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Calif. Measure Has Arts Education Advocates Up in Arms

A bill approved by the California legislature that makes changes to high school graduation requirements has arts education advocates alarmed that it could erode attention to the subject in schools, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Assembly Bill 2446 would allow students to pick from a variety of courses in the arts, foreign languages, or career technical education instead of simply requiring them to complete either a yearlong arts or foreign language class.

The bill, which is on the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto it, is aimed at reducing the state's dropout rate, the story says.

"We feel it's bad educational policy as it sets one education area against another," the story quotes Joe Laddon, the policy director of the California Alliance for Arts Education, as saying.

But the measure's sponsor in the state Assembly, Democrat Warren Furutani, said the bill gives students more options and may better prepare them for future jobs.

"A lot of people are dropping out," he's quoted as saying. "So, I'm focused on trying to find as many pathways or options available to keep students interested in school."

The story makes no mention of how advocates for learning foreign languages feel about the bill.

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