Music Education Policy Roundup – March 24, 2019

NAfME News

Music In Our Schools Month

A resolution has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives expressing support for the designation March as Music In Our Schools Month.H.Res.216 was introduced March 11 by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. We are thrilled to see this recognition of MIOSM by Congress and thank Congresswoman Velázquez for her continuous support of music education.


The Guarantee Access to Art and Music Education (GAAME) Act was also introduced last week by Congresswoman Velázquez. The bill hasn’t changed since last year, but it needed to be introduced into the new Congress. We are pleased to report that the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s two largest teachers unions, have endorsed the legislation.

Federal News

Cassidy, Warren Reintroduce College Transparency Act

3/18/19 – “A bipartisan group of lawmakers last week reintroduced the College Transparency Act, legislation that would produce new data on program-level college student outcomes like graduate earnings and loan repayment.

A federal ban on student-level data has been in place since 2008, and private colleges in particular continue to hold reservations about a federal data system. But bipartisan momentum has gathered behind the legislation. The bill has 17 co-sponsors, two more than the total in the previous Congress.”

White House Looks to Curb Student Lending

3/19/19 – “The White House on Monday endorsed adding new lending caps for graduate and parent borrowers and giving campus aid administrators the authority to require loan counseling for student borrowers, among a slate of priorities for reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.

The wish list is the most comprehensive accounting so far of the Trump administration’s higher ed agenda. And it suggests the Trump administration sees limiting student borrowing as a top issue.”

Trump K-12 Priorities Outlined in Budget

3/20/19 – “For the third straight year, President Donald Trump has proposed significant cuts to the U.S. Department of Education’s budget. And although his administration’s approach to pushing education choice shifted somewhat in his budget request last week for fiscal 2020, the president’s priorities—which include a $5 billion sweetener for school choice—will likely fall short again on Capitol Hill.”

Trump to Sign Broad Executive Order

3/21/19 – “The executive order essentially directs federal agencies to ensure colleges are following existing requirements. And it doesn’t spell out how enforcement of the order would work.

It will direct 12 federal grant-making agencies to coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget to certify that colleges receiving federal research funds comply with existing federal law and regulations touching on free academic inquiry, a senior administration official said in a call with reporters Thursday morning. The directive doesn’t apply to federal student aid programs.”

State News

New York plans to offer new arts option for pathways to graduation             

3/12/19 – “On Monday, state education department officials laid out a timeline for a new option in the existing arts pathway to graduation: the Individual Arts Assessment Pathway, which would be a compilation of work, scored by teachers, collected from three art classes.

State officials are planning to roll the option out over a three-year timeline that would initially include a pilot of the program at interested high schools next school year, then open the new option up to schools statewide by 2022. School districts can choose whether to accept the new option, which doesn’t need a formal approval from the Board of Regents.

Ohio Board of Education proposes broadening high school graduation requirements

3/12/19 – The Ohio Board of Education recommended Tuesday that state lawmakers approve new graduation requirements, giving students options for earning a high school diploma beyond standardized tests.

The board voted 14-1 to endorse the plan after rejecting suggestions that it was relaxing the state’s requirements.

During public testimony, board members defended their recommendation and dismissed concerns about some of the proposed options that could go toward a diploma — including the largely undefined “culminating student experience” that defenders say is like a capstone project.

North Carolina House to vote on bill to make arts education a requirement for schools

3/18/19 – “House Bill 56 would require students to take at least one arts-education class anytime between the sixth and 12th grade prior to graduation.

The State Board of Education would be required to establish the criteria for meeting the arts education graduation requirement. Classes would fall into one of three categories: arts education, arts integration and arts exposure.”

Linda Darling-Hammond becomes president of California’s State Board of Education

3/15/19 – “In another sign of the changing of the guard in the leadership of education policy in California, former Stanford professor and leading researcher Linda Darling-Hammond was selected to be president of California’s State Board of Education by fellow board members on Thursday, a month after Gov. Gavin Newsom named her to the post.

Before being selected president, she was sworn in as a board member by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond who is a non-voting member of the board with the official title of executive secretary. Thurmond was elected to his statewide position last November.”

House bill aimed at strengthening Florida civics education

3/7/19 – “A bill aimed at strengthening civics education in Florida public schools has cleared its first committee in the state House.

The measure by Republican Rep. Vance Aloupis of Miami focuses on a civics course Florida middle schoolers must take in order to advance to high school. It was approved by a House Education panel on a unanimous vote Thursday.”

New Mexico poised to create new early childhood agency

3/11/19 – “State lawmakers over the weekend approved legislation that would establish the new agency, sending the measure to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for her signature. She has advocated in favor of the legislation.

The agency would oversee prekindergarten programs, child-care assistance and home-visiting programs, bringing services currently provided by four different departments under one roof.”

Research & Analysis

Governors’ Top Education Priorities in 2019 State of the State Addresses

“A signature product, this special report is the result of tracking, analyzing and identifying trends in education policy proposals featured in governors’ State of the State addresses. Check out the six education priorities – school finance, workforce development, teaching quality, early learning, postsecondary financial aid and school safety – identified by governors across the states in 2019, as well as state highlights for each priority area.”

50-State Comparison: High School Graduation Requirements

“This resource provides an overview of state high school graduation requirements. Nearly all states require students to complete a certain number of units per course to earn a standard diploma in the state; but courses, units and assessments outside of exit exams and diploma options vary.”