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Home > About > News and Events > News > Field News > House Passes Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

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House Passes Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

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Jul 14, 2015

Last week, in a 218-213 vote, with no Democratic support, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5 – the house’s bill for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as the No Child Left Behind Act). The Senate is now considering ESEA reauthorization, including amendments that will provide increased federal support for arts education.

The house bill contains provisions that support the arts and arts practitioners, but the bill, according to critics, will in general lead to an increased disparity in access to quality public education.  According to secretary of education Arne Duncan, “at a time when our public schools are more diverse than ever before and our nation’s welfare depends to an unprecedented degree on developing the potential of every student in America, we must demand an education law that provides meaningful accountability and upholds principles of equity and excellence for all students. We urge Congress to pass a law that does just that.”

The language in the Senate ESEA reauthorization suggests that the under the bill the arts are considered a core academic subject. This is a crucial distinction, as being designated a “core academic subject” positions arts programs as potential recipients of Local Competitive Grants, expanded learning time, and other federally-allotted benefits.

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