NAfME Reacts to President Trump’s FY19 Budget Proposal
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is profoundly disappointed in the Trump Administration’s budget proposal for FY 2019. The proposed budget request calls for the elimination of several key education programs that play an important role in providing supplemental support for music education.
Once again, this proposal calls for the complete elimination of the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant, otherwise known as Title IV, Part A. Created by Congress through bipartisan support, this program is designed to provide supplemental funding to school districts for critical areas of need, such as providing a “well-rounded education,” which includes music. This repeated proposal for disinvestment is extremely shortsighted, as the program has yet to be implemented as the law intended. Furthermore, 70% of states have indicated in their ESSA implementation plans that they will use SSAE funds in support of a well-rounded education. SSAE must be funded at its authorized level of $1.6 billion to provide school districts with actual control and flexibility that ESSA intended.
The President’s budget also calls for the elimination of both Title II, Part A, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC). Title II-A funds are used in part to support professional development of educators teaching well-rounded subjects, while the 21st CCLC program supports academic enrichment opportunities for students during non-school hours. As indicated in their ESSA implementation plans, 25% of states have included music and arts as fundable activity areas under the 21st CCLC program.
As with the previous year’s proposal, this budget also recommends beginning the process of eliminating both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Both agencies provide vital resources to enrich musical life in communities across the nation and play a role in supporting music education.
Despite the Administration’s shortcoming, we are hopeful that Congress will appropriate a proper investment in education, given the recent budget deal, which raises the non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending caps for FY 2018 and FY 2019. We sincerely urge Congress to disregard the President’s budget and provide robust funding for all well-rounded programs, including the SSAE grant program at its authorized level of $1.6 billion.
Ronny Lau, Public Policy Advisor, February 13, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)