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
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on "The Student Success Act" (HR 5), a bill to reauthorize federal education programs, last completed 13 years ago through the No Child Left Behind Act. There is a great need to improve upon that outdated legislation.
Through Friday's floor consideration in the House, members of Congress will have an opportunity to vote on HR 5, and a Democratic alternative - but both bills are expected, based on recent history, to receive mostly partisan vote outcomes.
Americans for the Arts fully endorses the Democratic alternative legislation, although there are a few elements of the HR 5 bill that would be advantageous for arts education, especially teachers of music, dance, theater and the visual arts. In general, we are concerned that any reduction in federal leadership supporting the arts as essential to a complete education is detrimental to addressing the equity gap that currently exists.
We hope that you will contact your member of Congress about the policies in both bills that would benefit the arts education community. As the House holds its vote on Friday, and the Senate legislation is considered in a few months, it will become valuable to demonstrate to lawmakers the policies that could be supported in a final bipartisan approach.
Please customize your message, including the points provided, to your member of Congress in advance of Friday's vote - and let them know how you think these policies will impact arts education.
Want to take further action? Join Arts Advocacy Day on March 23-24 and bring your arts education advocacy directly to Capitol Hill! Learn more about this event here.
Thank you for your support for arts education! [-] less
Earlier this week, Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert Lynch sent letters of congratulations to each new member stating, "Our country is facing many fiscal and social challenges and a dizzying array of legislative to-do lists, ranging from reauthorizing the expired Elementary and Secondary Education Act to challenging telecommunications reform and far-reaching tax policy reform impacting charitable giving, among other issues and changes in store. You chose to serve at a critical time. I want to assure you that the nonprofit arts community stands ready to help you meet these challenges."
Please join our CEO and take a few minutes to write your new Member of Congress to urge them to join the Congressional Arts Caucus, the Congressional STEAM Caucus, or the Senate Cultural Caucus and support the arts. Will you write to them today? [-] less