Music Education Policy Roundup – April 27, 2020

NAfME News

Instrument Cleaning Guidelines

For your information, a special message from NAfME sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) will be going out to all members this afternoon. The email includes links to Guidelines for Distributed Music Recordings for assessment and adjudication that will allow music classrooms and festivals to operate more smoothly during the pandemic. The NFHS and NAfME have worked together as five music publishers have graciously agreed to allow their music to be recorded and distributed. In addition, the email includes a link to new Instrument Cleaning Guidelines coordinated by NFHS, NAfME, and NAMM with input from several prominent providers of school musical instruments.

Quarterly Advocacy Webinar – Tuesday, April 28 at 4:00 p.m. EDT

Join NAfME President Kathy Sanz and public policy staff as we discuss possible long-term effects of COVID-19 on music education. Agenda to include:

  • Projected state budget shortfalls – and implications for music educators
    •             The ‘Homework Gap’ – the lack of home internet experienced by millions of students
    •             What advocacy looks like moving forward – and how you can get involved

Survey Deadline Extended!

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the deadline to fill out the 2020 survey for Title IV-A usage in your state has been extended until May 1. This information is critical for NAfME and the NAMM Foundation, so please circulate it to your colleagues, and/or complete it if you know where Title IV-A dollars have been spent in your district.


State & National News

Prospect of Steep Service Cuts Looms as Virus Batters State and Local Budgets

4/18/2020- ‘It’s a given at this point that the coronavirus is going to make a dent in state and local government budgets, with public officials and experts saying service and program cuts appear inevitable without some kind of federal bailout.’

General Assembly Leaders Postpone May Special Session

4/20/2020- ‘The Maryland General Assembly will not convene for a special session in May due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson announced on Monday.’

Unable to complete student teaching requirements, prospective teachers may soon get reprieve

4/17/2020- ‘Thousands of teacher candidates in California, preparing to graduate this year in the midst the coronavirus pandemic, may not have to complete all their student-teaching hours or take all required tests before teaching in their own classrooms next year.’

Virginia lawmakers to hold session unlike any other

4/20/2020- Virginia lawmakers are set to hold a one-day legislative session unlike any other in the state’s 400 year history as they grapple with how to handle fallout of the coronavirus.’

California lawmakers want say in governor’s virus spending

4/21/2020- ‘Five weeks after giving California Gov. Gavin Newsom broad power to spend up to $1 billion on coronavirus precautions, state lawmakers on Monday said they feared overreach by the governor’s office and sought more answers on a contract to buy millions of protective masks.

Oklahoma panel declares revenue failure as collections fall

4/20/2020- ‘A state panel led by Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a revenue failure on Monday for the fiscal year that ends June 30, and the governor warned cuts to agency budgets over the next two years will likely be unavoidable.’

Facing ‘dire’ budget shortfall, Denver school board may consider pay freezes, school mergers

4/17/2020- ‘The Denver school district is bracing for a “dire financial situation” next year, in the likely case that a coronavirus-induced economic downturn decimates Colorado education funding.’

IN: McCormick: Schools Challenged By E-Learning, Will Likely Stay Remote Through Summer

4/21/2020- ‘Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick says the local response from school districts to support Indiana’s more than 1 million K-12 students learning from home is taking shape but the disparity in funding is emphasizing inequalities.’

MIT report shows how Maryland and other states have fared in remote education guidance during coronavirus pandemic

4/20/2020- ‘As schools have turned to distance learning amid school closures forced by the coronavirus pandemic, one report has looked into how state education agencies across the nation have fared in their guidance to school systems, students and families.’


Research and Analysis

Report: Teacher pension debt is ‘crowding out’ funding for education

As the economy declines, states’ unfunded obligations will only get worse. But experts offer 5 ways district leaders can respond to rising teacher pension liabilities.

Strengthening the Early Childhood Education Workforce

From Education Commission of the States, this Policy Brief identifies five policy levers, in addition to funding opportunities, that states employ to attract, support and retain quality talent in the early education workforce.

COVID-19 Update: State Policy Responses and Other Executive Actions to the Coronavirus in Public Schools

Information from Education Commission of the States pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on education. Because the situation is changing daily, this information should not be considered all-inclusive; rather, it is a snapshot of what we know at the time of this posting.

Music Education Policy Roundup compiled by NAfME’s Matt Barusch.