NAfME Reacts to House Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2018 – Funds Title IV, Part A at $500 Million
Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee released their Labor-HHS-Ed appropriations bill, which proposes an allocation of $500 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants, otherwise known as Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Title IV-A, one of the new opportunities created by ESSA, provides supplemental funding intended to help school districts improve access to a well-rounded education for all students, including access to music education.
While the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is appreciative of House Appropriators supporting increased funding for Title IV-A over the previous fiscal year allocation, this remains far below the grant’s authorization level of $1.6 billion and half the original amount proposed by the House last year. This funding level remains too low to operate effectively as a formula block grant and NAfME continues to urge Congress to fully fund SSAE at its authorized level, so the grant is implemented as intended by ESSA.
Additionally, the House’s proposal suggests the elimination of funding for Title II, Part A, over which NAfME expresses deep concern, as these funds are used in part to support the professional development of educators teaching well-rounded subjects, such as music. Congress must do better to invest in key education programs. We call upon Congress to raise the overall funding caps, so that educators can receive the critical resources they require, and so that every student is ensured access to the well-rounded education they need and deserve for academic and lifelong success.
Ronny Lau, Public Policy Advisor, July 14, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)