Music Education Advocacy Alert: House Votes on Friday!
February 25, 2015
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on proposals to rewrite our nation's education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Hundreds of orchestra advocates weighed in on a Senate draft ESEA bill last month, urging support for more equitable access to music education. It's now time to reach out to your member of Congress to deliver these key messages:
- The arts are currently listed as a core academic subject in federal law. Any rewrite of ESEA must retain the arts in the definition of "core academic subjects," enabling access to critical federal resources that address inequalities and strengthen education.
- Federal law should require transparency in how much or how little arts education is being offered to our nation's students. Collecting and publicly reporting the status and condition of arts education and other core academic subjects on an annual basis at the state level is critical to ensuring equitable access to a comprehensive education for all students.
- Arts education must be supported in provisions relating to early childhood education, afterschool/out-of-school learning, teaching effectiveness, school turnaround, charter schools, and student assessment.
- The U.S. Department of Education should continue to administer a direct, nationally funded competitive Arts in Education grant program that advances the capacity of the arts to strengthen learning and improve teaching.
The House majority's ESEA proposal (HR 5) recommends broad changes to the federal leadership role in education reform, and an alternative developed by House Democrats is likely to also be considered on the House floor. The vote on each measure is expected to largely take place along party lines. Members of Congress will be paying attention to what matters to their constituents, so a message sent by you today will inform ongoing education reform discussions.
Your message to your elected official will have the most impact if you customize it to include details about the urgent need for improved access to arts education in your community.
The League is partnering with dozens of national arts and arts education organizations in advancing the four key messages above. Please contact your members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Click here to customize and send an email by this Friday, February 27, and urge support for the arts in ESEA reauthorization!