Prop 28 passage will boost arts, music funding


Sophomore Sienna Barelli paints in AP Art.

Adam Abolfazli


California’s Prop 28, which passed with over 60% of the vote, will increase state spending on arts and music funding by $1 billion each year with the hopes of ensuring robust arts programs in all public and charter schools.

The ballot measure does not raise taxes and the funding will primarily be used to hire new teachers in arts and music programs (15,000 new positions), with the rest used for materials. It ensures that at least 1% of public school funding goes toward the arts, music, and drama; though that may not seem significant, billions of dollars will be dedicated to the arts over time.

Schools will have discretion on which types of arts and music classes are prioritized, representatives for Prop 28 told the Mirada. The funding will increase the number of arts and music teachers in California by 50%.

Educators have long raised concern over arts classes falling short across the state. “Seventy-two percent of high schools fail to provide a high-quality course of study across arts disciplines,” Proposition 28 reads.

Proposition 28 received strong support, including from celebrities like Dr. Dre and Katy Perry as well as education leaders and music companies such as Universal Music.

“Arts are the glue which brings together literacy, math and critical-thinking skills to help students succeed in school and in life,” Prop 28 author Austin Beunter said in a statement following the ballot measure’s success. “Prop 28 will make sure every student from pre-school to 12th grade will have the opportunity to participate in arts and music at school. This is a big step forward for public education.”

Ceramics teacher Rene Worley described the passage of the bill as “cautious optimism.”

“I have been teaching the arts for 23 years and I feel that we finally have a seat at the table,” she said. “I am old enough to remember the effects of budgetary constraints as a legacy from Proposition 13 when I was a student. When I voted for Proposition 28, I did so as a conceptual wish, not thinking support would actually come our way. So now I am beginning to dare to dream along with my colleagues in coming up with the most productive solutions to our amazing windfall.