Several areas to look ahead to and to keep in mind as you have the opportunities to interface with policymakers, administrators, and parents:
- School funding: there continue to be several bills introduced each session that would re-allocate significant funding across the state in the form of various kinds of vouchers, waivers, and personalized accounts. Many of these, if enacted, would likely result in some loss of financial support for existing arts programs.
- Licensure requirements: varied pathways to licensure continue to be explored by states across the country. Although it is unlikely that there will be any movement towards radically changing the licensure requirements currently in place for arts teachers, we have seen several recent bills that have mandated specific license endorsements for various new requirements, such as physical education and physical activity, which could result in districts having to shift staffing accordingly, with potentially negative impacts for music.
Budgetary support at the Department of Education: TMEA's primary policy ask at the state level the last several years has been the re-establishment of fine arts leadership at the state Department of Education. With the governor's new initiative combined with financial backing from the CMA Foundation, there was a position included in the governor's budget proposal which was cut by the legislature. Through diligent support at the state level and from the CMA Foundation, this position has been established to facilitate the new grants. We will continue to advocate for the permanence and influence of such positions at the state level.