On Tuesday, Thanksgiving turkeys took a serious message to Congress, as education advocates visited key Congressional offices to urge members to end sequestration in upcoming federal budget negotiations.
The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 112 national education organizations and of which NAfME is a member, sponsored the event. Member organizations delivered a fact sheet along with plush turkeys to members of the budget conference committee, as well as other key House and Senate members. The turkeys wore pins stating, “Carve Turkeys, Not Education!” Budget conferees are set to meet in upcoming weeks to set spending limits for the FY 2014 and FY 2015 appropriations bills, and have the ability to negotiate an end to sequestration as part of that process.
Several members of Congress reacted to the CEF advocacy campaign. Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, stated: “Over the last year I’ve spoken with parents, superintendents, and community leaders about sequestration. Their message is clear: the automatic cuts are harming our ability to give our children the skills they need to succeed, and it will only get worse next year. Republicans and Democrats have both said that sequestration was never meant to go into effect—it was supposed to bring both sides together to compromise. And I strongly believe it still should.”
Congressman Chris Van Hollen, senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, also stated: “The cuts from sequestration are hurting families across the country, undermining job growth and investments in our economic future. Nowhere is that more true than in the cuts to education, oftentimes to the schools that can least afford it. That is why we must act now to replace these damaging cuts in a balanced way – it’s time to stop putting political ideology ahead of our children’s education.”
NAfME is also participating in a “Twitterthon” today and tomorrow to support public awareness and put pressure on Budget Committee members to end sequestration as they set spending levels.
Be sure to check out @NAfME and re-tweet messages urging Congress to act!
Thanksgiving turkeys with a serious message:
Shannon Kelly, Director of Advocacy, November 19, 2013. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)