“How will the next version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) support access to the arts as part of a well-rounded education for every child?,” asks Heather Noonan in an April 28 blog entry at the California Alliance for Arts Education website. The Senate committee in charge of the next ESEA is working on a draft bill, expected to be ready by June, and Noonan strongly urges arts advocates to “weigh in now, marshaling our best arguments” so that early talks on the Hill will incorporate ideas that will lay the foundation for the final bill. Noonan is vice president for advocacy for the League of American Orchestras and co-chair of the ad-hoc National Arts Education Policy Working Group. On the California Alliance site, Noonan writes that three broad areas currently being considered for the bill—assessments of subjects beyond English, language, and math; Arts in Education funding being merged with other funding areas; and new resources for afterschool and extended-day learning—present opportunities, but also concerns because “all three are based on the assumption that state and local leaders would be incentivized to choose the arts when crafting applications to the U.S. Department of Education and forming assessment plans.” Read the complete text here.

Posted April 29, 2010