Proposition 28 would require a minimum source of annual funding for K-12 public schools, including charter schools, toward arts education programs. The annual minimum amount established by the law would be equal to, at minimum, 1% of the total state and local revenues that local education agencies received under Proposition 98 (1988) during the prior fiscal year.
The amount of money each school will receive will be based on the enrollment number and will also help hire art teachers and keep staff at schools. This proposition also comes at a time when California school districts are experiencing a teacher shortage because of the lack of funding and lack of students attending school.
California Schools are experiencing a shortage of 50,000 teachers heading into the current school year. In the 2020–21 school year, the total number of full-time equivalent teachers in the state was 274,759. Many teachers were lost because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the majority of the teachers lost cited declining pay and conditions, being overworked, lack of resources, and being unable to afford housing in their community and having to relocate.
Many are hoping that Proposition 28 passes as it means that the school’s art and music programs will see a rebirth and possibly inspire students to not only return to school but become interested in their education again. Former Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Austin Beutner, and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, among others, are in full support of the proposition passing.
“Only 1 in 5 public schools in California has a dedicated teacher for traditional arts programs like music, dance, theater, and art, or newer forms of creative expression like computer graphics, animation, coding, costume design, and filmmaking. This initiative is timely as our country seeks to create a more just and equitable future for all children.” Duncan and Beutner said in a joint statement. “A boost in arts and music education will help ensure the future workforce in media and technology properly reflect the diversity of the children in our public schools.”
Proposition 28 will provide one billion dollars to schools with principals to develop a plan to use the funds to expand their school’s arts programs. Principals would have to provide annual reports showing how the money was spent on things like the number of staff members hired, which programs received funding, how many students wereserved and the number of schools affected.
As of this writing, no one has submitted a comment against the proposition, and with the overwhelming support Proposition 28 has received, many of its supporters are calmly waiting for the measure to pass.