Everything you need to know about California’s Initiative to Fund Art Programs in Public Schools. Proposition 28:

Everything you need to know about California’s Initiative to Fund Art Programs in Public Schools. Proposition 28:

At Coffee For The Arts, we believe that all students should have adequate access to art education and we’d like to do everything we can to encourage all students to have meaningful interactions with the various art forms that compose their daily lives. In today’s post, we’d like to talk about Proposition 28, a new and exciting initiative by California superintendent, Austin Beutner, to allocate a portion of the state’s money toward art programs in public schools. 


 Proposition 28 is one of 7 ballot measures attempting to address some of the state’s hot-button issues. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, this proposition would undoubtedly invest in the happiness and futures of California’s K-12 students and some college students.


The conditions of the propositions include:

  • Using money from the Governor’s Budget, the state of California will provide funds for art instruction and art programs in public schools, of which only a maximum of 1% can be used to execute this proposed law. The first year that the proposed law would be implemented is estimated to require the state to spend upwards of $1 billion for art programs. After that first year, the funds will come from the state’s General Fund. 
  • 70% of the money will go to all public schools in California. The specific amount of money a school receives will depend on the number of enrolled students.
  •  The remaining 30% will specifically be allocated towards economically disadvantaged schools. Remember that all schools receive part of the 70% in the bullet above. If a school is deemed economically disadvantaged, they will receive a little extra funding from this pool of 30%.  
  • The money spent would be used by public schools to hire new art instructors and necessary arts supplies. Although the proposition is very particular about which art medium is meant to be funded, Beutner makes sure to include almost all general art mediums that are taught in school. 
  • A school’s principal or program director will be in charge of actually spending the money provided by the California government. To ensure that funds are being spent on art programs, the school’s program director would be required to complete an expenditure plan for their funds, which would act as a receipt for all materials bought by a school.
  • Given that the California Constitution already requires the state to allocate a minimum amount of property tax and General Fund money toward public schools and community colleges, if Proposition 28 was to be passed, the money spent by the Californian government for art programs in public schools would count towards that minimum requirement. 

The proposition has already gained support from influential celebrities, elected officials, and community organizations alike. Issa Rae, Dr. Dre, Antonia Hernandez, and Micheal A Lawson are among the many supporters of the new proposition. In terms of the opposition, no official arguments or criticism from local lawmakers have opposed this proposition. 

 What can you do?

If you like what you’ve read so far about this new piece of proposed California law, the only thing you would have to do to ensure these ideas become reality is to vote in favor of Proposition 28 on November 8th. All registered voters in the state of California should have received their ballot already so now it’s a matter of dropping your ballot off at a designated ballot box or mail it in as all have pre-paid postage on the envelopes. If you live in California it’s that easy to contribute to such a tremendous step forward in art education. 

Below is a list of links that dive deeper into Proposition 28. Thank you for supporting the arts.

21-0036A1 (Music and Art Education).pdf

Proposition 28 [Ballot] (ca.gov) 

What to Know About California’s November Election - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Qualified Statewide Ballot Measures :: California Secretary of State

Coalition - Vote Yes on 28

Proposition 28 | Official Voter Information Guide | California Secretary of State

Back to blog