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California Music Education Advocates Rally For School Music Programs


California’s new Local Control Funding Formula requires districts to submit annual Local Control Accountability Plans. The first ones are due by the end of next month.

Michael Stone with the California Music Educators Association says the old formula, which set aside money for individual programs, provided a measure of stability.

“We had an arts and music block grant that was distinct for music education,” says Stone. “We were sorry to see that go away to be honest.”

But Stone says this year his Bakersfield district will get an extra $11 million in funding for low-income and disadvantaged students and some of that could be directed toward music.

Sibyl O’Malley with the California Alliance for Arts Education agrees.

“The money is there,” she says. “It’s just a matter of whether a district chooses to spend it on arts education.”

Music education advocates say there are half the number of school music programs there were a few decades ago. They say that’s because of falling property tax revenue and recent budget shortfalls.

The districts must post their plans on-line before June 30.

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