Americans for the Arts president and CEO Robert L. Lynch issued the following statement in response to Elisabeth P. “Betsy” DeVos’s confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Education:
“Americans for the Arts believes that every child should have access to a well-rounded education that includes the arts. Ms. DeVos’s background in the school choice movement and her testimony before the Senate education committee suggests policies that may negatively impact support of the arts through federal provisions, state policies, and local implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A move away from the ESSA legislation towards privatization or a voucher system would threaten the funding and resources necessary to realize the goal of equity in access to arts education for America’s students. Ms. DeVos has long been an ardent supporter of the arts and arts education through her personal and family philanthropy. Americans for the Arts encourages the continuation of this support in advancing public policies that support the arts in the nation’s public school system.
“Americans for the Arts believes that a continued investment in the U.S. Department of Education and strong support of the public school system is the best way to ensure that all students—in every community across the country—receive a high-quality arts education. Americans for the Arts will continue to aggressively pursue federal, state, and local policies that support the arts as part of the school curriculum in all schools—public and private.”