Arts Education and NEA Funding in FY11 Spending Deal - (April 12, 2011)
The FY11 Budget Deal: What Does it Mean for the Arts?
Washington, D.C. - At the eleventh hour last Friday, Congressional leaders struck an FY11 budget compromise to avoid a government shutdown, which includes $155 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $25.5 million for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education. The agreement finalizes the rest of FY11 funding, and votes will take place in the House tomorrow, with Senate action to follow before week's end.
Thanks to your advocacy, Congress has restored a portion of the Arts in Education funding and protected the NEA from more drastic cuts.
NEA: In February, the House of Representatives voted to decrease funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by $43.1 million (nearly 26%) to a level of $124.4 million for FY11. The Senate did not pass this bill. The $155 million provided for the National Endowment for the Arts in the final funding bill is a $12.5 million cut from the current level of $167.5 million. While any cut to the agency is a set-back to the substantial progress made in re-building the NEA's budget after the deep 40% cut in the mid-90s, the $155 million allocation is higher than both the initial House bill ($124.4 million) and the President's current funding request ($146.3 million).
Arts in Education: On March 2, 2011 both the House and Senate agreed to eliminate a number of small education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, including the complete defunding of the Arts in Education program, a $40 million fund that supports competitive grants and national initiatives. The final funding bill includes $25.5 million for the Arts in Education fund - enough to continue the next year of funding for multi-year grants currently in progress,with $10 million available for additional arts education expenditures.
In a climate of historic budget slashing, the partial restoration of Arts in Education funding is a true victory, thanks in large part to the leadership of Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) and the efforts of grassroots advocates who quickly mobilized to tell their stories about the value of arts education.
Please stay tuned! As soon as the final FY11 spending levels are passed, our attention must turn to building support for arts funding in the FY12 budget process.
The League is a member of the Performing Arts Alliance, a coalition of national performing arts service organizations dedicated to advocating for national policies that recognize, enhance, and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America