New Federal K-12 Education Bill Signed into Law

Thursday, December 10, 2015

In a speedy few weeks, Congress passed bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in landslide votes: 85-12 in the U.S. Senate and 359-64 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Today, the President signed the bill into law in a ceremony attended by a number of education leaders from across the country, including Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert L. Lynch. Read his statement here.

This authorization spans from FY2017 through FY2020, ushering in a new era of education in America with increased local control and state-level accountability, and also new opportunities for arts education, including:

  • Dedicated funding for arts education through the “Assistance for Arts Education” grant program;
  • Inclusion of the arts in the “Well-Rounded Education” definition with over a dozen references in the bill ensuring among other things that the arts continue to be eligible for Title I funds - the largest federal funding source to local educational agencies and schools;
  • Integration of the arts in STEM programs – recognized in the field as “STEM to STEAM.”

Check-out detailed information on arts education provisions included in the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from Americans for the Arts' staff on ARTSBlog here.