CTE Elementary Arts Credential: AB 2437

The CMEA Executive board has been following the Governor’s Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill: AB 2473: Career Technical Education (CTE) Elementary Authorization with a Concentration in the arts. This would require the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to issue a new, CTE Elementary authorization in the arts. You can click here to read the full language of the bill

CMEA, as well as our arts Education Association partners in the Theatre, Art, and Dance, oppose this bill for the primary reason that it undermines subject matter competency, which is essential for arts educators to teach foundational skills and engage elementary school students through sound pedagogical instruction. Without it, teachers may struggle to explain concepts, provide feedback to the developmental needs of our youngest music students, or support second language learners, students with special needs, thus leading to students falling behind and losing foundational arts knowledge.

To be clear, CMEA is not opposed to CTE teachers, who provide valuable career training for our secondary students in grades 7-12. CTE teachers are prepared to provide students at the secondary level with the technical skills and knowledge to experience and succeed in arts, media, and entertainment career sectors. However, Elementary arts instruction is foundational knowledge and skills, and career development is not appropriate at this level. The Elementary CTE proposal undermines subject matter competency by allowing those with industry expertise in the arts to teach elementary grades, particularly for students with special needs and those from socially/economically disadvantaged communities. 

Credentialed arts teachers are highly qualified educators with a college degree and an expertise and training in arts education for students in UTK – Grade 12. Given that the intent of Prop 28 is to provide access to quality arts and music education for all students, we believe this proposal deters from the spirit of the law by lowering teaching standards and instructional outcomes for our elementary school students, our most vulnerable student population, without sufficient coursework and preparation. Lastly, the proposal may result in unintended consequences which could include releasing single-subject credentialed teachers and hiring only CTE teachers.

Every student deserves high-quality arts education by qualified teachers. We are urging CMEA membership to voice their opposition to the proposed CTE elementary authorization, advocating for maintaining rigorous arts education standards and accountability.