA programs. It also improves their engagement with other core subjects. Supporting high school art programs allows more districts to prepare qualified graduates to attend both Cal State and UC system schools which require VAPA classes. State graduation requirements allow schools to substitute foreign language or career technical education for art, which leaves students unqualified to directly enter state schools. Research also shows high school students achieving better academic results with VAPA participation through training, attendance, or required grade participation programs.