Music Education Advocacy Alert: Only Days to Respond!

January 29, 2015

As the new Congress begins to rewrite our nation's major education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), music education advocates have their first opportunity to deliver four key messages, in unison with the broader arts and arts education community:

  1. The arts are currently listed as a core academic subject in federal law. Any rewrite of ESEA must retain the arts in the definition of "core academic subjects," enabling access to federal resources that address inequalities and strengthen education.
  2. Federal law should require transparency in how much or how little arts education is being offered to our nation's students. Collecting and publicly reporting the status and condition of arts education and other core academic subjects on an annual basis at the state level is critical to ensuring equitable access to a comprehensive education for all students.
  3. Arts education must be supported in provisions relating to early childhood education, afterschool/out-of-school learning, teaching effectiveness, school turnaround, charter schools, and student assessment.
  4. The U.S. Department of Education should continue to administer a direct, nationally funded competitive Arts in Education grant program that advances the capacity of the arts to strengthen learning and improve teaching.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Committee charged with rewriting this bill, is inviting public comment on a discussion draft he recently released. The full draft proposal addresses many broad areas of education reform, and removes the current list of core academic subjects, terminates the current federal afterschool funding program, fails to require state transparency on the status and conditions of arts education, and eliminates the federal Arts in Education grant program.

The League is partnering with dozens of national arts and arts education organizations in advancing the four key messages above. Please join this first advocacy opportunity in 2015!  Click here to customize and send an email before the deadline of Monday, February 2nd, and urge support for the arts in ESEA reauthorization!

Urge Congress to Support Arts Education in our Nation's Education law!