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Letters to the Editor: Voters want arts education in schools. Why aren’t school districts delivering?

Students play trumpets in class.
Freshmen participate in music class at Panorama High School in Los Angeles in 2019.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: It’s not just unions raising concerns about the misuse of Proposition 28 funding for the arts. Eighty-five community-based arts organizations across the state that fill programming gaps and train teachers in the arts have also called for greater accountability.

With the need for arts teachers in California estimated to be 15,000 (currently, there are only 5,000 teachers in the field), it is imperative for school districts to follow the law enacted by voters in 2022 and use these funds solely for its intent: expanding arts programs and staff.

As your editorial emphasizes, transparency is crucial. Families and students must be engaged in the decision-making process before spending occurs, not just updated through complex online systems. One commendable example of how to do this is the Proposition 28 expenditure video from the San Gabriel Unified School District.

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To ensure Proposition 28 fulfills its promise, districts must provide clear and detailed metrics on arts spending and program expansion. Voters want more arts education; now, districts must act on those expectations and deliver.

Gustavo Hererra, Los Angeles

The writer is chief executive of Arts for LA.

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