Federal USDOE Arts Education Funding Cut, but Not Eliminated

There are many people across the country who have been waiting on tenterhooks to find out whether or not arts education funding at the United States Department of Education would be zeroed out. It includes funding for the Kennedy Center, VSA Arts, and the competitive grant programs: Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination and Professional Development for Arts Education.

I am very happy to report that the $25 million that the Senate had proposed, which is a cut from $40 million, is in the budget agreement.

A lot of people dug in to advocate for these programs, including most of the grantees and their partner schools. However, recognition must be paid for the leadership and exemplary work provided by Narric Rome, Senior Director of Federal Affairs and Arts Education, and Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy, League of American Orchestras.

Of course, a big word of thanks must also be paid to all of the elected officials who supported arts education.

And, besides a big sigh of relief, I feel compelled to note that the work that went into advocating for these programs augurs well for the future, if we remain determined to build upon this moment, rather than recede back into the implementation of programs and nurturing of our individual organizations.

Stay tuned…


One response to “Federal USDOE Arts Education Funding Cut, but Not Eliminated”

  1. Wonderful news! I’m one of those people (grant Project Director) who has been “waiting on tenterhooks” for the final word on funding for FY2011. We are currently in the second year of a PDAE arts integration project with Shelby County Schools in Memphis, TN, and our teachers, community partners and arts integration consultants can now breathe a huge sigh of relief. A zeroing out of funds would have caused layoffs of key project staff, reductions in force at local arts organizations and the discontinuation of a highly successful arts integration program in 16 high poverty schools. You are correct when you state we need to seize the moment and continue to report the notable results of PDAE and AEMDD projects across the country. Now is definitely not the time to simply be about our business…we’re all in this together!