The New York State Board of Regents has made the Museum Education Act (MEA) a Legislative Priority for 2016. The Act would provide museums and other eligible institutions access to grant funding to conduct curriculum-based educational programs for students and teachers in grades pre-kindergarten through grade twelve and adults enrolled in continuing education programs.
The grants are expected to be competitive in nature and could be used for a variety of curriculum-based educational programming, including funding for the transportation of students to museums or museum staff to classrooms.
“The Museum Education Act is a priority of the Board of Regents because it provides an essential funding mechanism that would allow museums to partner with their local school districts to provide curriculum based educational opportunities to students and adult learners alike,” Chair of the Regents’ Committee on Cultural Education Roger Tilles said in a statement sent to the press. “These competitive grants would allow museums to design and provide the unique, object-based educational opportunities that we know are so vital to our students’ success.”
The Museum Education Act is being sponsored in the State Senate by Senator Betty Little (R, Queensbury) and in the State Assembly by Assembly member Matthew Titone (D, Staten Island). In the Senate, the bill number is S5001; in the Assembly it’s bill A8199.
“I would like to personally thank Regent Roger Tilles and his colleagues for their support and leadership on this issue,” said Devin Lander the Executive Director of the Museum Association of New York (MANY). “Regent Tilles’ hard work on this vital piece of legislation has directly led to it becoming a Regents Legislative Priority for the 2016 Session.”
Efforts on a separate bill, to establish a New York State history commission have been stalled since the spring of 2014.