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An Important Arts Education Advocacy Win in Cali

As announced in the San Jose Mercury News, Gov. Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have waived high school graduation requirements for arts education (and foreign languages), allowing students to opt for credits in career and technical education coursework instead.

The real kicker here would have been the creation of a de facto caste system, whereby
only those on a pathway to college are required to take the arts. Those
who may go on to a vocation, well, they don’t need the arts do they? As
the son of a stagehand and a secretary, I found the notion to be just plain offensive.

For background on this, here are some of my previous entries:

How to Increase Graduation by Eliminating Arts Education Requirements.

The State of California Considers Bill That Will Hurt K-12 Arts Education

An Arts Ed Battle Brings Out Exemplary Advocacy

And, Common Core posted a few superb blogs about this fight, well worth a read:

Schwarzenegger Vetoes Curriculum Narrowing Bill

Hard Truth for the Golden State

California Round-Up

Hats off to the superb work of the California Alliance for Arts Education and their partners!



  1. Joe Landon says:

    Had no idea Teddy Roosevelt was into arts ed! Of course, our victory becomes a little more real when it bounces off you and back to us in your hats off salute. Thank you for your support and understanding on this issue.

  2. Darren Willis says:

    Hi there folks! It was surprising that Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2446. He always claimed to be a believer in CTE. It was surprising also since this bill was probably one of the very few bills that made it through the legislature with unanimous bipartisan support. Mr. Schwarzenegger is constantly harping on the Senate and Assembly about their partisan politics; however when they come together on something, look what he does. It is also not so surprising because in the end the Governor is an actor, and was not about to put a knife (imaginary as it was) into the backs of the V/PA teachers/community in California. His justification, as you can see, is mostly about cost pressures on districts that could warrant an “unfunded mandate.” The actual language of this bill clearly shows this claim is ridiculous.
    I don’t think the Governor even read the bill. His explanation for his veto sounds similar to the verbiage of an article that appeared in the Sacramento Bee a couple weeks ago. If he did read it, he is being inconsistent in his policies about costs of programs. For example, he signed SB 1381, another education bill which imposes new millions in costs to districts and the state from now on into the future.
    AB 2446 did not require any district or the state to create new CTE classes, or spend any additional funds for current CTE classes. This bill just allowed CTE classes to be used for a graduation requirement in place of an arts class or foreign language class.
    As I read the governor’s “justification,” it essentially says that due to the recession, he has decided to leave a whole class of students behind. What a horrible legacy to be remembered for.
    Additionally, in vetoing this bill the Governor has gone against the will of the people. If the legislators had any guts, they would override his veto. What is clear in all of this is what’s best for our students was not considered with the decision to veto.
    Educational equity will come to California, like it or not. CTE classes are not the “home ec” and “wood shop” classes you took in high school…they have RIGOROUS academic-based standards in addition to teaching high-demand technical workplace skills AND creative problem-solving . The next CTE bill that is introduced will have all of the strengths and none of the “flaws” of this most recent one. It is time for a change, and the public and the legislature realize it.

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