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Students to Access Additional Arts, Music, and STEAM Offerings thanks to California Voters

Students to Access Additional Arts, Music, and STEAM Offerings thanks to California Voters

Recent votes cast by California voters will soon improve school offerings for Redwood City School District (RCSD) students, which is music to our ears!

Starting next school year in 2023-24, RCSD students will have access to more arts, music, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programming offered by their school thanks to California voters. The RCSD Board of Trustees recently approved the funds the District will soon receive from the California Department of Education (CDE) thanks to the voter approved Proposition 28. 

On November 8, 2022, California voters went to the polls and helped pass Proposition 28: Provides Additional Funding for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools. As a result, RCSD will receive $1,009,548 annually for its 12 schools. In San Mateo County, proposition 28 passed with close to a 70% approval rate. 

STEAM curriculum is a gateway to future careers and next-steps thinking, while both art and music also offer lifelong skills, creative outlets, and are shown to enhance academic focus.

“This is so exciting,” expressed School Board Trustee Alisa MacAvoy during the staff presentation on this plan to the Board.

“I remember how 10 years ago we started talking about STEAM teachers, STEAM labs, and makerspaces. Measure T helped us with adding STEAM labs to the school sites, but we also needed the staff. This is so exciting to know that now all school sites will have [full] STEAM and music programs.”

The amount of funding allocated to each school is based on two factors--school enrollment and student low income status.  

Each school plans to use the proposition funds for the following staffing additions, which are an add-on to supplement and enhance current school arts, music, and STEAM programming.

School Allocation Based on Enrollment and Low Income Status Positions Added for 2023-24
Adelante Selby $95,904 .5 Music and .5 STEAM teachers
Clifford  $96,196 1.0 STEAM teachers
Garfield $99,287 1.0 Music and 1.0 STEAM teachers
Henry Ford $72,751 .75 STEAM teacher
Hoover $128,668 1.0 Music and 1.0 STEAM teachers
Kennedy $103,679 1.0 STEAM teacher
MIT $51,159 1.0 STEAM teacher
North Star Academy $61,173 .5 Music teacher
Orion Alternative $53,723 .5 STEAM teacher
Roosevelt $108,057 .5 STEAM teacher
Roy Cloud  $77,392 .5 STEAM teacher
Taft $59,559 .5 STEAM teacher

Note: These staffing allocations represent an addition and not the total position(s) for each school site. This means that if a school already has a part-time position, the .5 allocation will increase that staffing to a 1.0 FTE or a full-time position. In addition to the proposition 28 funds, the district also allocated some LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) funds to make some of these positions possible. 

Adelante Selby students working on a STEAM project

Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion School 3rd Grade Students in their school's STEAM Lab coding with their iPads to program the Spike Lego robots to light up and move. Next school year, they will have a full-time STEAM teacher thanks to California voters.

In addition to the Proposition 28 funds, the district will use funding from the Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Block Grant, received earlier this year, to purchase additional musical instruments as well as resources for the STEAM labs and makerspaces. 

Teachers and students will enjoy the additional arts, music, and STEAM offerings in new and renovated classrooms made possible by local voters who helped start this work by approving Measure T in 2015. To date, the voter-approved Measure T funds have made the following possible:

  • A total of $1,732,274.72 in STEAM lab renovations across the school district 

  • A total of $18,000.00 in music room renovations across the school district 

This work will continue in 2023 thanks to local voters who approved the district’s second phase of its school modernization and construction program by passing Measure S in November of 2022. 

“It’s incredible to witness the improvements communities can create for their local public schools with the power of their vote,” says Superintendent Dr. John Baker. “We all know that the jobs of tomorrow, which don’t exist yet, will be created in the STEAM field, which is why many of our schools made the decision to add staffing to their existing STEAM programs. Voters understand this and made the conscious decision to provide a career path for our students by approving both Measure S and Proposition 28. To the voters, we say thank you for contributing to the successful path you have helped create for our community’s children.”