AFTA Announces Huge Arts Education Win in Congress

Yesterday, November 19, 2015, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) reported on the amendment added to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:

Huge Arts Education Win in Congress Today

For arts education proponents, Thanksgiving came early this year.

In the midst of the biggest shakeup of federal education law in over a decade, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) successfully added an amendment today to the rewrite of the nation’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation that will integrate the arts into STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math).

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici at the markup hearing
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici at the markup hearing

This is of particular significance because her amendment was unanimously adopted by voice vote by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee during today’s mark-up of the final ESEA bill. The bill next goes to the House and Senate for final (and likely) passage in early December before landing on the President’s desk.

The amendment specifically citing the arts states: “integrating other academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM programs to increase participation in STEM, improve attainment of STEM-related skills, and promote well-rounded education;”

After many years of anticipation, this bipartisan legislation will set new K-12 education policies impacting the nation’s 100,000 schools across the country.

Rep. Bonamici is the Co-Chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and a proud recipient of Arts Action Fund PAC support.

Thanks to you and all of our members who signed our arts education petitions to Congress and to everyone who contributed to the Arts Action Fund PAC, which helps support Congressional arts champions like Suzanne Bonamici.