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Senate Passes Every Child Achieves Act, with Music and Arts as Core Subjects, in Tact

Mike Lawson • News • July 16, 2015

NAfME announced that the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization proposal, the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177).

RESTON, VA (July 16, 2015)—The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is deeply pleased with this afternoon’s development that the United States Senate has passed its bipartisan Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization proposal, the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), by a final vote count of 81 to 17. The Senate’s action today is an important step forward in ensuring that all students—regardless of their socioeconomic status—experience the demonstrable positive impact that music education has on learning and life.

By naming music and arts as core subjects in the Every Child Achieves Act, the Senate has acknowledged and begun to address the national problem of the narrowing of the curriculum that has taken place under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for more than a decade now.

“The music education community has poured its blood, sweat, and tears into getting the Senate’s bill to this point,” said Chris Woodside, NAfME Assistant Executive Director. “More than 14,000 letters have been sent to Capitol Hill on behalf of music teachers and students. There is bipartisan support for music and arts in this legislation—senators from across the country are acknowledging that these subjects should be national education priorities. That’s really big, and we’re grateful.”

With the U.S. House of Representatives having successfully cleared its own Student Success Act (H.R. 5) ESEA reauthorization proposal last week, all eyes now turn to a pending conference committee process between the two chambers. NAfME and the music education community at-large will continue to play an active role in advocating for the inclusion of music and arts in any final version of the legislation.

“It is our strong hope that a motivated Congress will remain focused on ensuring that music education orchestrates success in the lives of all students throughout America,” said Michael Butera, NAfME Executive Director and CEO. “Music energizes and elevates, it makes schools better, and it creates better employees and citizens, later on in life. We look forward to working with Congress to get a good bill across the finish line.”

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