Ballot initiative to increase funding for arts and music education in California schools submits signatures – Ballotpedia News
The campaign behind an initiative to increase funding for arts and music education in California public schools announced that it had submitted 1 million signatures for verification on April 26. The number of signatures required to place the bill on the 2022 ballot is 623,212, which is equal to 5% of the votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election.
In California, the signature verification deadline is June 30, 2022. However, the signature verification process can take several months and it is recommended that promoters file signatures at least two months prior to the verification deadline.
The ballot initiative was filed with the state on November 1, 2021. The Attorney General released the ballot wording on January 5, 2022, authorizing the initiative to collect signatures.
The proposed law would require a minimum source of annual funding for K-12 public schools to fund arts and music education programs. The minimum annual amount would equal, at a minimum, 1% of the total state and local revenues that local education agencies received under Proposition 98 (1988) in the preceding fiscal year and would be in addition to the minimum education funding under Proposition 98 According to the Office of the Legislative Analyst, the ballot initiative would likely increase spending by $800 million to $1 billion per fiscal year.
Of the total amount guaranteed under the 1% additional minimum funding for arts education, 70% would be allocated to local education agencies based on their share of statewide student enrollment in the Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the previous fiscal year. The remaining 30% would be allocated to local education agencies based on their share of economically disadvantaged students (defined as students eligible for the National School Lunch Program).
A PAC, Californians for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools, has been registered to support the ballot initiative. He received more than $6 million in contributions according to his latest campaign finance documents. Major donors are Austin Beutner ($2,950,000), Steven A. Ballmer ($1,500,000), Monica Rosenthal ($1,000,000), Fender Musical Instruments ($328,267), and Comcast ($100,000).
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (D) and former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner wrote in an op-ed: “Only 1 in 5 public schools in California has a dedicated teacher for traditional arts programs like music, dance, theater and art, or new forms of creative expression like computer graphics, animation, coding, costume design and filmmaking. … This initiative comes at a good time as our country seeks to create a fairer and more equitable future for all children.A boost in arts and music education will help ensure that the future workforce in media and technology appropriately reflects the diversity of children in our public schools.
the Los Angeles Times The editorial board spoke out against the initiative, saying, “It’s a bad idea. At the moment, the state coffers are full. But when revenues become constrained in the future, the governor and legislature need as much flexibility in the budget as possible to ensure critical needs are funded. What if the student population drops in the coming years as the number of older people with disabilities increases? »
Between 2014 and 2022, the year with the highest number of initiatives filed in California was 2016 with 135. The total for 2022 was 53, making it the second lowest number of initiatives filed; 2020 had 46 initiatives filed.
Four statewide ballot proposals qualified for the ballot in California. Voters could decide on a move to legalize in-person sports betting at Native American gaming casinos and licensed racetracks; an initiative to increase the cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits; an initiative to reduce the use of plastic waste and impose a fee on single-use plastic; and a veto referendum to maintain the ban on flavored tobacco sales. Initiative bearers can withdraw an initiative from the ballot at any time before June 30, 2022.