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Music Education Funding Scores A Key Victory With Passage Of New Package
Good news from Washington for music education and beyond: the president has signed the Labor-HHS-Education and Defense spending package for fiscal year 2019. This piece of legislation maintains funding for key music education programs and prevents a government shutdown.
The important role music education plays in our culture has been top-of-mind recently across the music community. Everyone from GRAMMY-nominated artists such as Ledisi, who defended the necessity of music education in a recent op-ed for The Sacramento Bee, to on-the-ground music educators like music teacher Melissa Salguero, who says her music education "sparked a passion for helping other people." Segura was named 2018 Music Educator Award GRAMMY Museum and the Recording Academy.
The latest bill will ensure inspired students, like the young Ledisi, and devoted music educators, like Salguero, continue to have funding for the programs that change their – and so many others' – lives.
The Senate packaged the education and defense spending bills together in order to streamline the process and meet the Oct. 1 fiscal deadline. The package was passed by the Senate last month by a landslide vote of 93-7, and then by the House Of Representatives by a 361-61 tally before landing on President Trump's desk with a lot riding on it's success.
In addition to the support it promises for music education, the new package also extends temporary funding of the National Endowment For The Arts. While the $29 Million dollars allocated to Arts In Education remains equal to the prior year amount, the U.S. Department of Education will receive a $581 Million increase in 2019.
The package also scores a bump in funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant, which marks providing students access to a well-rounded education – including music and the arts – as its primary area of support.
With so many hot-button issues facing lawmakers, it is important we stay active in communicated our perspectives as well as celebrate their successes, such as the passage of Labor-HHS-Education or the Music Modernization Act. Together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of music people of every age.