NAMM delegates with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (fourth from left) during the 2015 NAMM Fly-in.

Congress Includes Music in Reauthorization of ESEA Act
Congress included both music and the arts as part of a well-rounded education in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Senate passed the bill on Dec. 9 with a vote of 85 to 12. The President signed the bill into law on Dec. 10.

In addition to explicitly listing music in the components of a well-rounded education, the "Every Student Succeeds Act" also protects students' "music" and "arts" class time and provides new opportunities for music and arts education through formula funding grants. NAMM, hundreds of NAMM members and music industry leaders have spent years meeting with Congressional leaders on the importance of every child having access to music in schools.

"We are grateful for the army of NAMM member advocates who have contributed to thousands of meetings with members of Congress over the years," said Mary Luehrsen, director of government affairs for NAMM. "They successfully drove the point home that music education is a vital element in a complete education for all children. With this new legislation, we will expand our advocacy efforts around the belief that indeed, every child succeeds with an opportunity to learn and grow with music."

"The efforts of hundreds of NAMM members have helped to influence this important shift in federal policy," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. "The passage of the 'Every Student Succeeds Act' provides a path for students across the country to access a well-rounded education that includes music and the arts."

NAMM specifically commended members of the ESEA conference committee, members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and the House Education and the Workforce Committee, for advancing legislation that will create new opportunities for a well-rounded education for all students. The reauthorization of the "Every Student Succeeds Act," will replace 2002's "No Child Left Behind Act.'

The new bill's inclusion of "music" and "arts" in the definition of a "well-rounded education" is a huge step forward for music education, as it connects to a variety of significant other provisions in "Every Student Succeeds Act."

The President signed the bill into law on Dec. 10. NAMM said it will continue to work to monitor and advocate for equity and access to music education as the new federal policy is implemented.