On March 28, President Biden released his budget request for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), which runs October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023. The budget request serves as a statement of the administration’s priorities and is a starting point for budget and appropriations discussions in Congress, which will ultimately pass federal spending legislation for FY23.
The President’s budget would increase the Department of Education (ED) funding by a historic amount, requesting an additional $12.9 billion (17% increase) over FY22 funding. This brings ED total funding to $88.3 billion. Although the overall budget saw increases, there are budget cuts within this request. These budget cuts have been deemed “artificial” by the Biden Administration and ED. This is because the FY23 budget request was finalized prior to Congress passing the FY22 budget (which raised funding for Titles II and IV), making the funding amount requested in FY23 appear to be a decrease. The Biden Administration has stated they support the increased FY22 funding levels, but they were unable to reflect that in their budget request.
Title I, Part A—The largest source of federal funding for schools serving economically disadvantaged students. Title I-A would receive $36.5 billion, a $19 billion (17%) increase over FY 22 funding. NAfME supports this proposed increase to Title I-A, which would allow for an increased level of supplemental support in providing a well-rounded education that includes music.
Title II, Part A—Funding set aside for the professional development of teachers, principals, and school leaders. Title II-A does not receive an increase in the President’s FY23 budget request. Title II-A would be funded at $2.17 billion, a $22 million (1%) decrease from FY22 funding.
Title IV, Part A—Funding used to support block grants aimed at improving student academic achievement. Through these block grants, Title IV-A proved itself to be the federal funding stream most commonly used for providing supplemental instruction for music and arts education. Unfortunately, this program would also see a decrease in funding under the President’s current budget request. Title IV-A would be funded at $1.22 billion, a $60 million (5%) decrease from FY22 funding
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)—Passed in 1975, IDEA mandates that all students, regardless of ability, be provided a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. President Biden’s budget takes an important first step towards “full-funding” for IDEA. The President’s budget requests $16.3 billion in FY23 for IDEA, a $3.3 billion (20%) increase over FY22 funding levels.
The funding increases outlined in the President’s budget would give schools additional support in providing music education for students, particularly those with disabilities and/or attending under-resourced schools. NAfME supports those increases and will urge Congress to seek additional funding for Titles II and IV in its FY23 Appropriations bill.
April 19, 2022. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)