Dear Friends, Colleagues, and MANY Members,
On Tuesday, the New York State Board of Regents unanimously endorsed the $1.6 billion state aid proposal along with their 2018 budget and legislative priorities. We are thrilled to report that for the first time ever the Regents designated the Museum Education Act as a budget priority and proposed $5 million to fund it.
Under their state budget priorities, the Regents describe this new program as:
Expanding Access to Education Programs through Cultural Institutions - Support the Museum Education Act and establish competitive grants to support cultural institutions that seek to establish or improve museum education programs designed to improve and support student learning opportunities, including supporting the development of local curricular aids.
And if this action was not sufficiently awesome on its own, the State Education Department released a video on today of Commissioner MaryEllen Elia's statement about how increasing equity has been the driving force behind everything SED does. In talking about equity, the Commissioner specifically mentions passing the Museum Education Act and linking museum education programs with pre k -12 schools to enable students to learn from the museums' "incredible collections".
We are grateful to Chancellor Betty Rosa, Regent Roger Tilles, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin and Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Education Mark Schaming for their support of museums in New York.
But, we're not quite home yet. To get these bills passed in the upcoming legislative session will require your help. We will soon be sending out new tools to help you call and meet with your legislators. We will also be selecting dates for you to join us in Albany to advocate for passage of the Museum Education Act.