Final FY11 Outcome

by Laurie Baskin

in Advocacy

As you probably know, Congress finally reached an agreement on FY 11 spending late in the day last Friday, averting at the last moment, a federal government shutdown.

Today we were able to learn the breakdown of funding included in that bill:

  • Both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are funded at $155 million.
  • Arts education at the U.S. Department of Education will receive $25.5 million. This amount provides enough to cover continuation funds for current grantees.
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting levels are: $430 million in FY 11, $445 million in FY 12 and FY 13 (CPB is forward-funded.)

All of these lines are subject to an across-the-board cut of 0.2%.

This agreement covers the rest of FY 11 funding, and there will be votes in the House tomorrow and the Senate on Thursday.

In February, the House passed a $43 million cut (25%) to the NEA. The Senate did not pass that bill. The $155 million funding level is a $12.5 million cut from the current level of $167.5 million, and while we would like to avoid any decrease, this allocation is higher than House Appropriators initially approved ($145 million) and higher than the President’s funding request for FY 12 ($146.5 million).

Arts in Education had been completely zeroed in the Continuing Resolutions this year and the $25.5 million allocation allows for continued funding of current multi-year grant recipients.

Given the climate in Washington, these allocations are higher than had been anticipated. We have some champions in Congress and we owe them our thanks:

NEA funding:
Representative Mike Simpson (R-2-ID)
Representative Louise Slaughter (D-28-NY)
Representative Todd Platts (R-19-PA)
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

Arts Education funding:
Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Arts advocates across the country truly made a difference – Congress restored a portion of Arts Education funds and protected the NEA from deeper cuts. Grassroots advocates mobilized and articulated the value of NEA and Arts Education funding and your voices were heard in Washington! Once this week’s votes are complete, Congress will turn to FY 12 funding and it is important to remain engaged and involved as Congress considers funding for next year.