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STEM to STEAM : Arts in Education Returns via OR Rep Bonamici


Arts in Education Returns via OR Rep Bonamici, Turns STEM to STEAM!

As you may know, congressional education leaders began a series of face-to-face meetings two weeks ago to hammer out remaining differences between House and Senate bills to reform K-12 education. The committee completed their work this afternoon.

In a conference committee meeting on November 19, arts education had a breakthrough moment. U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) offered an amendment to integrate the arts into the nation’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs. Rep. Bonamici, a co-chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, has tried to offer similar amendments in previous legislative efforts.

Today, Rep. Bonamici’s amendment to integrate the arts into STEM and promote a well-rounded education was approved unanimously by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee!

This is of particular significance because her amendment was unanimously adopted by voice vote by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee during today’s mark-up of the final ESEA bill. The bill next goes to the House and Senate for final (and likely) passage in early December before landing on the President’s desk.

After many years of anticipation, this bipartisan legislation will set new K-12 education policies impacting the nation’s 100,000 schools across the country.

Rep. Bonamici is the Co-Chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and a proud recipient of Arts Action Fund PAC support.

This amendment advances the status of the arts in the nation’s K-12 education system impacting 100,000 schools, 3 million teachers and 50 million students.

Rep. Bonamici at November 19 meeting

This amendment’s success comes on the heels of a Congressional STEAM Caucus event on Capitol Hill last week recognizing eight schools for their work to incorporate the arts along with STEM subjects.

There will be more legislative news to share on this Elementary & Secondary Education Act rewrite when the bill text is made available November 30th. Stay tuned for final votes as soon as the first week of December, bringing a new federal K-12 education law to the next generation of students.

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