Music Education Policy Roundup – June 1, 2021

NAfME News

Registration Open for NAfME Collegiate Advocacy Summit

This year’s Summit for future music educators will feature discussions on post-pandemic advocacy, equity in music education, career planning for the music educator, and much more. More details, including a full event schedule and link to register, are available here. Please feel free to share this information with Collegiates in your state.

ALF at National Assembly

For the second straight year, the Advocacy Leadership Force will convene virtually during the NAfME National Leadership Assembly. The advocacy team is working to put together an agenda for the ALF meetings. If you have any suggestions for how the ALF might spend its time at this year’s Assembly, please send them to Tooshar Swain at

Next ALF Call

The next ALF Call will take place this Tuesday, June 1 at 7:00 PM EDT. Here is the link to join:

State and Federal News

Ed Department Details Limits, Flexibilities of ESSER Funds

5/27/21 – “A state education agency or state legislature may not limit a school district’s use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief formula funds or limit districts’ access or spending of the funds, according to a 61-page FAQ released by the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday.”

State Higher Ed Funding Increases for 8th Straight Year

5/26/21 – “Despite the years of increases, state and local funding for public higher education has not fully recovered from cuts made during the 2008 recession, an annual State Higher Education Finance report shows. Experts worry what will come in the future after 2020 turned out better than expected.”

As US Schools Resume Testing, Large Numbers Are Opting Out

5/22/21 – “Standardized tests are returning to the nation’s schools this spring, but millions of students will face shorter exams that carry lower stakes, and most families are being given the option to forgo testing entirely.”

NJ Schools to Get $2.7 Billion — And Rules on How to Spend It

5/26/21 – “New Jersey’s school leaders are getting a first look this week at the details for more than $2.7 billion in federal pandemic aid heading to their public schools. Needless to say, the amounts for many districts are dizzying, yet so are the processes and procedures for how it will all work.”

Chronic Absenteeism Is a Huge School Problem. Can Data Help?

5/20/21 – “The education losses resulting from pandemic school closures and an unanticipated shift to remote learning have slowed academic achievement. But no matter what resources or strategies are devised to make up for learning setbacks and prevent a generational catastrophe, students won’t benefit unless they show up.”

Several Indianapolis Districts Will Offer Remote Learning Options Next Year

5/24/21 – “Four Indianapolis school districts — Pike, Warren, and Lawrence townships, as well as Speedway — have confirmed that they will offer a remote option for students in the fall. Perry Township officials, in a statement touting the superiority of in-person schooling, said they will not offer their students an online option.”

Research and Analysis

Private School Choice Policies in the Era of COVID-19

5/18/21 – “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, school choice policies have remained prominent in state policy conversations. A supreme court ruling, the expenditure of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds and a significant increase in school choice legislation have amplified the private school choice debate in some states.”

Policy Roundup compiled by NAfME’s Rob Edwards.