|Pushing the President's NEA Budget Forward|
April 10, President Obama submitted his fiscal year 2014 budget recommendations
to Congress. For the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the administration
proposes $154.5 million in funding. This figure represents an increase of
almost $9 million above the FY2013 funding level. This amount is even more
significant when one considers sequestration, which reduced the NEA's budget
for FY2013 from $146 million to $139 million.
that the administration has submitted its recommendations to Congress, the legislative
branch is expected to begin working quickly on its FY2014 appropriations bills.
The strong support the NEA received from the administration is particularly
significant in the House of Representatives, where last year, that chamber
proposed a funding level of $132 million.
Although the House bill has not been released yet, we are expecting a
similar funding level to be proposed this year. When the bill is finalized, we encourage everyone—but particularly those who have relationships with members of the House
Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies,
which has jurisdiction over the NEA's budget—to weigh in with those offices.
is a list of the members of that subcommittee:
Simpson (ID), Chairman
Herrera Beutler (WA)
Moran (VA), Ranking Member
reaching out to these offices, we should follow up on two topics that are of primary interest to Congress. One is the level of NEA funding. We want Congress to support the president's request of $154 million. Second is the federal-state collaboration to advance arts learning. Both the NEA and the U.S. Department of Education continue to engage in serious discussions about how to effectively teach the arts in schools and, to a broader extent, what role arts education should have in the curriculum. NASAA and its members must communicate to members of Congress and staff about the importance of arts education programs as well as the critical role state arts agencies have in developing effective arts education programs. At NASAA's board meeting last month, the directors approved a set of policy objectives, which will be distributed soon, for NASAA to pursue in support of state arts agencies' federal policy interests in arts education. We encourage you to use these objectives to advocate for robust arts education programs at the Department of Education and the NEA.
As always, we at NASAA are available to help you
design talking points or strategies for your conversations with these crucial
offices. We will continue to monitor closely developments related to the FY2014
budget and will make you aware of any news.