League urges US Dept of Ed to support arts in high-poverty schools

January 11, 2016

At a public meeting at U.S. Department of Education headquarters, the League of American Orchestras delivered comments today urging the Department to take steps to close gaps in access to music and arts education in high-poverty schools as it administers the Every Student Succeeds Act. Alongside representatives from a wide array of national education organizations, including the Council of Chief State School Officers, Dignity in Schools Campaign, National Council of La Raza, and the National Education Association, the League spoke to top administrators and a public audience nationwide as the Department takes its first steps toward framing guidance for state and local education policy makers under the new law. The League’s statement emphasizes that community-based organizations like orchestras partner with parents, educators, and school systems to seek improved opportunities for all students to receive the full benefits of an arts education, and urges the Department to issue guidance that will identify and address serious gaps in access to arts education in our nation’s highest poverty schools. The Department is accepting public comments through January 21, 2016 regarding implementation of Title I, the portion of the education law “designed to help disadvantage children meet high academic standards.” The League will keep you posted and engaged on further opportunities to support music and arts education as new education policies are made in your community and state, and at the federal level.