Music Education Policy Roundup – August 7, 2020

State & National News

A School Reopens, and the Coronavirus Creeps In

8/1/2020- ‘As more schools abandon plans for in-person classes, one that opened in Indiana this week had to quarantine students within hours.’

‘Localized’ Minnesota school plan sets thresholds for reopening

7/31/2020- ‘Minnesota school districts will be granted flexibility in their reopening decisions this fall, depending on the spread of COVID-19 in their communities and their ability to meet a long list of health and safety standards in school buildings.’

NYC school buildings will remain closed if coronavirus infection rate jumps past 3%

7/31/2020- ‘New York City students will not return to class if coronavirus infection rates surge above a 3% average, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.’

Plans to Administer ‘Nation’s Report Card’ in 2021 to Proceed Despite Concerns Over Reliability and Funding During Pandemic

8/3/2020- ‘Nationally mandated reading and math tests scheduled for 2021 should proceed, the National Assessment Governing Board decided Friday. But the board acknowledged that it might be impossible to collect accurate assessment data and that Congress might not provide enough funding to give the tests under social distancing conditions.’

Tennessee officials offer $100K teacher program grants

8/4/2020- ‘Tennessee education officials are offering 20 grants of $100,000 apiece to form or expand programs that help train new teachers at no cost to them’

As pre-K gains momentum in Indiana, coronavirus throws new obstacles

8/3/2020- ‘In a rural sliver of northeast Indiana, Jessica Downey co-owns the only child care licensed in her small county to offer the state’s pre-kindergarten vouchers for low-income families.’

$28 million to help PA higher education resume operations

8/3/2020- ‘Governor Tom Wolf is dedicating $28 million to postsecondary education institutions and adult basic education providers to help them resume operations in the fall.’

Research & Analysis

HEALS Act Provisions

The Senate released their proposal for the next—and more than likely—final major COVID-19 response measure. The approximately $1 trillion package, called the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act contains the following provisions of interest:

Building a Diverse Teacher Workforce

This Policy Brief provides a summary of key research on the benefits of expanding the racial/ethnic diversity of teachers in K-12 classrooms. It also features examples of state-level action intended to advance diversity and ultimately improve students’ academic experiences.

Special Report: Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Work

This report from Education Week—with original survey data that capture educators’ attitudes and experiences with SEL—explores the challenges and opportunities to teaching social-emotional learning when school buildings are open and operations are normal.

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