On December 29, 2022, President Joseph Biden signed the FY (Fiscal Year) 2023 appropriations bill, following congressional passage earlier in the week. Congress passed the omnibus agreement after issuing a continuing resolution that extended FY22 government funding through December 23. The FY23 spending bill includes a $3.2 billion (4%) increase to Department of Education (ED) funding, bringing the total ED funding amount to $79.6 billion. Details below:
Title I, Part A—The largest source of federal funding for schools in poverty and economically disadvantaged students. Title I-A is set to receive $18.4 billion, a $850 (5%) million increase over FY22 funding. This proposed funding to Title I-A would allow for an increased level of supplemental support in providing a well-rounded education that includes music.
Title IV, Part A—A flexible block grant program that supports activities in three broad areas: (1) providing students with a well-rounded education; (2) supporting safe and healthy students; and (3) supporting the effective use of technology. Title IV-A itself to be the federal funding stream most commonly used for providing supplemental instruction for music and arts education. Title IV-A is set to receive $1.38 billion, a $100 million (8%) increase over FY22 funding.
Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers—A formula grant program that provides financial support to local communities for after-school, before-school, and summer learning programs serving students in low-performing schools. Programs are provided three- to five-year seed grants that support partnerships among community-based organizations, faith-based partners, private providers, and school partners (public, private, and charter). In the past, this program has been able to award only one out of every three grant applications, reflecting substantial unmet demand for community learning centers. The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers is set to receive $1.33 billion, a $40 million (3%) increase over FY22 funding.
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Part B—Passed in 1975, IDEA mandates that all students, regardless of ability, be provided a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. IDEA Part B is the widest reaching program, aimed at providing children with disabilities ages 3 through 21 with a free public education. The House Appropriations Committee is concerned that the federal government’s contribution to the education of students with disabilities has declined in recent years and believes that additional funding is required to reverse this trend. To that end, IDEA Part B is set to receive $16.3 billion in FY23, a $3 billion (22%) increase over FY22 funding levels.
Supporting an Experienced and Diverse Educator Workforce
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Part D)—Designed to comprehensively prepare specialized instructional support personnel, special educators, early educators, and the higher education faculty and researchers that support their preparation. The IDEA Part D program is set to receive $115 million, a $20 million (21%) increase over FY22 funding.
Augustus F. Hawkins Center for Excellence Program—Designed to support comprehensive teacher preparation at programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). The Augustus F. Hawkins Center for Excellence program is set to receive $15 million in FY23, a $7 million (87%) increase over FY22 funding.
Education Innovation and Research Program (EIR)—This program provides grant funding to support educator leadership, the earning of high-need and advanced certifications and credentials, and improved school structures to support teaching and learning. EIR is set to receive $284 million, a $50 million (21%) increase over FY22 funding.
Title II, Part A—Focused on improving student academic achievement by bolstering skills and expertise of teachers, principals, and other educators and increasing the number of high-quality teachers and principals in schools. Title II-A is set to receive $2.19 billion, a $20 million (1%) increase over FY22 funding. The increased funding for Title II-A is intended to “address concerns about staffing shortages, increase educator diversity, and implement evidence-based programs.
Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Program—Authorized by ESEA, the SEED program provides funding to increase the number of “highly effective educators” through the implementation of evidence based practices that prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of educators. Recognizing the current issues surrounding the educator pipeline, Congress has appropriated $90 million for the SEED program, a $5 million (6%) increase over FY22 funding levels.
Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grant Program—The program funds comprehensive undergraduate and graduate educator preparation programs that combine student teaching under an experienced mentor, with coursework in child development, teaching methods, and curriculum development. TQP is set to be funded at $70 million, an $11 million (18%) increase over FY22 funding.
Support for Music and the Arts
Arts in Education—The Arts in Education Program provides competitive grants to support professional development and the development of instructional materials and programming that integrate the arts into the curricula. The Arts in Education program also supports national level high-quality arts education projects and programs for children and youth with a special emphasis on serving economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities. The Arts in Education program is set to receive $37 million, with no change in funding from the previous year.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
The U.S. House of Representatives included language in its appropriations bill, recognizing the role the NEA and NEH play in advancing racial equity through the arts and humanities, and supporting their continued practice of making grants available to organizations serving and/or led by people of color.
- NEA—Advances equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice as the largest funder of the arts and arts education. The NEA is set to receive $207 million, a $27 million (15%) increase over FY22 funding, and $3.45 million above the requested funding level.
- NEH—Advances equitable opportunities participation in humanities and is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the country. The NEH is set to receive $207 million, a $27 million (15%) increase over FY22 funding, and $6.3 million above the requested funding level.
With the FY23 appropriations cycle coming to a close, NAfME’s public policy staff will now turn our attention to developing a legislative agenda that will guide our advocacy efforts for the 118th Congress, which was officially sworn in on January 3. As always, our goal is to influence the development of next fiscal year’s appropriations bill and ensure that more students across the country have equitable access to music education. Stay tuned for updates and other ways that you and your fellow music educators and music education supporters in your community can be advocates for the profession.
January 13, 2023. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)