NAfME Statement on FY 2018 Bipartisan Omnibus Agreement
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) released the following statement in response to yesterday’s news that Congress has reached a deal on the fiscal year 2018 spending bill:
“The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is thrilled to support Congress’ FY 2018 bipartisan omnibus appropriations bill. This spending proposal not only rejects several of the President’s proposed eliminations, but also provides notable increases to several key well-rounded education programs.
We are most thrilled with Congress’ decision to provide $1.1 billion in FY 2018 funding for the Title IV-A block grant, otherwise known as the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants. Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), achieving full funding for Title IV-A has remained NAfME’s top legislative priority, and this figure represents a 250% increase from last year’s inadequate funding level of $400 million. With this funding increase, Title IV-A will finally operate as a formula grant program for all states, as intended by law, and will provide numerous school districts with the true flexibility they deserve to invest in a well-rounded curriculum, that includes providing access to a sequential and standards-based music education.
In addition, this agreement also would provide robust funding for several other key well-rounded education programs, including $15.8 billion for Title I-A, $2.1 billion for Title II-A, and $29.0 million for the Arts in Education program.
We thank Representatives Bonamici (D-OR), Polis (D-CO), Clark (D-MA), Scott (D-VA), Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Stefanik (R-NY), Curbelo (R-FL), Foxx (R-NC), and Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Booker (D-NJ), and Nelson (D-FL) for being vocal champions of the Title IV-A block grant. We also thank the leadership of the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittees on Appropriations for making such a crucial investment on public education.
As the fiscal deadline nears, NAfME urges Congress and the President to follow the leadership of their colleagues and ensure the passage of this spending agreement.”
Ronny Lau, Public Policy Advisor, March 22, 2018. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org).