While you may not live in California, a fact like this should hold pause for all:
a recent study discovered that only 11% of California schools are meeting the state law requirements for sequential, standards based arts education. As a born and raised Texan with many friends in other states, it's safe to say that this number is even lower elsewhere and many areas don't abide by standards at all.
We can and must do better.
Every child deserves quality arts education. Please join heARTful Kids and a growing movement of social policy advocates who understand first hand that the arts hold transformative power for us as individuals and as a collective.
Over the past decade, a growing body of research has emerged pointing to social-emotional learning as a key foundation to a student's academic success and overall well-being. SEL has become a buzzword in educational spaces parents and educators realize that these competencies are determining factors of one's holistic health.
Most teachers know that SEL is the secret sauce to a student's success and most artists know that the arts are a superhighway to strengthening the five domains SEL encompasses, but it's time we integrate this understanding into mainstream policy.
Arts education is the path and the necessary strategy to provide people (of all ages) with opportunities to develop the skills, resilience, and compassion needed to navigate and thrive today's world.
We finally have the chance to give this foundation to our kids. On November 8th, Californians have an unprecedented opportunity to vote yes on Prop 28, the Arts and Music K-12 funding initiative, which would require the state to allocate approximately $1 billion in state funding for art and music education without raising taxes. Schools with students from low income families, with predominant English learner populations, and foster care children would receive extra funding to close the equity gap.
We have the power to shift our practices and our systems to ones that view "art education is a right, not a privilege" and give those with fewer resources a chance to develop the engagement and resilience that they deserve. It serves us all.
Please, vote yes on Prop 28 like our future depends on it... because it does. Together, we can create a California that empowers kids with the tools they need to become the leaders we need them to be today.