NAfME Joins Title IV, Part A Coalition in Calling for Fully Funding New Block Grant

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Today the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) stands with the Title IV, Part A Coalition to call on Congress to fully fund the Student Success and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG), an education funding program authorized in Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Of the many new “Well-Rounded Education” opportunities within the new ESSA, this new formula-funded block grant may be used in part to improve access to music education.

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NAfME All-National Honor Jazz Ensemble students perform in Nashville on October 28, 2015 at the Grand Ole Opry House.

Our music educators deliver an important role in enabling student success, and this new block grant would allow our educators to continue fulfilling this vital role.

Today the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) stands with the Title IV, Part A Coalition to call on Congress to fully fund the Student Success and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG), an education funding program authorized in Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Of the many new “Well-Rounded Education” opportunities within the new ESSA, this new formula-funded block grant may be used in part to improve access to music education, and in turn, to support not only student success, but also the promotion of constructive student engagement, problem solving, and conflict resolution.

“Last year, more than 14,000 music educators sent letters and made phone calls to their legislators on Capitol Hill to ensure not only the passage of ESSA, but also the enumeration of ‘music’ as a stand-alone subject in the ‘Well-Rounded Education’ provision, and they got both,” said Chris Woodside, NAfME’s Assistant Executive Director. “But the work is not done. Now we are in the thick of the work behind ensuring proper implementation and funding of ESSA’s provisions. A key part of that work is taking place with the Title IV, Part A Coalition.”

The Title IV, Part A Coalition is an alliance of more than 50 like-minded education groups working to urge Congress to fully fund this block grant.

“Our music educators deliver an important role in enabling student success, and this new block grant would allow our educators to continue fulfilling this vital role,” said Mike Blakeslee, NAfME’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “SSAEG provides a clear intent to support our nation’s schools through a ‘Well-Rounded Education,’ and serves a critical aspect in improving access to music education for all students, providing a broad array of enriched educational experiences.”

Joining legislators on the Hill today is NAfME member Brian Schneckenburger, Fine Arts Coordinator for Baltimore City Schools. Brian will discuss the critical need for access to a quality, classroom-based music education for all students and the benefits music brings to all students.

Today the Coalition will release letters to key Congressional leaders from more than 85 state and local organizations demanding full funding for SSAEG. These letters follow a letter signed by more than 150 national, state and local non-profit organizations that urged House and Senate Appropriators to fully fund SSAEG.

Details of the event:
Where: Upper Senate Park, Washington, D.C.
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00 pm

Speakers:

  •     Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  •     Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01)
  •     Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-05)
  •     Congresswoman Lucile, Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40)

Also featured:

  •     Brian Schneckenburger, NAfME/Maryland MEA member, Fine Arts Coordinator for Baltimore City Schools
  •     Western High School Choir to perform, under the direction of Ms. Robin Paige

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National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.

Follow NAfME on Twitter (twitter.com/nafme) and on Facebook (facebook.com/nafme).
For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at catherinah(at)nafme(dot)org or 703-860-4000, ext. 216.

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