FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – This year, schools will get a boost in funding for arts education. In November, voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 28, which guarantees funding for arts programs.

It was the first of its kind for the office of The Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. A summer arts academy gives students the opportunity to explore arts programs they may not have experienced before.

Students light up when they are doing something they enjoy, for many the arts provide that spark that makes learning fun, a reason to come to school.

“Research has shown for decades that students who have greater access to arts education are five times less likely to drop out of school, they’re four times more likely to graduate and go to college, they’re 30% more likely to pursue a professional career,” said Aaron Bryan, director of arts education.

The benefits are so rich that the State of California mandates arts education in grades one to six and a year in high school, but it has always been up to the school districts to fund and implement the programs – programs many small and rural schools can’t afford.

In November, Californians decided to change that by voting to pass Proposition 28, an arts education funding initiative. The statute will provide an additional one billion dollars each year for schools to enhance their arts programs.

Because the money is permanent, schools will have time to develop strategic plans and hire teachers and staff – who no longer have to worry about their positions being cut.