A colorfully decorated art room with grey cabinets and a sink.This Is Our Moment

Reimagining Education with New Federal Funding

If the pandemic is a mirror, what is possible for youth when we see present inequities and recognize our capacity for change?

If the pandemic is a portal, what is possible for youth when we commit to moving through it, “ready to imagine another world?”

If the pandemic is a call to action, what is possible for youth when we answer with courage, curiosity, and open hearts?

New, once-in-a-lifetime federal funding for education creates an opportunity to actualize holistic learning that features the arts if we act together. As a well-rounded subject area included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), arts education programs are eligible to apply for these funds, under fifteen specific status of allowable use. Join AEC in learning more about federal education funding and connecting with school district leadership to advocate for investments in arts education.

What is ESSER?

On March 12, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. This legislation includes a substantial round of Elementary and Secondary Relief funding (ESSER). This third round of ESSER funding, ESSER III, totals $126,000,000,000 for K-12 education. We’ve literally never typed so many zeros before!!! This will provide districts with nearly eight times the normal amount of dollars they would have to spend in their fiscal year between 2021 and 2024.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has great resources for how to seek ESSER and Title IV A funding. There is relevant information in these guides for all arts disciplines.

Want more arts advocacy material? Check out AEC’s October 2020 post “Ways to Advocate for Arts Ed During COVID.”

Take action!

  1. Share AEC’s recommendations for arts education investments with your school district leadership. Thank you to the 25 partner organizations who endorsed these!
  2. Reach out to Yael Silk or Anqwenique Kinsel for advocacy support or to share your wins!
  3. Encourage your school district to adopt the Arts ARE Education Resolution
  4. Sign the Arts ARE Education Pledge

Thank you for joining us! Together, we will unlock the transformative power of the arts.