Call On Your Member of Congress to Support the NEA!
The Obama Administration released its FY 2017 budget request to Congress on February 9, 2016-the last of his Administration. The request includes a proposed $2 million increase, to $150 million, for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This proposed increase continues...
The Obama Administration released its FY 2017 budget request to Congress on February 9, 2016-the last of his Administration. The request includes a proposed $2 million increase, to $150 million, for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This proposed increase continues a welcomed funding climb, but falls short of the needs of the 95,000 nonprofit arts organizations and state and local arts agencies across the country.
"The Administration's proposed $2 million increase for the NEA in the FY 2017 budget request continues efforts to strengthen the agency. Although still falling short, it helps turn the corner on some sharp cuts made in previous years, and comes on the heels of an important funding increase made by Congress last year-impacting state and local arts agencies in every community," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "I am also pleased to see advances in this budget recognizing the arts as a strategy to improving high-need schools and attention to 21st Century workforce skills."
The budget request includes numerous education proposals as well, including funds to implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act that the President signed into law in December, and $500 million for a new block grant program which, "can support expanding STEM opportunities and the arts..." through its focus on providing a well-rounded education.
The budget proposal also includes $5.5 billion in funds aimed to connect youth ages 16-24 with their first jobs, including summer learning, apprenticeships, and community partnerships to help students most at risk of dropping out of high school. Early childhood education and supporting high-need students through Title I and a reduction in excessive testing are all included in the funding proposal as well.
According to Ready to Innovate, a collaboration between The Conference Board, Americans for the Arts, and the American Association of School Administrators, 85 percent of employers can't find the creative applicants they seek-one of the top 3 personality traits most important to career success. Lynch continued, "I am hopeful these investments will spur greater opportunities for the arts to help students succeed in school, work, and life."
This chart illustrates the fluctuating nature of the Obama Administration's funding requests for the NEA and the recent steady climb:
The Administration's FY 2017 request also proposes dedicated funding for the Assistance for Arts Education program, which is newly authorized in the Every Student Succeeds Act signed into law in December. Because of advocates like you, and despite past consolidation plans, the program continues to survive intense funding challenges and ultimately winning congressional support annually as a distinct grant competition. Retaining this in the budget request is great news!
The following is a comparison of the Administration's FY 2017 budget request and FY 2016 enacted levels:
WHAT COMES NEXT
The President's request is just the first step in the legislative budgeting process. Over the course of the next several weeks, congressional committees will call hearings and begin to consider funding requests.
Remain on the lookout in the months ahead for our action alerts as Congress works to pass spending bills. We hope to count on your advocacy again this year to help bring about continued successes for the arts and arts education. Last year was a good year for the arts, and there is still more to achieve!
Our kickoff advocacy effort will launch at Arts Advocacy Day: The National Arts Action Summiton March 7-8. Join us in Washington, DC for the only national event that brings together a broad cross-section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country.
We encourage you to join us on Capitol Hill as the arts community brings aunited message toCongress to support the arts!
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