UPDATE 8/18/16: The bill passed the Assembly floor (78-0-2).
UPDATE: 8/11/16: Passed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee and referred to the Assembly floor.
UPDATE 6/22/16: The Assembly Education Committee voted unanimously to approve SB 916. The bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
SB 916 (Allen) – the Theatre and Dance Act (TADA!) – has passed its first hurdle in the legislative process. On April 20, 2016, by a vote of 9 to 0, the Senate Education Committee voted to send the bill on to the Senate Appropriations Committee for its approval.
Sponsored by the California Alliance for Arts Education, SB 916 requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to issue single-subject credentials in theatre and dance.
Senator Ben Allen (D-Los Angeles) presented the bill, stating, “To tell people who have earned a degree in dance or theatre that they can’t teach in their respective fields unless they get a credential in PE or English is a disservice to them as teachers, to their students, and the subject matter.”
Nadia Leinhos, a sixteen-year-old theatre student from Palo Alto, spoke, “Having passionate, dedicated teachers ensures that an education in the theatre and dance will give us access to ways of thinking and doing that broaden our mindset and worldview. I think every child deserves that opportunity.”
Actress Annette Bening testified in support of the bill. She stated, “I would not be where I am without the benefit of the gifted, experienced teachers I encountered along the way who guided and supported my development. Our students deserve no less — that is, to be taught by highly qualified teachers who have been trained in the technique and knowledge that enables students to excel in the classroom, teachers who have earned credentials in their given subject.”
Also testifying in support of SB 916 were Jessica Kronenberg, co-president of the California Dance Education Association, and representatives from numerous organizations including the California Alliance for Arts Education, California Educational Theatre Association, California Federation of Teachers, California Teachers Association, California Music Educators Association, and California State PTA.
If SB 916 passes the Appropriations Committee it will move on to the Senate floor. If the Senate approves the bill, it will move on to the Assembly, and if both houses pass the bill, it will be sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Please stay tuned to ArtsEdMail as our advocacy campaign continues — you will be contacted when the bill comes to the Senate or Assembly floor, and if/when it is sent to the Governor!