Arts Education funding

Arts Education Policy and Funding

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Every child should have access to a well rounded education which includes core academic subjects, among them the arts. The work to ensure that the arts are part of standard K-12 school curriculum with the proper funding and resources is a key policy focus at Americans for the Arts. Two priority issues for arts education advocacy at the federal level are:

  • Strengthening the arts in federal education reform legislation

  • Supporting funding for the Arts in Education (AIE) program at the U.S. Department of Education

Strengthening the arts in federal education reform legislation

Under current federal law, the arts are designated as a “core academic subject.” In this respect, the arts have equal billing with reading, math, science, and six other disciplines. This designation is an acknowledgement of the relevance of the arts in a complete education and means that the arts may be an eligible expenditure of funds for federal education programs (such as Title I, teacher training, school reform, and technology programs).

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has stated that he has consistently heard about the narrowing of the curriculum during his trips across the country, and the administration is committed to strengthening arts education opportunities in the future. In 2010, the administration offered an introductory reauthorization proposal called the "Blueprint, " and is now administering a process for states to receive waivers to remove much of the onerous No Child Left Behind (NCLB) regulations in exchange for taking specific policy steps.

U.S. Department of Education SealThe No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the update of the 1965 Elementary & Secondary Education Act, expired in September 2007. An automatic one-year extension occurs annually, and currently the Senate and House committees are considering reauthorization proposals. For specific details of arts education policy principles supported by national arts education and education organizations, you can read our unified statement (pdf, 41 KB)

Supporting funding for the Arts in Education (AIE) program at the U.S. Department of Education.

The Arts in Education (AIE) program at the U.S. Department of Education has survived intense funding challenges, ultimately winning congressional support year after year. In FY 2015 the program received $25 million.

The Administration's FY 2016 request now proposes retaining dedicated funding for the Arts in Education program, reversing previous proposals to consolidate the program. Retaining this now in the budget request is great news.

Other Resources

  • Visit these websites for information about key Senate and House subcommittees for education reauthorization.

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FAQ

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What is preschool education?

  1. preschool education is teaching a 3 or 4 year old to get ready for school. The child is taught social skills, phonological awareness, pre-writing skills, pre-math skills, and some basic problem solving skills (among other things). Basically, the child is being prepared for the type of social environment of structured schools.

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