Arts Education Career Opportunities

California's Prop 28 is the largest investment in arts education in the US!


Proposition 28 was passed by California voters in November 2022 and provides PreK-12 schools with ongoing, yearly funding to increase access and equity in arts education. Known as the Arts & Music in Schools Act, this legislation provides approximately $800 million – $1 billion throughout the state annually to address gaps in arts education.

For Sonoma County, Prop 28 will bring approximately $9.5 million annually to public schools.  A calculator is available to estimate how much will be disbursed beginning in March 2024. The funding is required to be spent to supplement (expand) existing arts education programs, not to supplant (replace) current arts education funding sources. It is also required for local education agencies of 500+ students that 80% of the funding is spent on certificated or classified staff. (Teaching artists could be categorized as teaching aides and hired as classified staff., although not favored pathways for LEAs and their unions.)


For creatives in our community, this means a new and exciting opportunity. The state of California will need an additional 15,000 arts educators. There will be a demand for arts educators in dance, theater, visual art, music, and media arts. Watch the Create CA Video


All public and public charter schools will receive Prop 28 funding. Here is a list of Sonoma County school districts that have committed to arts education by creating a strategic arts plan to increase access for their students.


  • FIND JOBS: Search EdJoin for current openings.


Pathways and programs can depend on a candidate’s experience and career goals. Be sure to contact each program listed below to discuss your options. 

EARN A CREDENTIAL: Earning a teaching credential can provide more income and leverage over a career. Here are local pathways to earning a teaching credential.

North Coast School of Education (NCSOE):  Contact or 707-524-2818 to begin reviewing your qualifications.

  • For creatives holding a Bachelor of Arts degree, NCSOE offers the Be A Teacher program, a 2.5 year program that begins with foundational coursework. Then the interns are employed at least .4 FTE as teachers during the day and attend credential classes approximately two evenings/week. Compensation is approximately equivalent to a 1st year teacher. Ongoing support is provided. The next application deadline for spring is 12/1/2023. A virtual Informational Meeting is 11/16/23. Grants available. 
  • For creatives with relevant work experience in the arts, NCSOE offers a CTE (Career and Technical Education) pathway to a credential. No bachelor’s degree is required. Demonstration of 3,000 hours of work experience in the Arts, Media and Entertainment industry sector is required. Candidates complete their credential within 2 years while teaching in a middle or high school classroom. Compensation is approximately equivalent to a 1st year teacher. The CTE credential coursework is online except for the 1st meeting at the start of the year.


Sonoma State University:  Contact or 707-664-2832

Two credentials are available: 

  • Single Subject Credential consisting of 2 semesters of in-person coursework, is for grades K-12, and is available in art and music.
  • Multiple Subject Credential authorizes instruction in a self-contained PK-12 classroom and is a 2-3 semester program with additional prerequisites required. 


Permit through school district: 

  • School districts can issue permits to onboard needed arts teachers. Following this issuance, permit holders begin the credentialing procedure. Read this article.  

Teaching Artists are professional artists working at the intersection of the arts and education. This pathway can provide more flexibility and choice in a career, although less income and benefits. Some districts have a specific designation for teaching artists, such as “VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) Consultants.” They are district employees who travel from class to class and teach while the credentialed teacher remains in the classroom. 

TEACHERS CREDENTIALED IN ENGLISH AND PE BEFORE Jan 2022 are eligible to teacher dance with PE Credential and Theater with the English credential. This is a little known fact but can be found in the CTC.