BUSINESS: BALLOT MEASURE TO INCREASE ARTS AND MUSIC EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOL GAINS MOMENTUM FROM FUNDERS AND GROWING COALITION

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By Daniel Webster, dWeb.News Publisher

Los Angeles, CA, Dec. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Californians for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools today announced new support for the measure which would dramatically increase funding in arts and music education for students in Pre-K-12 public schools.

Funders from across California’s creative economy are joining educators, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs in supporting the 2022 ballot measure to increase funding for arts and music education in public Pre-K-12 schools. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, NBCUniversal and committed individuals are among the early funders.

The effort to collect signatures to put the initiative on to the ballot is growing momentum. Guitar Center and Forum have agreed to help with signature collection on their premises. Ron Japinga (CEO & President of Guitar Center) stated, “As California’s largest musical instrument retailer, we have witnessed firsthand the transformative power music education.” We know that making music is one the most satisfying creative expressions. Music education is a great way to build social connections and cultural expressions that are important for children’s personal development. We are proud to support this ballot measure that will foster the next generation in musicians and artists in California, the entertainment capital of America. That is why all of our 43 stores in California will be signature gathering sites so we can get this important measure qualified for the ballot.”

“The talent who take the stage at this iconic venue were inspired by the educators and community members who pour their souls into their students and bring to life learning through the arts each and every day,” said Geni Lincoln, Forum General Manager and SVP of Live Events. The Forum is proud to be a part of this initiative, as we work to nurture future generations .”

Education leadership are also supporting this measure. California Music Educators Association has endorsed this measure and is actively participating in the campaign’s committee. The California Educational Theatre Association (CETA), which represents nearly 4,000 Theatre Educators across California, is supporting the initiative. P.S. and the California Dance Education Association (CDEA), also support the measure. ARTS.

“The California Music Educators Association (CMEA) is comprised of nearly 1,500 music teachers in public schools across California,” said Armalyn De La O, President of the CMEA. As music teachers, we are constantly amazed at the benefits arts and music education can bring to our students. It improves their attendance, helps them learn to read, and makes a difference in the overall well-being of both student and teacher. California’s public schools have not been able to provide adequate funding for this vital aspect of education. CMEA strongly supports the Arts and Music in Schools measure because it will benefit every child in every public school across California, with increased funding for schools serving low-income communities.”

“The California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) represents nearly 4,000 Theatre Educators across California. We see every day the benefits of Arts and Music education for our students and know that the arts are vital to the development and growth of all students,” stated Michael Despars (President, California Educational Theatre Association). “Arts Education helps to close the achievement gap, develops literacy, improves self-esteem, promotes educational risk-taking, improves attendance, and more importantly develops 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. We also know that social and emotional learning is an integral part of educating students. Access to comprehensive arts curriculum is often the only way that students can receive this support .”

The California Dance Education Association is a non profit organization that provides responsive and inclusive support for dance teachers and artists in California,” stated CDEA Co-Presidents Cherie Hill, and MyshiaLeBoss. CDEA will work with CMEA and CETA as well as the CDEA board to share this crucial measure with its members and the wider community. We are excited about this chance to improve arts education for all students in California

” P.S. ARTS has provided comprehensive arts education to California public schools for over 30 years,” said Laura Fox, Chair, P.S. ARTS. “ARTS. The arts can be a great way to increase equity and opportunities for students. This ballot measure acknowledges the importance to invest in schools that are systemically underresourced and makes a significant step towards ensuring that students with limited access to arts classes get the education they deserve. The P.S. The P.S. This is a great start in giving children the tools to create a better future

Leading cultural organisations such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Oakland Museum of California, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes and the Los Angeles Urban League have joined the coalition to support the effort.

California has a reputation for being a place of creativity, innovation, exploration, and discovery. However, funding for arts education in public schools is more scarce than ever. “Now is the right time to plant seeds for a brighter, more colorful and artistic future for our children,” Neal Benezra Director, SFMOMA.

Music and art are California’s heart and soul. They are the heart and soul of California, they fuel innovation, provide well-being for our citizens, as well as attracting visitors from all over the globe. Yet, our public schools have neglected the arts and underfunded them,” Lori Fogarty (Director & CEO of Oakland Museum of California) said. This is our time to support arts education. Not only to encourage creativity in our children but also to develop their social and emotional skills, critical thinking, curiosity and help them to connect with their communities and others after being isolated. This is what we owe our children .”

Leaders from the creative industry will continue to support this ballot initiative. John Lithgow (Actor, Author, Musician) stated that arts education in schools is greatly improving public schools. It enriches every student’s school experience and addresses many of today’s most urgent educational issues. These include student motivation, social development, the hunger to learn, keeping students in school, and paving their way to higher education. Quality Arts Education broadens the horizons of all students. They owe it .”

Art and music education are crucial to the overall development our children, regardless of their eventual success as musicians or artists,” stated Michael A. Lawson (President & CEO Los Angeles Urban League). “All children should have access to music and arts education, not just those from wealthy families or elite schools. It is for this reason that I am supporting the proposed CA ballot measure that will bring much needed funding for arts and music education in every PreK-12 public school in California.”

“Maintaining our state’s role as the creative and entertainment capital of the world begins in our local schools,” said John Echeveste, CEO of La Plaza. “This initiative is a much-needed boost for arts and music education funding in our schools and arts organizations, without increasing taxes.” I support the initiative with pride and encourage all Californians who love the arts to do the same .”

Austin Beutner submitted the final revised language on December 6 2021. The Title and Summary for this ballot measure must be submitted by the California Attorney General no later that January 5, 2022,. After which, Californians for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools (Californians for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools) will begin collecting signatures.

We used the time allowed by law to revise language of the ballot measure in order to include feedback from various stakeholders including teachers and arts and community organisations,” Beutner said. “I’m delighted to see the outpouring of support for this effort and the budding grassroots support for making sure all children have access to Arts and Music Education in public schools.”

As the Legislative Analyst’s Office noted in its recent analysis, the measure is expected to provide between $800 million and $1 billion in dedicated funds for arts education in public schools each year. The LAO also noted that the measure must be used primarily for artists staff but allows school principals to decide how funds are spent.

A recent Tulchin Research poll of likely November 2022 voters finds strong support for the ballot measure:

76% of voters saying they support increasing funding for Arts and Music Education
81% of voters support increasing Arts and Music Education funding without raising taxes

The measure has been carefully written to make sure the additional funds go to help students and to provide local school communities with a voice in deciding what program will best help their children.

Each local school will decide how the funds are used.
The funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, existing Arts programs. This measure uses language similar to the Federal Government’s, which means that additional funds it gives schools can be used to provide additional services for students.
Each school must publicly share an annual report showing how the funds were used to provide additional Arts and Music Education to students and how the programs align with state education standards.
No more than 1% can be used for administrative costs
The funds provided to schools by the measure will be subject to audit by the state of California.

As the Legislative Analyst’s Office noted in its recent analysis, the measure is expected to provide between $800 million and $1 billion in dedicated funds for arts education in public schools each year. The LAO also noted that the measure requires funds to be used primarily for artists staff but allows school principals to decide how they are spent within the guidelines.

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