Latest Arts Education Policy Developments

July 17, 2013

Full House to Act on Education Policy

As early as this week, the full U.S. House of Representatives will begin debating legislation to re-write the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind. The current education law expired in 2007, and while the highly partisan approach unfolding in both the House and Senate does not bode well for rapid final passage of a new law, upcoming action on the House floor represents the most significant movement to-date on re-writing our nation’s education policy.  

The original intention of ESEA is to address equity gaps in education, and the League is an active advocate at the federal level in support of improving access to arts education in our nation’s schools. The League recently sent a message to the Hill in coalition with the Performing Arts Alliance supporting specific provisions in Rep. George Miller’s (D-CA) ESEA proposal that would improve federal resources for arts education and incentivize states and localities to do more to support arts learning. As the House prepares for floor debate, we will keep you informed of targeted advocacy opportunities. In the meantime, your orchestra can weigh in using our ongoing e-advocacy campaign to speak up in support of arts policy in ESEA.

Arts in Education Funding Advances in the Senate 

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved forward a recommendation for $27 million in FY14 funding for the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education. Ongoing leadership by education appropriations subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and other Senate supporters has preserved Arts in Education funding over the past several years, despite the program’s elimination in the House and Obama Administration’s budget plans. The U.S. Department of Education will soon announce a new round of multi-year grant awards made possible through Arts in Education funds. Visit our e-advocacy campaign to weigh in with Congress in support of Arts in Education funding

Take Action in Your Community!

The most effective music education advocacy takes place at the local level, where the majority of education policy is made. The League provides numerous music education advocacy tools, including tips for orchestras, highlights from the most recent research, and news about national coalition efforts. Read our latest call for local action “Enough is Not Enough” and join the growing ranks of orchestras committed to taking action to support arts education in local schools.