TMEA Members - if you have not, please encourage your parent booster leaders to register for our listserv at https://www.tnmea.org/booster-registration.html. This is our primary mechanism to reach a broad array of music education supporters from around the state, empowering us to effectively respond to pending legislation or policy decisions as quickly as possibly.
Several bills are being considered this week that we are following:
SB558/HB372: Tom Cronan Physical Education Act.
This bill, which passed the Senate last year and is awaiting House consideration, would require elementary students to have physical education instruction at least twice each week for a total of at least 60 minutes, taught by teachers with physical education licensure endorsements. If passed as written, this bill could eliminate the practice of music teachers being asked to provide supplementary physical education. However, in some districts it could lead to re-allocations of staffing and upheavals to scheduling. TMEA members are encouraged to talk to their local administration and explore how these changes might impact their schools.
SB 1663/HB 1699: Use of excess instructional time.
This bill would formalize the ability of districts to use excess instructional time for instructional planning meetings. This, along with the recently reported elimination of restrictions on counting professional development activities that occur during school hours towards licensure requirements, should continue to allow more flexibility for how teachers' development and planning time is allocated.
SB1626/HB 1460: Requirements for recovery high schools.
In response to ongoing concerns about students impacted by substance abuse issues and the present opioid crisis, this legislation would authorize districts or a consortium of districts to create recovery high schools to serve such students and provide appropriate resources. It is unclear which districts would intend on participating, but the program would have potential budgetary implications for any districts that become involved.