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Amplifying the arts in California: School districts will soon hire more art teachers

Amplifying the arts in California
Amplifying the arts in California 02:05

SACRAMENTO – Advocates for art education held a ceremony at Sacramento's Sophia Theater on Thursday to honor art teachers and those who support them.

California school districts will soon be hiring more art teachers, but where the money is coming from?

High school senior Eva Hernandez says art classes at McClatchy High inspire her to stay in school.

"There's plenty of days that I don't want to do work, I don't want to go to school. But then the fact that I have art that day keeps me going back," Hernandez said.

Many teachers say art programs are crucial for students' success.

"Kids have strengths in different ways," said April Meyer, a second-grade teacher.

But in California, hardly one out of every five public schools have a full-time art or music teacher.

"There is an incredible inequity around access to the arts," said Emili Danz, Education Director for CLARA.

Now advocates for the arts are trying to change that.

The organization "Friends of Sacramento Arts" is honoring local art educators and supporters of the creative economy.

"We have as our vision arts every day for every child in every school," said Allison Cagley from Friends of the Sacramento Arts.

Last November, voters passed Proposition 28 – which dedicates nearly a billion dollars towards art education in K-12 schools.

"Proposition 28 is one percent of the general fund, which means it's a permanent funding mechanism," Cagley said.

So just how much more money will each school be getting?

"There will be about $115 to $150 per student, regardless of the size of the school," Cagley said.

It's a new investment that is music to the ears of art students and teachers.

"It's the thing that allows people to be creative problem solvers. It is applicable to all aspects of our lives," Danz said. 

Many local school districts are already working on expanding their art classes. The new funding is expected to be available when the next school year starts in the fall.

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