It was announced that the US House of Representatives is scheduled on Friday February 27th to discuss three dozen amendments to the “Student Success Act” (HR5), a bill to reauthorize federal education programs. This is a legislative effort last completed 13 years ago through the No Child Left Behind Act. There is a great need to improve upon that outdated legislation.
Through Friday’s floor consideration in the House, members of Congress will have an opportunity to vote on HR 5 and a Democratic alternative, but both bills are expected to have partisan vote outcomes.
Americans for the Arts and ArtPride NJ strongly prefer the Democratic legislative alternative, although there are a few elements of the GOP bill that would be advantageous for arts education, especially for teachers of music, dance, theater and the visual arts. In general, we are concerned that any reduction of federal leadership in supporting the arts as essential to a complete education is detrimental to addressing the equity gap that currently exists.
We hope that you will contact your member of Congress about the provisions in both bills that would benefit the arts education community. As the House holds its vote on Friday, and Senate legislation is considered in a few months, it is valuable to convey to lawmakers now the provisions that should be supported in a final bipartisan approach.
Please visit the Arts Action Fund’s E-Advocacy Center to send a customizable message, including the points made above, to your member of Congress in advance of Friday’s vote – and to let them know how you think these policies will impact arts education.