July 2, 2015
  House & Senate Debate Education Policy Next Week!  
 

Next week is a big week for arts education on Capitol Hill! 
 
Both the full House and full Senate will debate their own versions of legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA is the federal education law that funds primary and secondary education and aims to provide all students with fair and equal opportunities to achieve a high quality education. It was last reauthorized in 2002 as "No Child Left Behind."
 
Next Tuesday, July 7, the Senate will debate its ESEA legislation, the "Every Child Achieves Act" (S. 1177), and will consider amendments to the bill. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) are offering an amendment encouraging states to measure and report on indicators of student access to critical educational resources. Core academic subjects are one of these indicators, and this includes the arts. This type of transparency from states is key to ensuring that all students have equal access to high quality arts education.  As early as next Wednesday, July 8, the House will debate its ESEA legislation, the "Student Success Act" (H.R. 5), and will consider amendments to the bill. 

In ESEA reauthorization, PAA is advocating for: 
  • retaining the definition of "core academic subjects" which includes the arts,
  • retaining the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which funds afterschool and summertime learning programs,
  • retaining the Arts in Education program at the Department of Education, and
  • requiring states to be transparent and report annually on student access to arts education.
Join the effort and write your lawmakers! Encourage them to support arts education in their versions of ESEA. PAA has drafted letters that you can send to both the House and Senate. Take action before next Tuesday, July 7!
 
The Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) is a 501c4 multi-disciplinary coalition of national service organizations from the professional nonprofit performing arts field. Through legislative and grassroots action, PAA advocates before the U.S. Congress and key policy makers for national policies that enhance and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America.