Advocacy Alert: Feb. 2, 2010

President Obama Releases FY11 Budget Details with Focus on Deficit Reduction

Yesterday morning President Obama released the spending details of his $3.83 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2011 (FY11). The proposal calls for nearly $23 billion in cuts and terminations of or reductions to 126 programs.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Office of Museum Services (OMS)—which supports our nation’s 17,500+ museums through a variety of competitive grant programs—is level funded at $35 million. Unfortunately not all programs that support museums were spared from funding cuts or termination in this year where the president’s focus was to achieve a freeze on non-security related discretionary spending. The president’s budget proposal is the opening move in the annual appropriations process. It remains to be seen how Congress will react to the proposed cuts and changes and what funding will ultimately comprise the final FY11 federal spending bills.

"While we are relieved that IMLS funding remained level given the current economic climate, we continue to be disappointed that museums are not more valued in the federal budget," said AAM President Ford W. Bell. “Museums are essential elements in our educational infrastructure, and in recent months museums all across the country have stepped up to provide social and public services that local governments are no longer able to provide. The impetus is now on us as a field to better communicate the value we bring to communities everywhere to federal lawmakers. AAM is providing the key opportunity to do just that with Museums Advocacy Day 2010. I hope to see a representative of every museum in Washington, D.C., in March."

Learn more and register for Museums Advocacy Day 2010 !

Budget Highlights:

  • IMLS’ Office of Museum Services: $35 million (level funding to FY10 and FY09 enacted funding for national programs).
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): $161,315,000 (a decrease of $6,185,000 from FY10 enacted funding).
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA): $161,315,000 (a decrease of $6,185,000 from FY10 enacted funding).
  • Arts in Education Programs at the Department of Education: An exact amount for Arts in Education grant funds is unclear at this time as the FY11 budget request consolidates 38 K-12 programs, including Arts in Education and Teaching American History grant programs, into several new programs under the category of “Effective Teaching and Learning for Well-Rounded Education,” with proposed funding of $265 million for programs in that category overall. As proposed by the president, new programs also include a $500 million Investing in Innovation Fund that can provide grants to partnerships between schools and nonprofit organizations for improving educational outcomes for students. Arts in Education Grants were funded at $40 million in FY10.
  • National Science Foundation educational programs: $892,000,000 (an increase of $19 million over FY10 enacted funding). The proposed budget also includes funding for the Informal Science Education Program of $64.4 million ($1.6 million less than FY10). These funds support formal and informal learning experiences designed to increase interest and engagement in the understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  • National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund: $54.5 million (a $25 million decrease from FY10 funding), including zero funding for Save America's Treasures and Preserve America grant programs, a combined $30 million cut in funding.
  • National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs and Commission on Fine Arts: $4.5 million (a $5 million cut compared to FY10 enacted funding) and $5 million (also a $5 million cut compared to FY10 enacted funding).
  • Indian Arts and Craft Board at the Department of the Interior: $1 million (no change from FY10 enacted funding).