Take Action: Tell the Senate to Support Arts Education

Source: Americans for the Arts

Dear Arts Education Advocate:

As the 114th Congress begins a new season of legislating, we are already deeply concerned about education legislation being considered. Two weeks ago, the new chairman of the Senate education committee released a “discussion draft” to consider changes to federal education policies. The last authorization, known as the No Child Left Behind Act, expired in 2007, so this legislation is long overdue.

However, the current draft bill contains a number of provisions that would be terrible for arts education should they become law. Among the problematic provisions, this bill:

  1. Deletes the definition of “core academic subjects,” which includes the arts!
  2. Terminates the $1 billion 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school program, which supports arts education;
  3. Terminates the small, but mighty, federal Arts In Education program which has supported over 200 model grant programs for over a decade;
  4. Omits indicators of student access to the arts as part of annual state reporting (example is New Jersey’s report) that help identify the equity gap.

One positive development so far is that there appears to be bipartisan consensus that there is an over-emphasis on student testing. This has been a growing concern in the education sector as arts education advocates have made the point for years that the class time spent on testing has pushed the arts out of the school day.

The Senate education committee has invited public comments and we have prepared a simple way to provide them with feedback from supporters of arts education. Please take two minutes and send a customizable message to the Senate education committee by the end of Monday, February 2nd.

Want to take further action? Plan to join Arts Advocacy Day on March 23-24 and bring your arts education advocacy directly to Capitol Hill! Learn more about this event here.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/artsusa/Jy2P45PGJ.aspx

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, The John F. Kennedy Center, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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