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Supporters of California Arts Education Ballot Initiative Submit 1M Signatures

April 26, 2022 by Dan McCue
Supporters of California Arts Education Ballot Initiative Submit 1M Signatures
Julie Wegener, center, a music teacher with the MusicLink Foundation, her student Anmy Paulino Collado, left, and Anmy's mom, Andolina Collado, as they finish a music session. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Supporters of a measure that would invest between $800 million and $1 billion to expand arts and music education in California schools have submitted 1 million signatures to qualify the effort for the November ballot.

The success of the ballot initiative was first reported by Variety.

The initiative is led by former L.A. Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner, and has garnered support from scores of Hollywood executives and entertainers, including Katy Perry, Issa Rae, John Lithgow and Jeff Bridges. Several entertainment industry unions are also on board, including SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity and the California branch of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

If approved by a majority of voters this fall, the measure would allocate $800 million to $1 billion per year to arts and music education in K-12 schools.

One of the goals of the initiative is to help diversify the ranks of the entertainment industry, which remains disproportionately White. The funding formula for the money would be tilted toward low-income districts.

The verification of the signatures is expected to take until July. To qualify for the ballot, the initiative must have 623,200 valid signatures.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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