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Lack Of Arts Education In California Schools Draws Scrutiny


California lawmakers want to know why so few schools are meeting a state requirement of offering arts education – particularly in disadvantaged communities. They’re holding a hearing Friday in Beverly Hills.

Lupita Cortez Alcalá with the California Department of Education will be among the speakers at the hearing. She says schools are still recovering from the deep budget cuts of the Great Recession.

“It’s not that teachers and districts don’t want to – sometimes they don’t know how,“ Alcalá says. “So they need professional learning and they need resources – not only for the material, but the professional learning that goes with it.”

Alcalá says the state does not have enough money to fund a dedicated arts teacher in every school.

But she says districts, schools and teachers now have more flexibility to integrate arts activities into subjects from math to English language arts.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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