Every Student Succeeds Act:
Resources for Orchestras

The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) marks an important, new opportunity to ensure that every student has access to arts and music education. Now, even more of the decisions about how the arts are supported in education will be made at the state and local levels. The highest poverty schools currently have the least access to music education, denying many students all of the advantages that a complete music education can provide. As civic-minded community-based organizations, America’s adult and youth orchestras work every day - through their programs, partnerships, and policy engagement - to increase access to music education in our nation's schools and communities. Below are links that provide an overview of the new law, public statements to elected officials that urge full funding and support, resources to equip arts advocates at the state and local level, and next steps for orchestras to take action.

League Overviews of ESSA and arts access gaps

U.S. Department of Education ESSA Resources

Public statements urging support for the arts in ESSA Implementation

Next step: Your orchestra’s advocacy at the state and local levels

The Arts Education Partnership provides a number of helpful resources to support your advocacy activity:

Orchestras can further demonstrate their support for equitable access to music education by signing on to the League’s statement of common cause supporting in-school music education. Drafted with input from more than 50 orchestras, the statement reflects a collective opportunity for all orchestras to take individual, community-specific action to improve access to music education in schools nationwide.