Music Education Policy Roundup – May 13, 2020

NAfME News

Guidance for Classes Returning Released in NV, MD and MO

Recently, the states of Maryland, Nevada and Missouri published re-opening and re-entry guidance for schools in their respective states. The Nevada Department of Education released a ‘Path Forward ‘ Plan, ‘Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education’ was released by the Maryland Department of Education, and ‘Pandemic Recovery Considerations’ was released by the Missouri School Boards Association. NAfME is interested in seeing how states plan for the re-opening of schools in the coming academic year; if your state or school board has released such guidance, please email me at


State & National News

What if students don’t come back? Indiana schools pitch a radical way to protect their budgets

4/29/2020- ‘As Indiana school districts begin preparing for the fall semester, some school leaders are hearing a concerning message from parents: They don’t want their children to come back.’

New York City schools change traditional grading system in response to Covid-19

4/28/2020- ‘New York City officials unveiled a new grading policy for students across its public schools on Tuesday, in light of the coronavirus impact on the city’s education system.’

Arizona Legislature to pull plug on virus-plagued session

4/21/2020- ‘Republican leaders of the Arizona Legislature who have been hoping to return to finish a coronavirus-interrupted session are instead planning to adjourn on May 1 and come back at Gov. Doug Ducey’s call when state finances are more certain.’

South Carolina House and Senate to return on May 12

4/30/2020- ‘The South Carolina Legislature plans to return in less than two weeks as lawmakers face a deadline to pass key bills before they are required to adjourn.’

California lawmakers go back to work as coronavirus lingers

5/4/2020- ‘California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is calling lawmakers back to the Capitol on Monday, restarting a legislative session interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, even as a handful of lawmakers plan to stay home for fear of contracting or spreading the disease.’

Voluntary or mandatory? Remote or in person? Districts grapple with summer school logistics, equity questions

4/4/2020- ‘What does summer school look like during a pandemic? Chicago Public Schools, like districts across the country, is still deciding.’

It could cost SC $43 million per day to help schools make up for time lost to coronavirus

5/1/2020- ‘The state Department of Education is considering whether to add additional school days at the end of summer or in early fall to make up for classroom instruction time lost because of the coronavirus.’

AL- Lawmakers return for shortened session

5/5/2020- ‘Wearing face masks and sitting far apart, Alabama lawmakers on Monday resumed a legislative session that is being shortened because of coronavirus.’


Some Good News

Musselman High band director named Berkeley County (WV) Teacher of the Year

5/4/2020- NAfME member ‘Michael Knepper, a 21-year veteran teacher and band director from Musselman High School, is Berkeley County Schools’ 2020 Teacher of the Year.’

Missouri Senate passes budget that restores higher ed funding

5/5/2020- ‘The Missouri Senate passed a new budget Tuesday that restores cuts to higher education and fully funds K-12 education.’


Research and Analysis

New CBO Projections Suggest Even Bigger State Shortfalls

State budget shortfalls from COVID-19’s economic fallout could total $650 billion over three years, we estimate based on new economic projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and updated projections from Goldman Sachs.

Public Higher Ed Funding Still Has Not Recovered From 2008 Recession

State funding for higher education remains below pre-recession levels and will likely stay that way, a new report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers association shows.

Improving Teacher Workforce Diversity

According to the U.S. Department of Education, over half of the nation’s K-12 students are children of color, while about 80% of the educator workforce is white. States are increasingly interested in closing this diversity gap, as studies show that a more diverse teacher workforce benefits both students in the classroom and teachers already in the field.

Policy Roundup is compiled by NAfME’s Matt Barusch.