Music Education Policy Roundup – May 11, 2021

NAfME News

2021 CMA Foundation Advocacy Grants

For a fourth year, The Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation is working with NAfME to administer State Music Education Association Advocacy Grants. These grants are intended to support the work of our state MEAs with the goal of augmenting existing advocacy initiatives and creating new advocacy opportunities. The 2021 grant application opens today and is available here; the deadline for applications is June 30, 2021.State and Federal News

Miguel Cardona’s First Budget Hearing Becomes Forum on In-Person Learning, 1619 Project

5/5/21 – “A congressional hearing Wednesday about the president’s spending proposal for education ended up featuring extended conversation between U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and lawmakers about the proper direction of history and civics education, as well as the importance of having students return to regular classrooms.”

States, Districts Debate Whether to End Remote Learning Option

5/4/21 –“Several school systems across the country have recently announced the next school year will not include a key feature of education during the pandemic — the district-led option for remote or hybrid learning.”

Mapping Out a “Credential As You Go” Movement for Higher Education

5/4/21 – “A new initiative called ‘Credential As You Go’ aims to shift this status quo by making it easier for students and workers to earn recognition for their learning—in increments smaller than the colossal college degree. Its goals include creating a national credentialing system designed around what the journey through higher education and job training actually looks like for many people: intermittent, nonlinear and unpredictable.”

Partnership Aims to Address Teaching Shortages within South Carolina

5/5/21 – “In an effort to address the dearth of teachers in the rural school districts across South Carolina, the University of South Carolina (UofSC) College of Education held discussions over the last few years with the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), a non-profit, around ways to address the crisis.”

Oklahoma State Department of Education Releases Details on New Plan for Pandemic Recovery

5/3/21 – “The ‘Ready Together Oklahoma‘ plan has many tiers, and includes investing $14 million over the next couple of years from federal funds into summer enrichment. Right now, $6 million will go to the Oklahoma Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, and the Oklahoma Alliance of YMCAs to focus on crafting after-school and summer learning programs.”

Flush with Cash, Tennessee Makes Modest Recurring Education Investments in Newly Approved Budget

4/29/21 – “Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday approved a $42.6 billion budget that allocates state funding toward a 4% pay raise for teachers, shores up the pension plan for educators, and creates a $250 million endowment to bolster student mental health services.”

Research and Analysis

3 Ways to Support Early Career Teachers Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

5/4/21 – “The early career years are a fragile stage in an educator’s career in non-pandemic times, as studies estimate that 30% to 45% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years on the job. This high turnover rate may be particularly concerning to policymakers dedicated to recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce, as recent gains in the recruitment of teachers of color could be lost without attention to keeping early career educators in the classroom.”

Report: Teacher Salaries Increase While the Wage Gaps Dip

4/30/21 – “The national average salary for teachers has increased slightly over the past decade thanks to hard-fought education movements. The pay gap between teachers and other college-educated professionals also dropped after hitting a record high in 2018, according to an annual report released by the National Education Association. Then the pandemic hit, potentially reversing any progress made so far.”

Policy Roundup compiled by NAfME’s Rob Edwards