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LBUSD Expands Arts Education

Marching band student plays instrument

The Long Beach Unified School District is continuing districtwide plans to expand all arts programs and opportunities across the District thanks to historic funding from the voter-approved Proposition 28: The Arts and Music in Schools Funding Guarantee and Accountability Act.

Prop. 28 requires the state of California to establish new, ongoing programs supporting arts instruction at all preschool and K-12 schools starting with the 2023-24 school year. 

LBUSD will receive approximately $10.7 million per year in additional funding to expand arts education access for all students. The historic investment will provide LBUSD students across all grade levels with greater access to the arts to help foster students’ creativity and self-expression and boost critical thinking skills.

The District’s expansion efforts began earlier this year with its first source of funding for the 2023-24 school year. These efforts include:

  • More opportunities for art, dance, theater and music instruction for every elementary school student
  • Greater access to visual and performing arts through new electives and expanded programs for all middle and high school students
  • Additional staffing and support to help bolster all existing art programs in LBUSD

“The District is thrilled that we are able to further enrich our visual and performing arts programs due to Prop. 28,” LBUSD Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator Christine Whipp shared. 

“We have hired a record number of new arts teachers this year to ensure we meet our mission of providing every student the opportunity to experience the power and beauty of the arts, and the joy, creativity and intellectual stimulation that arts education programs provide,” Whipp said.

Prop. 28 funding is calculated at the school site level by the California Department of Education (CDE). The funds will be distributed each fiscal year to local educational agencies (LEA) based on student enrollment in preschool and K-12. The California School Boards Association explains “70 percent will go to schools based on their share of statewide enrollment and the remaining 30 percent will go to schools based on their share of low-income students enrolled statewide.”

The CDE website states all LEAs with more than 500 pupils must expend at least 80% of the funds to employ certificated or classified employees to provide arts education instruction. The remaining 20% will fund training supplies, curriculum, professional learning, materials, and arts educational partnership programs.

Visit the District’s Visual and Performing Arts Office website to learn more about arts education in LBUSD.

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