Greetings Arts Advocates!
The 2022 Maryland General Assembly began in January and we are thrilled to be working alongside our statewide partner, Arts Education in Maryland Schools. This year, we are advocating for House Bill 0678: Arts Equity in Education Act, a transformative bill sponsored by Delegate Michele Guyton.
What is the Arts Equity in Education Act:
The Arts Equity in Education Act (AEEA) dedicates $25 million, annually, to supplement school district efforts in meeting COMAR’s requirements and closing equity gaps. Districts would be able to request funding to supplement their existing efforts to meet COMAR Fine Arts regulations and use funds to hire more staff, provide teacher professional development, or purchase equipment/materials of instruction. The Maryland State Department of Education would review district requests and administer funding based on the unique needs of the communities they serve.
Why it’s important:
While the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future did increase funding for districts statewide, it did not include dedicated funding for specific instructional subjects like the arts. As you know, the arts are a required core subject area under the state’s education regulations in COMAR Sec. 13a.04.16.03. However, these regulations are currently an unfunded mandate. Lack of dedicated funding contributes to inequitable access to the arts statewide, especially in districts with high concentrations of poverty. This bill takes the transformative step of allocating funds to ensure that schools can meet COMAR’s requirements for a core subject area. For more information about HB 678, go to https://bit.ly/HB678FAQS
How you can help:
HB 0678: Arts Equity in Education Act is scheduled for a hearing on February, 24 at 1pm. We need to let members of the House Ways and Means Education Subcommittee know why the arts matter to us. Take a minute to send an email in support – see sample email below!
- ALONZO T. WASHINGTON
Democrat, District 22, Prince George’s County
Chair (410) 841-3652, (301) 858-3652
- ERIC D. EBERSOLE
Democrat, District 12, Baltimore County & Howard County
- WAYNE A. HARTMAN
Republican, District 38C, Wicomico & Worcester Counties
- KEVIN B. HORNBERGER
Republican, District 35A, Cecil County
- R. JULIAN IVEY
Democrat, District 47A, Prince George’s County
- DANA C. JONES
Democrat, District 30A, Anne Arundel County
- JULIE PALAKOVICH CARR
Democrat, District 17, Montgomery County
- APRIL R. ROSE
Republican, District 5, Carroll County
- HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER – MEMBER OF WAYS AND MEANS
ERIC G. LUEDTKE
Democrat, District 14, Montgomery County
I am writing to you to ask for your support of House Bill 678 “Arts Equity in Education Act.” This bill would provide vital funding to Maryland’s school districts to equitably increase Maryland’s public school students’ access to a core subject area. The $25 million proposed in the bill would add to the total resources available to schools, supplementing schools’ funding, not supplanting it. Further, after 2026 the Governor will be mandated to include appropriate funding in the annual budget to meet the mandates in COMAR. This would make the regulations in COMAR regarding fine arts instruction into funded mandates. The fine arts are severely underfunded and most districts in Maryland lack meaningful access to areas such as dance and theater, despite all five of the fine arts disciplines being required by the regulations. I hope you will help to pass this bill and to fund the arts education experiences that Maryland’s students deserve under law. For more information about HB 678, go to https://bit.ly/HB678FAQS
Have questions? Send us an email: email@example.com