August 1, 2019
Current and Future Music Educators Rally Support on Capitol Hill
On June 19, music educators gathered in the Dirksen Senate Office Building for the 2019 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Hill Day. More than 320 state music education association leaders, NAfME Collegiate members, and members of the Music Education Policy Roundtable advocated for the importance of music education to senators and representatives in Congress. This annual event provides an opportunity for stakeholders in the music teaching profession to rally on Capitol Hill, illuminating their cause on the frontstage of federal policymaking. NAfME is a Coalition affiliate.
Attendees represented all fifty states, as well as Washington (D.C.) Music Education Association and Western Music Education Association (India). While collegiates have long been integral to the success of this event, this year 140 future music educators from 37 states walked the halls of Congress—an all-time high. Prior to Hill Day, these students participated in an advocacy and leadership training summit, where leaders in the field shared proven practices for local, state, and national level advocacy efforts.
Hill Day attendees held more than 200 meetings with congressional offices and provided the following survey feedback:
- Over 60% of offices said they supported increased federal funding for education;
- Nearly three-fourths of all offices supported Title IV-A funding;
- And nearly two-thirds of offices expressed interest in cosponsoring the GAAME Act with two offices (Rep. Bobby Rush of IL and Rep. G.K. Butterfield of NC) cosponsoring immediately after Hill Day.