Advocacy

From Advancement of Music Education Council Chair Mark Despotakis:
 
I hope you had a great summer and you are gearing up for another year of making music!  I wanted to update you on some things PMEA is doing on behalf of you as a PMEA member in the world of advocacy.
 
1) The PMEA Advancement of Music Education Council has started work on the 2015 Advocacy Day on Harrisburg.  Please mark your calendars now for Wednesday, March 25, 2015.  We’d love for you to join us in Harrisburg to advocate for music education.  Advocacy day will again be held the day before the spring conference.  We are working on some new additions to advocacy day to provide value for PMEA members and students.
 
2) This fall, we are going to be asking you to help us tell the story of music education in Pennsylvania.  We’re going to be asking teachers, students, administrators, parents, community members and anyone who values music to answer the question “How has music education impacted your life?”  We will appreciate your help in generating responses for this project.  More details this fall.
 
3) One of PMEA’s legislative asks this spring was asking the Pennsylvania Department of Education to clarify information that federal Title I and II money can be used for the arts.  We are extremely happy to report that our ask was heard and we’ve seen action.  This week, school districts in Pennsylvania were sent clarifying language letting them know they can use Title I and II money for the arts.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU TO KNOW AS YOU ADVOCATE FOR YOUR OWN PROGRAMS IN YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT.  Here are some highlights from the correspondence sent to school districts by Susan McCrone, Division of Federal Programs, Pennsylvania Department of Education:
“As local educational agencies (LEAs) plan their Title I programs for the 2014-2015 school year, it is an appropriate time to clarify that Title I funds can be used to support the Arts.”
“Depending on those needs, an LEA may use Title I funds to support activities related to the arts, provided those activities are part of an instructional strategy that is designed to improve the academic achievement of at-risk students.”
“Examples of how the Arts can be implemented in a Title I, programs are as follows (which must be based on a needs assessment):

 Title I Schoolwide Program:
•          Paying the salary of an arts teacher
•          Paying for professional development activities in the Arts
•          Coaching activities
•          Teacher collaboration & planning activities
•          Extended learning time (summer and/or afterschool)
•          Materials/supplies for the Arts
 
Title I, Targeted Assistance Program:
•          Art teachers pushing in to co-teach during language arts classes
•          Art teacher pushing in to co-teach during math class classes”
 
4) PMEA has submitted questions to candidates running for governor in Pennsylvania.  We will share those response with PMEA members this fall.   (The full letter can be found here. )
 
PMEA continues to be actively engaged in advocacy work on behalf of all PMEA members and all music students in Pennsylvania.  In addition to our own advocacy work, PMEA is a member of the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network (http://www.artseducationpa.org) and the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign (http://www.paschoolfunding.org).
 
I encourage you to actively participate in advocacy at any level.  PMEA is available to assist with advocacy related issues.  Please contact me if I can be off assistance.  I also encourage you to contact your PMEA District Advocacy Representative.  All District Advocacy Representatives are listed on the PMEA website (http://www.pmea.net/about/leadership/advancement-of-music-education-council/)  We will continue to keep you updated on PMEA advocacy activities.
 
Thanks,
Mark
Chair, PMEA Advancement of Music Education Council
 
Make every month Music In Our Schools Month. Check out this article to give you the month by month advocacy activities to help your program.

Article by former PMEA Outstanding Superintendent, Joseph Batory

Cutting Upper Darby’s Elementary Music and Art Programs in a Dangerous “Roll of the Dice” Educationally

NAfME Advocacy for All: A Guide to Member Resources

Overview (How NAfME Advocates for You)

Advocacy Resources (Tools for Conducting Proactive Advocacy and Crisis Management)

  1. NAfME Advocacy Groundswell http://advocacy.nafme.org
    NAfME Advocacy Groundswell is a social media-based advocacy hub designed to cultivate an online community of NAfME members from across the country interested in participating in advocacy initiatives, engaging in discussions about advocacy and regularly digesting advocacy news.
  2. Legislative Memo 
    Twice a month briefing on music education policy issues. Features a segment focusing on music advocacy efforts taking place at the state and local level.
  3. Support Music Counterpoint Archives http://www.nammfoundation.org/support-music/counterpoint
    A highly focused series of articles by authors like John Benham on music education-related topics like advocacy, coalition- building, and budgeting, among many others.
  4. Music Advocacy: Moving From Survival to Vision by John Benham
    Co-published with: The National Association for Music Education

This book is a summary of the practice of music advocacy. It is a compilation of research and experience gained from 30 years experience by one of the nation’s most successful advocates for music education. It provides the music educator, administrator, school board member, and community advocate with step-by-step procedures for saving and building school music programs. The methods presented in this book are responsible for saving $70 million in proposed music cuts equivalent to approximately 2000 teaching positions and 400,000 music students.

NAfME Federal Requests (Working to Protect Music at the National Level)

In any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we ask Congress to:

For a printer friendly version of this document, click here.

PMEA Advocacy DVD Available Online

The abbreviated version (approximately 12 minutes long) of PMEA’s award winning DVD, The Music Lesson: Treat Music Like it Really Matters is now Online via YouTube by searching for PMEA Music Lesson. The full length DVD was recently recognized with a national Telly Awards for best documentary. Viewers see how important music is to the students and the school, the influence of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association to music teachers, testing, scheduling and budgets, incorporating music into the curriculum, starting an advocacy program and what it takes to have a successful program. If you want people on your side, share this outstanding video. Both the full and abbreviated versions of the DVD are available for purchase online by selecting the Online Store menu option and typing the keyword “advocacy” into the search box.