There are two priority areas for arts education advocacy at the federal level: strengthening the arts in the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA, most recently called the No Child Left Behind Act), and supporting the Arts in Education program at the U.S...
There are two priority areas for arts education advocacy at the federal level: strengthening the arts in the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA, most recently called the No Child Left Behind Act), and supporting the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education.
On June 11 and 12, the Senate education committee approved, by party-line vote, S.1094, the "Strengthening America's Schools Act" introduced by Chairman Tom Harkin. The legislation was based on a similar bill that Mr. Harkin introduced in the previous Congress which also passed out of committee but didn't make it to the Senate floor before that Congress adjourned. This Harkin bill includes a number of positive developments for arts education and is expected to be considered by the full Senate this Fall.
On June 19, the House Education & Workforce Committee approved, by a similar party-line vote, the "Student Success Act" (H.R. 5) introduced by Chairman John Kline (R-MN). This legislation was passed 221-207 on July 19. A Substitute Amendment, with several pro-arts provisions, proposed by Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA) was defeated 193-233 during full consideration by the House on July 19.
Further details on strengthening the arts in our nation's education policies, including legislative recommendations are online here.
Also, arts education funding is under threat in a House GOP budget proposal and in the Administration's FY 2014 budget request. The Arts in Education program has survived threats like these in previous years through support of grassroots advocates and support by Senate champions like Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee FY 2014 legislation provides $27 million for the federal Arts in Education program which we hope will be enacted into law.
Please take a few minutes to write to your members of Congress and ask them to support strengthening arts education in federal policy.
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