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The Recording Academy Is In Support Of The California Arts And Music in Schools Ballot Initiative
The California Arts and Music in Schools ballot initiative would provide almost $900 million annually to arts and music education in California public schools — without raising taxes. This funding is pivotal to support the growth and education of California’s PreK through 12th-grade students.
Arts and music education has been shown to support cognitive development, students’ mental wellbeing, empathy, critical thinking, as well as improve both math and reading skills. Additionally, students from low-income backgrounds are less likely to drop out of school if they are receiving an arts education. California’s students are currently lacking immensely in arts and music education — only 1 in 5 schools has a dedicated teacher for arts programs.
On March 10, the Recording Academy’s CEO, Harvey Mason jr., released a statement highlighting the importance of this initiative. "The Recording Academy supports the California Arts and Music in Schools ballot initiative which, if passed by the voters, will ensure that public school students throughout the state can experience the joy of learning music," he said. "As music creators, we at the Recording Academy know how enriching music is for our lives and our culture. Study after study has shown how arts and music education benefits students both in and out of the classroom.
“Unfortunately, many California public schools lack the staff and funding for this programming, making this initiative vital for providing students with the education they deserve,” he continued. “The ballot initiative gives voters the opportunity to bring music to the classroom. Let's lift up our civic voices and sing out a hit for California's students."
If passed, this measure would not only provide funding for arts education — but in doing so, would promote equity within the state. Presently, low-income communities are hit the hardest by underfunded arts programs. Increasing arts funding throughout the state, with additional amounts going to schools in low-income communities, will help close this gap.
Not only will increased arts and music education benefit students in the present. By providing this education, it will lead to a more diverse and equitable future workforce — especially in media and technology sectors.
This measure is also supported by teachers, artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, and arts organizations including Dr. Dre, will.i.am, Issa Rae, and many others. Dr. Dre had this to say when asked about the initiative, “I’m all in on giving kids more access to music and arts education because creativity saved my life.”
This measure needs more than 623,000 valid signatures by May 1 to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. If you’re a California resident, get involved to help bring this crucial measure to the ballot this fall.