U.S. House Appropriations Committee Labor-HHS-Education Bill: Key Programs of Interest to Music Education Advocates

Photo: iStockPhoto / Miralex

On June 30, the House Appropriations Committee approved its Labor-HHS-Education bill for FY 2023, moving all 12 government funding bills to the full House for consideration—an important first step in the appropriations process. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is set to receive $86.6 billion in discretionary funding, which is an $11.3 billion (15%) increase over FY22 funding, but still falls $1.6 billion short of the President’s request. The Appropriations Committee provided a detailed report of their Labor-HHS-Education bill, and here are key programs of interest to NAfME and our members:

Title I—The largest source of federal funding for schools serving economically disadvantaged students, Title I-A would receive $20.5 billion, a $3 billion (17%) increase over FY22 funding. Within Title I, the Labor-HHS-Education bill also funds a new program targeted to children and youth in foster care. The new program would provide grants to match children and youth in foster care with mentors and tutors to improve student outcomes. The Children and Youth in Foster Care program would receive $18.8 million. NAfME supports this new program and the 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—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 would receive $2.27 billion, a $100 million (5%) 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.” NAfME supports this proposed increase to Title II-A.

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 only been able to award one out of every three grant applications, reflecting substantial unmet demand for community learning centers. The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers would receive $1.4 billion, a $120 million (9%) increase over FY22 funding. NAfME supports the proposed increase to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which will support expanding the grant program, and is expected to serve an additional 120,000 students than in FY22.

Title IV, Part AA 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 proved itself to be the federal funding stream most commonly used for providing supplemental instruction for music and arts education. Title IV-A would be funded at $1.35 billion, a $75 million (6%) increase over FY22 funding. NAfME supports the proposed increase to Title IV-A, which would increase student access to a well-rounded education, including music; bolster school mental health programs; and support the effective use of technology in the classroom.

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 would be funded at $39 million, a $2 million (5%) increase over FY22 funding. NAfME supports this proposed increase, which would provide evidence-based instructional art materials and programs at a national level and bolster the skills and expertise of arts educators who work with low-income and children with disabilities.  

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, the Appropriations Committee’s Education Bill funds IDEA Part B at $16.3 billion in FY23, a $3 billion (22%) increase over FY22 funding levels.

On July 20, the House of Representatives took the next step in the appropriations process, voting to pass a 6-bill government funding package called a “minibus” (as opposed to the full 12-bill omnibus package). The minibus package did not include the Labor-HHS-Education bill, so the amount of funding the House of Representatives will allocate to education related programs has not yet been finalized. Stay tuned for updates on appropriations and other ways that you and your fellow music educators can be advocates for the profession! Throughout this process NAfME will continue to be a voice for music educators, advocating on their behalf for robust federal support of music education programs.


August 8, 2022. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)