NAfME Reacts to Senate Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2018
Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed their Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, which proposes funding the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants at $450 million, a $50 million increase from the previous fiscal year.
SSAE is one of the new opportunities created by Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which provides supplemental funding intended to help school districts improve access to a well-rounded education for all students, including access to music education.
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) appreciates the Senate Appropriations Committee’s efforts in support of increased funding for Title IV-A, as well as support for both Title I-A and Title II-A. The increased funding for Title IV-A, however, remains far below the grant’s authorization level of $1.6 billion and even lower than the House’s proposal. Under this fractional funding level, the program cannot function as originally intended as a formula block grant, and will not provide districts with the proper flexibility they deserve to support their schools. A fully funded Title IV-A allocation is needed to provide all students with a full and equitable well-rounded education that includes music.
As the fiscal deadline nears, we hope Congress will greatly improve their support for Title IV-A during the conference committee process. Congress must fully fund SSAE so that each and every student is ensured access to a well-rounded education that they need and deserve for academic and lifelong success.