by Gavi Geffner and Adam Joseph
It is easy to be uninterested about what goes on at the legislative level in our country and state. However, you may want to start paying attention, as the soon-to-be implemented Proposition 28 will have a huge effect on what happens in our school and in many students’ lives. Let’s take a deeper look into what this proposition is and how it will affect us.
On Nov. 8 of last year, California voters assembled to vote for a wide variety of laws, representatives and propositions. Over 10 million voters had a say on Proposition 28, and just under 7 million of those people voted for it to pass. Proposition 28 was so popular because it gives funding for the arts and music in schools all over the state of California. So, what are the details of Proposition 28? In short, it is a $1 billion program for funding arts education that will start to take effect this fall. This program is truly revolutionary, as it is bound to change the lives of thousands of students across the state with this new budget. However, the looming size and unclarity around some of the finer details have caused some people to question this program.
Here’s how it will affect us at Santa Rosa High School. In simple terms, it means more art! If there is one thing for which Santa Rosa High School is known, it is our esteemed ArtQuest program. Every year, hundreds of students from across the district join this program to see if it fits their life and career interests. Our school also has many amazing options for fine arts electives. SRHS already has an excellent arts program, but now we would have a great opportunity to expand it even further. Students and staff alike are clamoring about the new Proposition 28 and what it might bring.
AP art student senior Inika Wood commented on possible changes they would like to see: “better art supplies and resources because it could get kids more excited for careers in art.” The art teachers met, planned and even created a slideshow for the changes that would be put into effect. Those changes would include at least three added classes: production, chamber singers choir and a fine art photography class. The production class would result in a schoolwide musical, which hasn’t been done in eight years. However, there has been some backlash for the rollout of this proposition. While it was supposed to be implemented in July, Proposition 28 is nowhere to be found in the school’s budget.
Ceramics teacher Christine Giffen said, “The funds were supposed to be in our account I believe on July 1. So we are, as both departments [fine art and ArtQuest], as teachers, as artists, we’re really waiting on that. We’re kind of disappointed we weren’t able to hit the ground running.” It’s hard to know for sure what and when change will come to Santa Rosa High from this newfound budget but it sure does look promising. Despite the problematic rollout, the future is bright for our already excellent art programs!