State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal has endorsed King County Proposition 1, joined by local King County superintendents, as well as teachers across the region who support King County Prop. 1.
"Arts, science and heritage education is vital for students at every level. They shouldn't only be available for those who can afford it," said State Superintendent Chris Reykdal. "I'm supporting Prop. 1 because teachers and administrators alike recognize that leveling the playing field to ensure equal access to arts, science and heritage education improves educational outcomes for students."
Prop. 1 would fund in-class programs and free field trips for students in King County to our region's world-class museums, arts institutions and science centers, with a funding priority placed on schools with the highest percentages of students on free and reduced-price lunch.
"In a district where more than half of our students rely on free and reduced lunch, Proposition 1 will be instrumental to leveling the playing field so all students have access to arts, science and heritage education," said Dr. Damien Pattenaude, Renton superintendent. "But Prop. 1 is about more than a fun experience for kids. A hands-on learning experience at the Museum of Flight for a student in my district might inspire her to grow up and become a mechanical engineer. That kind of life-changing experience is invaluable, and it's the kind of opportunities Proposition 1 will help provide."
Equitable access to arts, science and heritage programs help close the achievement gap between students of color and their white peers.
"The South End of Seattle — especially public schools — is a microcosm of inequity in arts funding, and the reality is we need help," said Seattle Public School Teacher Donte Felder. "Once we understand the role of the arts in reducing the achievement gap and increasing empathy and connectiveness in our communities, we'll be better off. Prop. 1 gets us there."
Teachers recognize that access to arts, science and heritage education is too often determined by zip code or district financial resources. They also know that exposure to arts, science and heritage experiences are more than just that one-time encounter. Engaging with these experiences increases cognitive abilities, improves educational outcomes and sets up students for a life-time of opportunities and learning.
"Experiences with music and arts were so important to me growing up. They gave me confidence and a sense of belonging," said Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School music teacher Jamall White. "It's from that place that I became a general music teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School and work every day to ensure students have that same opportunity. I support Prop. 1 because it will give teachers like me more tools to give kids the arts, science and heritage experiences they need to succeed in life."