Music Education Policy Roundup – May 10, 2019

NAfME News

Our Next Hill Day 2019 Webinar on NAfME Legislative Agenda is June 5!

Our next and final webinar before Hill Day 2019 will teach you what you need to know about the NAfME legislative agenda and Hill Day “asks”, including Title IV-A funding under ESSA and the Guarantee Access to Arts and Music Education (GAAME) Act. Click here to register for this webinar.

Reminder: NAfME Civic Action Field Guide is Your Primary Electoral Resource for the 2020 elections!

With the National Education Association recently outlining their endorsement process for the field of 2020 presidential candidates, the NAfME Public Policy team would like to remind you that our Civic Action Field Guide has all the information you’ll need in order to make your own informed decisions in 2020. This document details how public education is funded, how to learn about political candidates, what you can ask those candidates running for office, how you can contact them and more. And remember – the guide isn’t just about the presidential candidates, but candidates for all political offices. More educational decisions are made at the state and local level that impact music education than at the federal level. How well do you know your state and local decision makers, and who is running for office this fall or next?

Federal News

House committee approves $189.8b health, education bill

5/8/19- ‘The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a $189.8 billion spending bill covering Labor, Health and Human Services and Education that rejected drastic cuts proposed by President Trump.’

Appropriations Committee Releases FY 2020 Subcommittee Allocations, Labor-HHS-Education Bill Report Ahead of Wednesday Markup

5/7/19- ‘The House Appropriations Committee today released its fiscal year 2020 302(b) subcommittee allocations and its report accompanying the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.’

Even More Teachers Can Now Have Their TEACH Grant Debt Forgiven

5/3/19- ‘So far, about 2,300 teachers have had unfair federal loans forgiven, NPR has reported—and due to rule changes by the U.S. Department of Education, thousands more could get help.’

Teachers ‘Know Their Power’ in Politics: NEA Outlines 2020 Endorsement Process

5/2/19- ‘There are more than 20 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. One way to get an edge: Secure the endorsement of one, or both, of the teachers’ unions, National Education Association and the American Federation for Teachers.’

State News

Alabama Senate passes education budget, teacher raise

5/2/19- ‘The Alabama Senate today approved what would be the state’s largest ever education budget along with a teacher pay raise and a hefty boost for the state’s pre-kindergarten program.’

Florida passes bill to promote career training in schools

5/2/19- ‘Florida schools will help students plan for careers even if they don’t want to seek a four-year college degree under a wide-ranging education bill sent to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday.’

Parent of Spec. Ed. Student Spotlights Powerful Tool for Advocacy

4/30/19- ‘Oklahoma education officials recently ordered the Tulsa school district to ensure that the individualized plans of all its special education students comply with federal law—an enforcement action that affects thousands of children and youths in the 39,000-student system.’

Murphy announces early expansion of free college program

5/1/19- ‘Gov. Phil Murphy isn’t waiting for the next fiscal year to expand his free college program to Burlington County. The administration announced Wednesday that enough funding exists in the current budget so that eligible students at all 19 county colleges can be enrolled in the Community College Opportunity Grant program for the current spring semester, including those at Rowan College at Burlington County.’

Public School Financing Divides Louisiana’s GOP Lawmakers

5/2/19- ‘Republicans in the House and Senate are at odds over Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposal to give Louisiana’s public school districts a $39 million block grant increase.’

Oregon House approves tax on business to fund schools

5/2/19- ‘Oregon lawmakers in the House on Wednesday (May 1) approved an extra $2 billion investment for the state’s struggling school system, which suffers from some of the highest class sizes and lowest graduation rates in the nation.’

Teacher pay details in OK’d House budget fully revealed

5/2/19- ‘The North Carolina government spending plan proposed by House Republicans advanced on Wednesday, clearing the chamber’s budget-writing committee after several hours of debate and dozens of proposed amendments.’

Research & Analysis

Ed-Tech Supporters Promise Innovations That Can Transform Schools. Teachers Not Seeing Impact

4/23/19- ‘Despite continued hype, K-12 educators remain skeptical that new technologies will transform public schooling or dramatically improve teaching and learning.’

School finance data shows rebound in education spending

5/9/19- ‘A report released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics indicates there’s been a lasting rebound in education spending and revenue after years of decreases spurred by the Great Recession. The report — Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2015-16, check it out wealthfront review — presents findings on public education revenues and expenditures at the local education agency/school district level using 2015-2016 provisional data from the School District Finance Survey.