Assistance for Arts in Education (AAE) Program Overview

History of the AAE Program 

When Congress approved the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended (ESEA), it authorized the Arts in Education program (AIE) to pursue “disseminating information about model school-based arts education programs.”

Under the AIE program, the Department implemented three different grant competitions in alignment with the statutory requirements: Arts in Education Development and Dissemination (AAEDD), Professional Development for Arts Educators (PDAE), and the Arts in Education National Program (AENP).

You can learn more about these programs by clicking here.

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, which reauthorized ESEA, the arts and music were added as subjects to the definition of a well-rounded education.

To recognize and encourage different, creative, and innovative approaches that districts, schools, national arts organizations, and other entities use to increase student access to the arts and integrate arts into the learning process, the Department offered AAE as one, single grant program in 2021.

The AAE is the only dedicated federal funding source for arts education through the U.S. Department of Education. AAE is managed by the Well-Rounded Education (WRE) Program Division, in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE).

Legislation & Regulations

Authorizing legislation and regulations for the AAE can be found by clicking the links below:


Title IV, Part F, Subpart 4 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR)