UPDATE (11/2/2016): Thank you to all those who participated in our Day of Action with the Title IV, Part A Coalition!
Last week, nearly 6,000 letters were sent to Congress advocating for fully funding the SSAE grant program; 900+ of those came from music education supporters!
Since the launch of the advocacy campaign in July, music advocates have sent over 3100 letters to Congress!
Join NAfME and the Title IV, Part A Coalition on October 26 for a Day of Action and urge Congress to fully fund the Title IV, Part A block grant!
The Title IV, Part A block grant is a new program created by the newly enacted and bipartisan “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA). The program, also known as the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant (SSAEG) program, will be utilized by states and school districts to provide students with a well-rounded education, which includes music education.
The Underfunding Threat
Despite being authorized at $1.65 billion within ESSA, the block grant is facing significant funding barriers from Congress. The Senate’s proposal only allocates $300 million for the block grant while the House’s allocation would provide $1 billion, both falling far short of the authorized level. If underfunded, school districts would be prevented from investing in meaningful areas of education, such as music and will be faced with the unnecessarily difficult choice of funding some programs over others.
In order to keep the pressure on Congress to fully fund the SSAEG program, NAfME has joined together with over a hundred organizations to form the Title IV, Part A coalition, working to urge Congress to provide maximum funding for the program.
We Need Your Help!
On October 26, we ask that you join educators and advocates all across the nation by doing one (or all!) of the following:
Send a letter to Congress
Use our easy advocacy tool to send a letter to Congress!
Tweet using the hashtag #MoreTitleIV and talk about the importance of fully funding Title IV, A and its importance to music education!
Here are some sample tweets you can use:
- .@[Senator] #MoreTitleIV funding means greater flexibility and more meaningful investments for local school districts!
- #MoreTitleIV funding provides schools the ability to give students a more complete, well rounded education. @[Senator]
- Every school would benefit from a fully funded Title IV, A grant; without it districts are forced to choose one program over another. #MoreTitleIV @[Senator]
Call your members in Congress
Call your Senators’ and Representative’s offices!
- Unsure what to say? – Here is a script you can use when speaking to staff member of the office.
- Unsure who your Representative is? – Visit the Find Your Representative tool!
NAfME and its members have been on the front lines in creating more opportunities for music education in ESSA. Our work continues to fully fund Title IV, Part A. Please join us!
Ronny Lau, Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, October 24, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)