Music Education Action Alert

9/11/17

Update on the ongoing effort to support funding for the Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant Program (SSAEG) and urgent request for action.

This week the House of Representatives will continue a massive appropriations bill (referred to as an “omnibus” bill) that grouped most of the individual bills into one. Included in the package is the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill which includes funding for the SSAEG program. The program actually receives an increase of $100 million dollars for FY 2018, yet the total is only a third of the amount authorized by Congress when it passed ESSA. Our good friend and Arts Education Champion, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, will offer an amendment to the appropriations bill early next week in support of providing students with a well-rounded education and the importance of the SSAEG program in fulfilling that goal. It recognizes the need for Congress to expand the funding for the program in the future to satisfy the intent of Congress in the law (ESSA). While this amendment does not increase funding beyond what the House has already approved for FY 2018, it is highly significant to include language in this appropriations bill that Congress should move toward full funding for SSAEG as authorized.

NAMM members are encouraged to contact your representatives in the US House of Representatives (not your US Senators since this is a House bill) to ask them to support the Bonamici amendment. A suggested message is provided below. Find your representatives contact information here. If possible, please send the email as soon as possible and no later than close of business Tuesday, September 12. It is important to use this opportunity to show our appreciation and support for Congresswoman Bonamici’s great work.

We envision a world in which the joy of music making is a precious element of daily living for everyone; a world in which every child has a deep desire to learn music and a recognized right to be taught; and in which every adult is a passionate champion and defender of that right. Thank you for taking action to help to make this vision a reality.

EMAIL TEXT TO SEND TO YOUR HOUSE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

Subject line: Support Bonamici Amendment 136

Dear (Representative),

As the House of Representatives continues deliberations on the Omnibus appropriations bill, we urge you to support the Bonamici Amendment 136 to the Labor-HHS-Education part of the bill, specifically the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant Program in Title IV, Part A. This amendment does not involve additional funding, but it reinforces the need for continued support by Congress to reach the full authorized level of funding in ESSA and satisfy the intent of Congress in the law. The SSAEG program is a major part of ESSA that advances the law’s intent of providing a well-rounded education for all students and a path to learning that includes music education. As a NAMM member and constituent, this amendment is critically important to our organization’s mission, and we urge support of Bonamici Amendment 136. We hope we can count on your support.

Sincerely,

(Name)

(Name of Business)