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SB-933 Visual and performing arts education: California Arts Education Act.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/25/2018 09:00 PM


Senate Bill No. 933

Introduced by Senator Allen

January 25, 2018

An act relating to visual and performing arts education.


SB 933, as introduced, Allen. Visual and performing arts education: California Arts Education Act.
Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary schools in this state, and authorizes school districts and other local educational agencies to provide instruction to pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. Existing law requires the adopted course of study for grades 1 to 6, inclusive, and grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to include, among other subjects, visual and performing arts.
This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact the California Arts Education Act and would make related findings and declarations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Visual and performing arts help increase academic achievement in reading and mathematics. Pupils who participate in the arts become better readers and writers and outperform their peers on mathematics assessments. These benefits of an arts education are highest for low-income pupils and English language learners.
(2) Visual and performing arts increase and improve 21st-century skills such as perseverance, grit, and collaboration. The arts build the capacity for sustained attention, completing complex tasks, and working as a productive member of a group or team.
(3) Visual and performing arts strengthen problem-solving ability. The arts encourage the development of the reasoning and analytical skills that help solve complex problems.
(4) Visual and performing arts build leadership capacity. Learning in and through the arts develops decisionmaking, planning, and strategy skills, as well as a greater sense of confidence and identity.
(5) Visual and performing arts improve critical thinking. The arts help develop pupils’ abilities to understand multiple viewpoints, hypothesize, compare facts, and critique.
(6) Visual and performing arts motivate pupils to learn and to be engaged in school. The arts allow pupils to connect new knowledge to personal experience, and to share that knowledge with others. Pupils involved in the arts are more likely to come to school and to participate.
(7) Visual and performing arts promote cross-cultural understanding. Arts learning experiences encourage prosocial behavior and tolerance that prepare pupils for life in a global and diverse society.
(8) Pupils with access to visual and performing arts are more likely to graduate from high school. Pupils with the most intensive arts experiences show the lowest risk of dropping out, and pupils with little to no arts experience are five times more likely to drop out.
(9) Pupils with access to visual and performing arts pursue higher education. Pupils with arts education experiences are more likely than their peers without arts education experiences both to attend postsecondary school and to earn a four-year degree.
(10) Pupils with access to visual and performing arts are civically engaged. Pupils who have had an arts education are more likely to feel engaged and to volunteer in their communities.
(11) While the benefits of visual and performing arts are most pronounced for pupils at the highest risk of failure, those same pupils have the least access to arts education. In California, only 38 percent of pupils are enrolled in an arts course.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact the California Arts Education Act.