This is an important week for arts education in the Senate!
The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee will consider a new bipartisan draft bill to re-authorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), our nation’s education law. Entitled the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, the draft bill would update ESEA, and the arts community wants the arts to be included and ensured a place in every child’s education.
Your senator serves on the HELP committee and needs to hear from you this week as the committee discusses numerous amendments being introduced to the bill. Urge your senator to protect arts education in ESEA.
An early draft of this bill authored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) addressed four key points:
- Retaining the definition of "core academic subjects" which includes the arts.
- Restoring the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which funds afterschool and summertime learning programs which include the arts.
- Requiring states to give an annual report on student access to arts education.
The new draft being considered this week does retain the definition of core academic subjects including the arts! This is a win: this designation makes arts education programs eligible for federal funding such as Title I. The bill does not, though, include direct support for afterschool or summertime learning programs or the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education.
Follow the below URL to contact your senator THIS WEEK and tell him or her to support the arts in ESEA. Speak up and share your story of the importance of arts education!