The results of the 2022 general election are still being sorted out, but there are already some significant wins for the education justice movement at the statewide level. Here are four we’re celebrating this week:
Voters approved Prop 28, which will increase state funding for arts and music programs in public schools:
Supporters said it would benefit public school programs that go beyond the traditional art, theater, dance and music classes to include graphic design, computer coding, animation, music composition and script writing.
Despite California’s vibrant arts and music scene that has given the world everything from Hollywood to surf rock, fewer than a quarter of its public schools have a full-time arts or music education teacher, and some schools offer no such classes at all.
The measure will send 30% of the earmarked money to low-income school districts, which have a large number of Black and Latino students.
The Fair Share MA ballot question passed, raising billions of dollars by taxing incomes above $1 million, to be spent on education and transportation. We’re extra proud of the RaiseUpMA coalition, which includes several Schott grantee partners. From Boston.com:
Question 1 proposed amending the state’s constitution to levy an additional 4% surtax on income over $1 million, to be put toward education and transportation. Massachusetts currently charges the same flat 5% tax rate for all income levels.
Supporters argued that Question 1 was a chance to raise funds for improvements to public transit, transportation infrastructure, and public education by asking top earners to pay a little extra.
Prop FF passed, which raises taxes on incomes above $300,000 to finance school meal programs across the state.
Proposition FF would require districts to apply for what’s known as the Community Eligibility Provision program to get the federal government to cover the cost of more meals. Rather than asking individual families to fill out applications for free- or reduced-price lunch, the district would use Medicaid and other data to demonstrate student need. The state money generated by Proposition FF would cover any cost not covered by federal dollars.
Voters approved a constitutional amendment that will boost early childhood education funding by $140 million next year alone:
The amendment would increase the annual distributions from the permanent school fund — the largest component of the land grant permanent fund — by 1.25 percentage points to 6.25% for educational purposes.
Next summer, that would come out to about $140 million for early childhood education and $90 million for public schools in general, according to recent projections.