Music Education Policy Roundup – May 21, 2019

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

Our next and final webinar before Hill Day 2019 will cover 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.

National News

Trump targets Pell Grant money for NASA’s budget boost

5/13/19- ‘The Trump administration wants to shift money for Pell Grants for college education to fund new spending, including a $1.6 billion bump for NASA to return American astronauts to the moon by 2024.’

Can a State Just Refuse to Follow the Every Student Succeeds Act?

5/12/19- ‘Today’s question about the Every Student Succeeds Act comes from Sheryl Santos-Hatchett, a professor of bilingual education at the University of North Texas in Dallas. It’s a tricky one. Question: What if a state refuses to follow through on or retracts a state plan and doesn’t care about funding? Does ESSA have any teeth to close down a school district? By what constitutional provision does ESSA have any right to dictate educational law?’

Limited Impact So Far From ESSA’s School-Spending Data

5/7/19- ‘School district leaders in 2016 were seemingly apocalyptic once they realized that a tiny provision buried in the Every Student Succeeds Act would by summer 2020 require them to report to the public how they divvy up funds among their schools.’

Julián Castro Unveils Education Plan With Focus on Universal Pre-K

5/13/19- ‘Julián Castro, whose campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination has so far struggled to gain much momentum, unveiled a proposal Monday to create a national, federally funded prekindergarten program, eliminate tuition at public universities and community colleges and alter the student-debt repayment process, part of a sweeping policy plan that his campaign hopes could reshape public education.’

State News

Education groups call on Justice to cancel special session on reform issues; Hanshaw says House working on improving flexibility

5/15/19- ‘The leaders of West Virginia’s three education workers groups are calling on Gov. Jim Justice to cancel next week’s special session if lawmakers plan on bringing up the same education reform issues the leaders say have been rejected by the general public.’

Georgia Gov. Kemp signs budget upping teacher salaries

5/10/19- ‘Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a record budget for fiscal year 2020 with a focus on increased education spending. Teachers and other certified public school employees will each see a $3,000 raise under the $27.5 billion state spending proposal signed Friday in Camilla, in southwestern Georgia.’

Leader of Kalamazoo Schools Chosen as Mich. Superintendent

5/8/19- ‘Michigan’s Board of Education on Tuesday chose Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice to lead the Department of Education, citing his track record of closing the “achievement gap” among groups of students and his experience as an educator both in and outside the state.’

Not-yet-signed Tennessee voucher bill faces new scrutiny amid report of FBI probe

5/10/19- ‘Education voucher legislation on the verge of becoming law in Tennessee is facing renewed opposition amid a report of an FBI investigation related to the circumstances of its passage.’

Washington State Moves Toward Free and Reduced College Tuition, With Businesses Footing the Bill

5/8/19- “Washington State lawmakers have taken a major step toward offering free or reduced college tuition using funds from businesses there, including Amazon and Microsoft, in a move that is being applauded by policy analysts for its innovation and reach.”

Research & Analysis

Researchers: Landmark Ruling’s Promise in Peril

5/10/19- ‘Researchers from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, the Center for Education and Civil Rights at Penn State University and elsewhere found that the share of “intensely segregated” schools enrolling 90 percent or more non-white students was at 18.2 percent in 2016 — a three-fold increase from 1988.’

U.S. Student Loans, Debt Levels Set Record: What’s a Legislature to Do?

5/13/19- ‘In 2018, the collective U.S. student debt reached a record $1.5 trillion, owed by more than 44 million Americans. In fact, the Federal Reserve Board notes that this represents 42% of Americans who attended college, and that 30% of all adults have acquired debt to obtain a degree…This brief provides an overview of the basic issues relating to student debt and briefly examines how those issues can potentially challenge overall economic stability.’

The Big Squeeze: How Unfunded Pension Costs Threaten Educational Equity

4/2019- The Big Squeeze is a project led by Pivot Learning, in collaboration with the California School Boards Association and Dr. Cory Koedel from the University of Missouri.

Special Report: Blind Spots In Teacher Professional Development

5/15/19- ‘Professional development: It happens every year, for every teacher. And yet there’s broad agreement among those who participate that it often—very often—misses the mark. The trainings fail to take teachers’ prior knowledge and experience into account, or use instructional techniques that wouldn’t work with students. The things teachers say they want to learn—how to recover when a lesson goes south, how to recognize their own biases and design activities that reach all learners—are often overlooked.’