Music Education Policy Roundup – October 9, 2020

NAfME News

Music Advocacy: State Success Stories and Strategies Webinar Recording

Our latest state advocacy webinar, featuring advocacy leaders from five states, is now live! For this State Advocacy Webinar, hear how these states protected music education from programmatic and budget cuts in their states, and how their best practices might work for your advocacy efforts at the state and local level. Click here to view the recording.

State & National News

State and Local Education Job Losses Grew in September, as Overall Gains Slowed

10/2/2020- ‘The state and local government education sector lost about 280,000 jobs in September, while overall Labor Department figures released Friday showed there were signs that the nation’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was slowing down.’

Arkansas panel recommends computer science requirement

10/1/2020- ‘An Arkansas panel on Thursday recommended the state require a computer science credit in order to graduate high school.’

CDC Issues New Testing Guidance for Colleges

10/2/2020- ‘Update offers more detailed guidance on prioritizing testing during an outbreak. It also says entry testing combined with regular serial testing might prevent or reduce transmission.’

Education officials begin publishing data on COVID-19 cases in districts with in-person learning

10/2/2020- ‘For the first time, Massachusetts education officials have published data on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in school districts that have hybrid or fully in-person learning models.’

Cuomo to close schools in coronavirus hotspots earlier than de Blasio had planned

10/5/2020- ‘About 100 public schools and 200 private ones in coronavirus hot spots will close Tuesday, one day sooner than Mayor Bill de Blasio had planned, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.’

The Texas Legislature meets in less than 100 days. Nobody knows how the session will look.

10/6/2020- ‘With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect everyday life, Texas legislators know that it won’t be business as usual at the Capitol during the 2021 legislative session. But how different things will be is still an issue they’re working to resolve.’

Research & Analysis

COVID-19 Update: State Policy Responses and Other Executive Actions to the Coronavirus in Public Schools

Education Commission of the States is continuing to track state education policies related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can use their policy tracking tool to see summaries of enacted and vetoed bills and their policy watch list for bills that are pending. Their policy team members have also published several posts on our Ed Note Blog that capture states’ responses to various educational impacts of the pandemic, from early learning through workforce development.

The Other Branch: Exploring Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue

On June 30, 2020, the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue continued a line of prominent rulings with important implications for education policy, school choice, and the separation of church and state.

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. Education Commission of the States researched a range of policies — including state statute, state regulations, department guidelines, state standards and state board rules — to create this 50-State Comparison.

Policy Roundup compiled by NAfME’s Matt Barusch.