Press Releases

Congressman David Scott Introduces Legislation for Inclusive Arts Education

WASHINGTONToday, Congressman David Scott (GA-13), was joined by Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Maxwell Frost (FL-10), and Donald M. Payne Jr. (NJ-10) to introduce the Reimagining Inclusive Arts Education Act. This critical piece of legislation provides professional development grants to arts educators and creative arts therapists to best include students with disabilities.

“Students, regardless of ability or disability, deserve the right to receive a well-rounded and comprehensive education—one that is inclusive of music and arts,” said Congressman David Scott. “From music to the visual arts, theater and dance, access to arts education has shown to inspire young learners to think critically and build socialization skills with their peers. This is particularly important for students with disabilities who may struggle with finding ways to express themselves. For this reason, the Reimagining Inclusive Arts Education Act will equip arts educators and creative art therapists with the knowledge and skills to make their content accessible for all students to actively participate together.”

“Art programs in schools can provide important benefits for intellectual development - especially for young people with disabilities,” said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon. “Unfortunately, many schools lack basic resources and funding to maintain these programs. I’m proud to partner with Reps. Scott, Frost, and Payne on this legislation to help our schools fill the funding gaps, ensure equitable accessibility for students with disabilities, and set up our children for success in the future.”

“I am proud to cosponsor the Reimagining Inclusive Arts Education Act to help our schools become more inclusive,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “Students with disabilities need opportunities to express themselves through the arts. This bill would ensure art teachers have resources to make their curriculum more inclusive and provide opportunities to students with disabilities.”

“As someone who grew up with music as part of my daily life, I know just how critical the arts are to self-expression and its ability to unite our community. Alongside Reps. Scott, Scanlon, and Payne, I’m proud to support the Reimaging Inclusive Arts Education Act to help expand the power of music and arts to ensure that arts education can reach every student who wants it,” said Rep. Maxwell Frost. “This legislation is an inclusive labor of love that will support our schools and help educators put arts, theater, dance, music, and more into the hands of students with disabilities."

“The American Music Therapy Association is very pleased to support the Reimagining Inclusive Arts Education Act," stated Judy Simpson, Director of Government Relations. "This important legislation will support innovative and inclusive creative arts therapies for children with disabilities and will expand unique learning opportunities for students to access education and achieve academic goals."

“The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is a proud supporter of the Reimagining Inclusive Arts Education Act, introduced by Congressman David Scott (GA-13). This legislation is a monumental stride towards creating an inclusive environment where every child, regardless of circumstances, can participate in the transformative power of music. By prioritizing the adaptation of classroom materials and lessons, this bill not only acknowledges the unique needs of children with disabilities but also promotes equity within the classroom. The Reimagining Inclusive Arts Education Act aligns with NAfME’s commitment to advocating for equitable access to music education and supports inclusive practices where the diverse voices of every learner are valued. This legislation is a testament to the belief that music education MUST be accessible to all, including students with disabilities. NAfME urges the 118th Congress to consider and adopt this legislation, which supports an inclusive educational landscape where every student can embrace the joy and significance that music brings to their lives," said Scott R. Sheehan, NAfME President

Endorsing Organizations:

Endorsing Organizations: National Association for Music Educators, Educational Theatre Association, American Music Therapy Association, National Art Education Association, Educational Theatre Association, National Dance Education Organization, Americans for the Arts, National Center for Learning Disabilities, The National Down Syndrome Congress, Council of Administrators of Special Education, Music Teachers National Association, National Media Arts Education Association, Kindermusik International, Hip-Hop Education Center, Percussive Arts Society, J.W. Pepper, JazzSLAM, Kindermusik International, Music Travel Consultants, Georgia Music Educators Association, Michigan Music Educators Association, Montana Music Educators Association, Utah Music Educators Association, Virginia Music Educators Association, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, Rhode Island Music Educators Association, New York State School Music Association, New Hampshire Music Educators Association, Ohio Music Educators Association, Florida Music Education Association, North Carolina Music Education Association, Oregon Music Education Association, Arts Alliance Illinois, Arts Ed NJ, Arts North Carolina, Ingenuity Inc., TASH, Cure SMA, The Viscardi Center and Henry Viscardi School, Mental Health Association of Central Florida, The Feierabend Association for Music Education, The Lang Lang International Music Foundation,  National Music Council of the United States, Guitars and Ukes in the Classroom, League of American Orchestras, Young Audiences Arts for Learning, Music Will.

Full text of the bill can be accessed HERE.