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IN-DEPTH: California's 2022 Ballot Propositions: Proposition 28

If passed, the measure would require lawmakers to set aside around $1 billion dollars from the state budget starting next year for arts education.
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Posted at 8:21 PM, Oct 20, 2022

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — We continue to break down propositions that are on your ballot for the upcoming midterm election.

23ABC took a deeper look at Proposition 28, which deals with funding for arts educators and programs in public schools.

If passed, the measure would require lawmakers to set aside around $1 billion dollars from the state budget starting next year for arts education, meaning no new taxes for voters.

That amount is above the required total laid out in the state's constitution for spending on arts programs in public education institutions.

Prop 28 requires schools to spend a majority, or 80%, of the money they receive on hiring arts educators.

Overall, 70% of the funds would be distributed to schools based on enrollment and the remaining 30% would be divided up between schools with low-income students.

Those for the measure argue only one in five public schools have an instructor that solely teaches programs including music, art, theater and dance. Courses like media and film design, computing, and costume design could also benefit from the money.

Proponents argue the boost in funds will keep California’s workforce in media and technology steady, with a focus on diversity.

Proponents also say if passed, Prop 28 will ensure every public school student will have access to arts education.

There's been no official campaign that's opposed the measure, but groups like Reform California argue while the prop sounds good, the language is flawed.

They say the funding will take away from other education programs, which are already falling behind state standards.

The Reason Foundation argues education finance should be moving away from state spending mandates and towards empowering local leaders and schools.

It's important to note while Prop 28 lays out a spending template that must be followed, it would allow school principals to make some decisions around how the money they receive is used.

It also requires local governing boards to submit reports on how the funds are spent and make that data available to the public.