NAfME Endorses Rep. Velazquez’s GAAME Act of 2018

music education

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is pleased to announce our endorsement of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez’s (D-NY-7) Guarantee Access to Arts and Music Education (GAAME) Act (H.R. 6137), released earlier today. Often, students of color and students in low-income neighborhoods do not share the same access to a high-quality music and arts education. If passed, this legislation would provide articulating language to encourage school districts to use their Title I, Part A Funds (school-wide and targeted assistance grants) to improve access to music and arts education for disadvantaged and low-income students, taught by certified music educators. The GAAME Act is co-led by Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA-8) and has thirty-seven original cosponsors from across the country.

NAfME Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mike Blakeslee, issued the following statement regarding the Association’s endorsement of the GAAME Act:

“As an Association, our mission has always been to promote the understanding and making of music by all. When music was enumerated as part of a “well-rounded education,” we became one step closer to achieving that goal, and the Guarantee Access to Arts and Music Education Act (GAAME) will continue that same trajectory. This legislation will encourage school districts to use their Title I, Part A funds to improve student access to a sequential and standards-based music education for disadvantaged and low-income students. NAfME is committed to supporting these students, who all deserve access to and equity in the delivery of music education. We thank Congresswoman Velazquez and Congressman Reichert for their leadership on this important issue.”

In addition to NAfME’s support, the following members of the Music Education Policy Roundtable have endorsed the GAAME Act:

National Association for Music Education American Choral Directors Association
American Orff-Schulwerk Association American School Band Directors Association
American String Teachers Association Barbershop Harmony Society
  College Band Directors National Association
Conn-Selmer Drum Corps International
Education Through Music El Sistema USA
Gordon Institute for Music Learning Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association
J. W. Pepper & Son Jazz at Lincoln Center
Little Kids Rock Music for All
Music Publishers Association Music Teachers National Association
National Association of Music Merchants National Association of Music Parents
National Federation of State High School Associations National Music Council
Organization of American Kodály Educators Percussive Arts Society
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Progressive Music
Quadrant Arts Education Research Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music
Strathmore Hall Foundation VH1 Save the Music Foundation
Winter Guard International WURRLYedu

NAfME and the Roundtable greatly appreciate the opportunity to partner with Congresswoman Velazquez in the creation of this legislation. The GAAME Act will be featured during NAfME’s annual Hill Day event on June 28, 2018, where more than 300 music educators and advocates will seek additional support for the bill in Congress as part of our legislative agenda. Once again, we applaud the Congresswoman for her continuing leadership in supporting music and arts education.

A full copy of the Guarantee Access to Arts and Music Education Act can be found here. Additionally, an associated press release issued by the Office of Congresswoman Velazquez can be found here.

Sen. John Tester (D-MT) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. Senate on August 28, 2018.

Ronny Lau, Assistant Director of Public Policy, June 20, 2018. © National Association for Music Education (