How You Can Make a Difference for Music Education in the Federal Appropriations Process

Appropriations season is upon us! And NAfME is working tirelessly to ensure federal policymakers support robust funding for a well-rounded education that includes music.

The submission of the President’s budget request in March signaled the official start of Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) appropriations season. At this point, members of Congress are receiving input from governmental agencies, outside groups, and even their constituents to help determine what federal programs they should support/oppose. Organizational sign-on letters are being sent to Capitol Hill, and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and other agency officials are testifying at committee hearings.

Starting now and continuing into the fall, we have an opportunity to advocate on behalf of the nation’s music education programs and the students they serve. NAfME is doing exactly that, and invites you to be a critical part of this process. On this page you will find Campaigns/Calls to action in support of federal programs that will have an impact on music education. We encourage all NAfME members to browse this page and participate in these advocacy opportunities.

Full Funding for Title IV-A Campaign

On May 3, NAfME kicked off a campaign in which members and other music education advocates can advocate for full funding of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Title IV-A block grant provides flexible funding for states and districts to support safe and healthy students, the effective use of technology in education, and well-rounded education programs, and it specifically mentions music as an allowable use of funding. Due to the flexibility in how Title IV-A funds are spent, it has been the main source of federal funding to provide supplemental support for music education. Please join our campaign on VoterVOICE and reach out to your U.S. representative and senators today!

IDEA Full Funding Coalition Letter

NAfME signed on to a letter with other members of the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Full Funding Coalition calling on Congress to allocate no less than $16.2 billion for IDEA Part B Grants to States in FY 2023. The funding will help provide much needed support and services to the 7.4 million students with disabilities educated in our nation’s schools and help put Congress on a glidepath to meets its goal of contributing 40 percent of the average per pupil expenditure. Increased funding for IDEA will allow them to better pursue their goal of providing a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to students with disabilities. | tupungato

Funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education

NAfME signed on to a letter with other members of the Committee for Education Funding, Coalition for Health Funding, Coalition on Human Needs, and the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce in support of strong 302(b) allocations for the House and Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittees. The 302(b) allocation is the amount of funding the House and Senate Appropriations Committees provide to each of their 12 subcommittees, who then go on to administer the funds to the agencies and programs within their jurisdictions. Without substantial 302(b) funding to the Labor-HHS Education appropriations bill, it is unlikely that those subcommittees would be able to allocate enough funding to the Department of Education to match the 17% increase in discretionary funding proposed by the Biden Administration. NAfME has signed the letter advocating in support of increased Labor-HHS-Education funding, so that those funds may be used to support essential education programs like Titles I, II, and IV, special education programs and services, and the Assistance for Arts Education program among others.

The appropriations process is ongoing and will likely last until the fall. Throughout this process NAfME will continue to be a voice for music educators, advocating on their behalf for robust federal support of music education programs.

May 5, 2022. © National Association for Music Education (