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Home > About > News and Events > News > Field News > Southern California School District Announces $15 Million Investment in Arts Education

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Southern California School District Announces $15 Million Investment in Arts Education

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Sep 11, 2015

Chula Vista Elementary School District, which serves 30,000 students in Southeast San Diego, recently launched an unprecedented arts education expansion and teacher hiring spree. The $15 million investment in arts instruction was made possible by funding approved by the Chula Vista school board in June.

According to KPCC Southern California Public Radio, “While other districts have used the funds to shore up operating budgets heavily cut during the recession, Chula Vista Elementary's ambitious arts education expansion has turned heads. The goal is ambitious as well: to raise student engagement, boost attendance and improve academic performance among students who are struggling.”

This turnaround in commitment to arts education is unique anywhere, but especially in Chula Vista, a district that has seen negligible arts-in-education programs in the last two decades. Things began to shift in 2010, when the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory started an afterschool program. According to KPCC, “When the symphony's after-school programs started showing improvements in areas like student achievement — fourth graders, for example, had reading scores more than 10 percent higher than their peers — minds began to change.”

The district will ultimately add over 75 art instruction faculty positions. “It’s a courageous and visionary commitment that they’ve made,” said Joe Landon, executive director of the California Alliance for Arts Education.

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