In addition to continuing to build our relationships with our congressional representatives, our Hill Day meetings were focused on seeking full authorization-level appropriations for several areas of funding under ESSA, including Title I-A, Title II-A, and, most importantly, Title IV. Increased Title IV funding this year (and hopefully continuing into the next fiscal year) will result in grants allocated to every school district that can be used to expand well-rounded educational programs, including music programs. We were additionally seeking support for the Guaranteeing Access to Arts and Music Education (GAAME) Act, which had been introduced in the house the previous week. This legislation would give districts greater flexibility in their use of Title I funds, allowing for more support of fine arts programs.
The Tennessee delegation met with the offices of Representatives Black, Cooper, Kustoff, and Roe, as well as staffers for Senators Alexander and Corker. TMEA members are encouraged to follow up on our face-to-face meetings. Please consider sending your representative and both senators messages that their constituents support funding and access for music in our schools.