Music Education Policy Roundup – August 31, 2020

NAfME News

States MEAs Can Now Sign the Arts Education is Essential Statement

The Arts Education is Essential statement has been an important part of ongoing advocacy efforts for NAfME and other arts education advocates to ensure continued music and arts education in schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 113 national organizations have signed onto this statement, and now your MEA can join us and sign this statement. Send this link to your MEA President and ask them to sign your MEA onto the Arts Education is Essential statement. Thank you to those state MEAs that have already signed-on.

Updated Guidance

Recently the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) updated the Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education, drawing on the preliminary results of the Aerosol Research Study for the performing arts, underway at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the University of Maryland, College Park.

Please click the link to review the full updated Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education.

State & National News

Limited Broadband Access Not Just Rural Issue

8/13/2020- ‘A report on broadband internet access in Virginia has found that 40 percent of students without access live in urban areas.’

NC Gov. Cooper directs $95.6M to help support K-12, postsecondary students impacted by COVID-19

8/12/2020- ‘North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday directed $95.6 million in new funding to help support K-12 and postsecondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.’

Focus is on skills, not stage, for pandemic arts education

8/9/2020- ‘Choirs standing together on risers, dance teams locking arms, performers rushing madly backstage during theater shows — it’s unclear whether any of that will happen this year.’

Teaching music under COVID-19: the Catch-22 of safety and instruction

8/16/2020- ‘As teachers and administration struggle with preparing for re-entry to school, music teachers are trying to do the same, but with even more guidelines to follow.’

More states including teachers on education boards

8/14/2020- ‘Fourteen states now require that a teacher serve on their state board of education, according to an analysis from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). In other states, teachers are included in policy development through inclusion on committees and focus groups.’

Play on: How music educators are setting the virtual stage for class, performances

8/17/2020- ‘K-12 musical instruction and performances may look different this fall, but the beat will go on thanks to creativity and music-making technologies, says a Purdue University expert.’

Michigan education package heads to Gov. Whitmer after approval in the House

8/17/2020- ‘House lawmakers gave final legislative approval Monday to a series of bills aimed at addressing the significant concerns of educators and parents as students prepare to start a school year ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.’

‘Hoping for the best’ — future of band, chorus unclear in Maine schools

8/19/2020- ‘The World Health Organization has acknowledged the coronavirus can spread in the air, which means crowded indoor settings like choir practices could pose risks.’

‘Punch in the face, stab in the back’: Legislature overrides Gov. Reeves’ veto of education funding bill

8/10/2020- ‘The Republican-led Mississippi Legislature on Monday overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves of most of the public education budget — the first time since 2002 that lawmakers have undone a gubernatorial veto.’

A late surge in demand overwhelms Colorado’s state-sponsored online school

8/17/2020- ‘Colorado’s state-sponsored online school has been overwhelmed by demand as a diverse collection of districts turn to the nonprofit provider to serve students whose parents don’t want them in a classroom during the pandemic.’

Invest In Ed Initiative Will Be On November Ballot After Arizona Supreme Court Ruling

8/20/2020- ‘The Invest in Ed Act initiative was created as a way to raise about $1 billion for K-12 schools by raising income tax rates for high earners.’

Will Coronavirus Silence School Bands and Choirs?

8/24/2020- ‘For Penelope Cruz, the first disappointment was the canceled Carnegie Hall performance.’


Research & Analysis

Brown University Professor And Qualtrics To Partner With School Superintendents And Principals Associations To Create COVID-19 Data Dashboard

A collective of national education organizations, researchers, and technology experts are partnering to create the first nationwide database that systematically maps schools’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States. This will allow school leaders to examine current conditions in their own schools, districts, and neighboring communities – and in other cities and states – to adapt and make data-driven teaching and learning decisions.

Policy Roundup compiled by NAfME’s Matt Barusch.