Take Action: FY2011 Spending Bill Eliminates Arts Ed; NEA Funds at Risk

March 4, 2011
From: Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 10:11

TAKE ACTION: FY2011 Spending Bill Eliminates Arts Ed; NEA Funds at Risk

The U.S. House and Senate this week passed another short-term continuing resolution for fiscal year 2011, signed into law by the president, to fund the federal government through March 18. The new funding bill immediately cuts $4 billion in domestic spending, including the elimination of the $40 million in the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education program, which provides funds for the Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination and Professional Development competitive grants, and the VSA and Kennedy Center arts education programs. The elimination of these funds in FY2011 jeopardizes funding for multiyear projects already in place by terminating funding for the 2011-2012 school year and beyond. We hope to see these funds reinstated in the final, full-year 2011 continuing resolution.

Last month, the House of Representatives passed a full-year FY2011 continuing resolution with a $43 million reduction in funding to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and elimination as well of the Arts in Education program funding. The Senate has not yet acted.

This is not the last word on FY2011 funding. The final outcome has yet to be decided as the House and Senate negotiate on the full-year FY2011 budget resolution to carry federal spending through the remaining months of the current fiscal year.

Your help is needed to ensure that federal funding is reinstated for the Arts in Education program and that the funds cut by the House for the National Endowment for the Arts are restored. As debate continues over the next week or two, your advocacy is essential. Please speak up for saving arts funding in the final FY2011 appropriations bill.

Contact your senators NOW to ask for restoration of FY2011 funding for the NEA and the Arts in Education program:

  • Restore FY2011 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to ensure that NEA funding for the current year is not reduced to the level passed by the House, with its cut of funding from the 2010 level of $167.5 million down to a proposed level of $124.5 million.
  • Reinstate the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education, which provides vital federal leadership and funding that improve schools, teaching and student learning. Cuts to this program will take away funding for multiyear programs that are already in progress!

You may contact your senators by e-mail at http://www3.capwiz.com/mygov/dbq/officials/ or by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Thank you for your advocacy and support of our efforts at NASAA to safeguard federal arts funds. Please let us know what you hear back from your contacts on Capitol Hill. Your partnership in our advocacy effort is key to our collective success.