Music Education Policy Roundup – April 10, 2021

NAfME News

NAfME Congressional Briefing Recording Now Available

Held on March 24, 2021 by NAfME and the NAMM Foundation, this Capitol Hill briefing featured a panel of experts speaking about the ways in which music education supports students in their growth to become resilient and socially empowered individuals practiced in responsible decision-making. Click here to view the recording.

State and Federal News

State Officials Release Guide For Schools On How To Spend $7 Billion Pandemic Relief Funds

3/31/21 – “Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education are providing a roadmap for school districts on how to spend $7 billion in federal pandemic relief funds provided in the American Rescue Plan to address learning loss and other educational problems that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Local Assessments An Option If Statewide Tests Aren’t Viable During Pandemic, California Officials Signal

4/2/21 – “California education officials have been told verbally that the state may not need to submit a waiver application to the U.S. Department of Education, thus opening the door for more flexibility this spring when it comes to standardized testing, as school districts continue to navigate reopening plans during the pandemic.”

Pandemic’s K-12 Impacts Exacerbated By Pre-Existing Disability Disparities

4/2/21 – “The novel coronavirus pandemic has had a disparate impact on students with disabilities, who experienced a greater loss of instructional time alongside an increase in traumatic experiences, according to a new report from the Civil Rights Project.”

Survey: Even As Schools Reopen, Many Students Learn Remotely

4/7/21 – “Large numbers of students are not returning to the classroom even as more schools reopen for full-time, in-person learning, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Biden administration.

Ed Dept To Initiate Title IX Review, Propose New Rules

4/6/21 – “The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday it plans to launch a comprehensive review of Title IX regulations, including amendments issued under the Trump administration, carrying out a March 8 executive order from President Joe Biden.”

Can Schools Make Summer Programs More Fun, Effective By Focusing On Accelerated Learning?

4/9/21 “As schools expand summer learning programming to address lost instructional time during the pandemic, efforts should focus on offering accelerated learning experiences as a motivator for students, as well as aim to include as many students as possible who want to participate, speakers recommended during a Tuesday webinar hosted by the Learning Policy Institute and AASA, The School Superintendents Association.”

Bill Would Allow Alabama Parents To Move Students To Other School Districts

4/7/21 – “Parents could move their children into schools outside their zoned districts under a bill proposed by Sen. Del Marsh that won approval in a legislative committee at the Alabama State House this morning.”

CDC, AFT Surveys Suggest Most Educators Now Vaccinated

4/9/21 – “A majority of educators, school staff and childcare workers have received at least one shot of the available COVID-19 vaccines, according to surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Federation of Teachers.”

State Budget To Bring A Long-Awaited Windfall For NYC Schools

4/7/21 – “Legislative budget documents released Tuesday include an agreement to fully fund the state’s court-mandated “Foundation Aid” formula for distributing money to school districts based on need.”

Research and Analysis

2021 Moneyball for Education Policy Recommendations

“Given the urgent need to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, increase economic mobility, and ensure racial justice, it is more important than ever for education leaders at all levels of the PK-12 education system to embrace evidence and data to inform their day-to-day decision-making.”

Is Your State Prioritizing Teacher Diversity & Equity?

“Access to a racially and culturally diverse teacher workforce is beneficial for all P-12 students, particularly for students of color, who often thrive in classrooms led by teachers who share their racial and cultural background. Unfortunately, the diversity of the national public school teacher workforce does not reflect the diversity of the student population—the majority of which are of color. For many states, the lack of diversity means that most of its students attend schools and districts that do not have a single teacher of color on staff.”

Policy Roundup compiled by NAfME’s Rob Edwards.