Take Action on Music Education: Senate to Start Debate, House to Follow
July 2, 2015
Senate Takes Up Education Policy Next Week, Followed by House
Beginning as early as Tuesday, July 7, the U.S. Senate will begin debating the Every Child Achieves Act, a bipartisan attempt at re-writing our nation's education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This is the first major Senate floor action on this topic since 2001. The U.S. House of Representatives plans to take up their bill, the Student Success Act, later in the week.
Please take a moment to weigh in as your Senators and Representative prepare for what will likely be a lengthy debate and amendment process. Every communication counts, and helps amplify our collective voice!
Orchestras delivered more than 400 messages to the Senate in support of music education as an earlier version of the Senate bill made its way through committee. The latest version of the Senate bill, crafted by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), preserves the arts as a core academic subject of learning, maintains support for after-school learning programs, and provides for activities currently administered through the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education grant program.
The House bill omits any definition of core academic subjects, and eliminates current afterschool and Arts in Education programs, in favor of flexible grants to states and districts.
As the Senate and House both consider competing points of view on how the federal government should influence education reform, we are asking Congress to do more to lead states and local schools to be publicly transparent about gaps in access to arts education, and to take steps to close those gaps.
After all, to transition the arts from being merely listed as a core academic subject to being fully implemented in every school, there must be public accountability for disparities in student access to the benefits of a complete arts education.
Your members of Congress are in their home states for the 4th of July break. Contact them now and stay tuned as we keep you informed of key developments in the Senate and the House. Thank you!