The Budget Bill (HB 76) was passed by both houses, but with some differences between them. A Conference Committee os 3 Senators and 3 Representatives was set up to work through the differences. The Senate Bill included an additional $300,000 for the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA). The House bill included only the Governor's request of $603,000 for GCA. We sent nearly 800 messages to the Conference Committee in support of increased arts funding!
LATEST NEWS: On Tuesday night (March 31), the new Budget Bill was passed by both houses of the state legislature. The bill included the $300,000 increase for the GCA, for a total allocation of $900,000 - this is a 50% increase!! [-] less
Starting on July 7th, the Senate is expected to take up the Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177), and the House may also soon vote on its version of reauthorization, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5).
The Senate education committee unanimously passed its bill in April. The long-awaited and bipartisan bill is ready to be considered on the Senate floor, where more amendments will be considered, including a bipartisan amendment offered by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that would encourage states to measure and publicly report on disparities in student access to educational resources, which could include the arts.
There are a number of direct ways your Senators can help ensure the arts are taught in school and accessible to every child, but they need to hear from you. Ask them to support these pro-arts provisions already in the Senate bill, including:
- Retaining the arts as a core academic subject. Federal education funding (such as Title I, teacher training, and school improvement grants) are targeted to core academic subjects, and as such, the arts are an eligible expenditure of these funds.
- Creating a literacy and arts education program. This provision was added by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) with the support of Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Susan Collins (R-ME). Under its provisions, it allows grants to promote arts education for disadvantaged students.
- For school improvement and initiatives like Turnaround Arts, the bill requires reporting and urges proficiency in core academic subjects to aid student achievement and learning. For example, in the Targeted Assistance School Program, school plans must include a description of how the program will serve participating students, including by using resources "such as support for programs, activities, and courses in core academic subjects" to help meet academic standards.
- Afterschool programs. Despite being stricken in the introduced version, the committee reinstated the popular 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. This reinstatement amendment was offered by Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) and cosponsored by Sens. Al Franken (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). This program supports afterschool, out-of-school programs and expanded learning time in schools, and serves over 1.6 million children.
Thank you for helping make sure your representatives remember that the arts are essential and part of a complete education.
Let us know if you have questions. Email us at email@example.com. We will keep this page updated on the progress of this comprehensive legislation, and you can read more about the Senate legislation via our blog.
Thank you for your support of the arts and arts education!
Last night, the House Rules Committee met to set parameters for floor debate on legislation that funds the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and other cultural agencies, including the Smithsonian and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) serves on that committee and spoke at length about arts funding, noting its impact on our economy, student achievement, and health. She made sure the committee knew that 4.7 million Americans work in the arts and that it makes up 4.3% of our U.S. GDP-more than $698 billion!
The House is scheduled to consider this legislation next on the House floor, beginning June 25th. It's been a while-the last time there were floor votes on this bill was back in 2011!
We urge every arts advocate to join Rep. Slaughter and help remind your member of Congress about the importance of the arts and arts funding as this key funding bill is debated.
Right now, the bill proposes sustained funding at $146 million. Last week in committee, efforts to increase funding by $2 million to the President's request failed. Now on the floor, efforts to cut or even eliminate the agency are a possibility.
You know better than anyone the top 10 reasons to support the arts; make sure your representatives do, too. Take two minutes to urge your representative to support at least level funding for the NEA, and reject any effort to reduce it.
Thank you for your support of the arts!
Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today-it's free and easy to join.
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