Federal Arts Education Program In Danger, Again

Posted by Tim Mikulski, May 24, 2011 0 comments

*For an update to this story, visit a newer post by Gladstone Payton.

Just 11 days ago, U.S. House Education Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced legislation (H.R. 1891) that seeks to terminate 43 federal education programs, including the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education.

The bill is now coming up for a vote in the House Education Committee tomorrow.

This measure is more serious than the annual funding bills that have recently threatened to de-fund arts education, as HR 1891 would permanently strip policy language out of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that allows the Arts in Education program to be funded annually. 

When the bill was introduced, Rep. Hunter stated the following:

“It’s time to trim the fat. Today I will introduce legislation that will eliminate – not consolidate, not defund, but eliminate –  43 wasteful K-12 education programs. At a time when approximately one-third of American fourth graders can’t read, we must concentrate on education initiatives that have a track record of putting the needs of students first.”

If arts education isn't one of the education initiatives that puts the needs of students first, I don't know what is.

So, what can you do?

First, contact your members of Congress and let them know you support the federal arts in education program.

Second, share the ways that arts education isn't one of Rep. Hunter's 43 "ineffective initiatives" he wants to end in the comments below.

We'll have an update on the movement of this legislation later in the week.

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