Music Education Policy Roundup – August 10, 2019

NAfME News

Next Quarterly Advocacy Webinar is August 15!

Join the NAfME Public Policy team on Thursday, August 15, 2019, from 7:00–8:00 PM ET for a quarterly advocacy webinar.

The team will discuss a new resource for music educators: TheLocal Advocacy Action Plan is intended to aid music educators and music education supporters as they seek to improve the overall condition of a music program. Guest speakers will include:

  • Carolyn Talarr, Community Programs Coordinator for the Portland Youth Philharmonic, OR
  • David Kays, Music Teacher at Lincoln High School, Portland, OR
  • Jeanne Reynolds, Specialist, Pre-K-12 Performing Arts, Pinellas County Schools, FL and FMEA Government Relations Chairperson
  • Scott Sheehan, Director of Bands & Music Dept. Chair, Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School, PA, NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles Program Chair, and NAfME Eastern Division Immediate Past-President

The Plan is a valuable tool for finding new resources and opportunities that can improve a music educator’s ability to provide students with high quality music education experiences. Register today!

National News

The K-12 Conundrum: Americans Want More Education Funding, But Not Higher Taxes

8/5/19- ‘Most people believe their public schools need more money. A new survey, however, illustrates just how wide the gap is between wanting more funding and being willing to pay for it.’

State News

State Leaders Share Progress on Building ‘World-Class’ Education Systems

8/8/19- ‘Expanding state pre-K programs, increasing teacher salaries, and allowing prospective elementary educators to specialize in a specific content area are among the steps some states are making to emulate the top-performing education systems in the world.’

IN- Teacher Pay Commission Announces Public Input Session Dates

8/1/19- ‘The governor’s Teacher Compensation Commission will host public comment sessions across the state in August.’

Michigan schools to operate under two different accountability systems

8/2/19- ‘Michigan will have two accountability systems in place for K-12 schools this fall. The state system, passed during a lame duck session, puts in place a different system of accountability for schools than the one mandated by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.’

TN- Kennedy Center Helping Expand Arts In Hamilton County

9/5/19- ‘The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has spent a year checking out some of the needs of Hamilton County. The mission is to find a way to expand arts education for kids in Kindergarten, through 8th grade.’

New Jersey State Council on the Arts Approves Over $15.7 Million in Grants

7/23/19- ‘The New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded more than $15.7 million in grant funding to support 700 arts organizations, projects, and artists throughout the state. The awards were announced at the Arts Council’s 53nd Annual Meeting held at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.’

Utah Education Board Forms Panel To Examine Charter Schools

8/5/19- ‘The Utah Board of Education will form a new task force to examine charter school finances.’

New law eliminates basic skills test for Illinois teachers

8/8/19- ‘Illinois teachers are no longer required to pass a test of basic skills to receive a Professional Educator License.’

Research and Analysis

50-State Comparison: K-12 Funding

Across all 50 states, there are different ways in which states allocate K-12 funding to districts. Education Commission of the States has collected information on general funding model structure, base per pupil, special education, English language learner, at-risk, gifted and talented, and small school funding. 

The Feasiblity of Collecting School-Level Finance Data

Findings from a federal survey suggest that it’s feasible to collect and report high-quality financial data at the school level, according to a report the National Center for Education Statistics released today.

Frustration in the Schools

Frustrated by poor pay and underfunded schools, half of public school teachers nationally have seriously considered leaving the profession in the past few years — and majorities in the 2019 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools say that given the opportunity, they’d vote to strike.

NAfME Policy Roundup is compiled by Matt Barusch.