Advocacy

Here are links to get you started with your own music education advocacy!  These gems are directly from the top sources, and have been researched and approved as great starting points.  We encourage you to always be an advocate for ANY level of music education in your geographic area, or field of employment.

RULE # 1: NO CUTS OR COMPROMISES SHOULD BE SUGGESTED BY A MUSIC ADVOCATE!” – Dr. John Benham

Oregon Music Education Association, Advocacy Pagehttps://www.oregonmusic.org/Advocates.html

The National Association for Music Education, Take Action Page |http://www.nafme.org/advocacy/

[Approved 1/15/17 by OMEA Board of Control for preparing legislative outreach materials 2017-2019]

2017 OMEA Legislative Agenda Parent Document:

It is the fundamental belief of the Oregon Music Education Association (OMEA) that the study of music is a vital component of a complete pre-K–12 education.  Through its educational activities, publications, and conferences, OMEA addresses all aspects of music education and works to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality program at his or her school.

The study of music has been shown to have lasting benefits on students’ cognitive, psychomotor, and affective development.  It bridges social and racial gaps, and the the value of music education has been affirmed by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which specifically enumerates music as an integral part of a well-rounded education.  OMEA seeks to improve educational outcomes and quality of life for all Oregonians by promoting the best possible music instruction, by advancing music education as a profession, and by encouraging the making and study of music by all.

OMEA’s policy positions are based on the following three educational objectives:

• Every student in Oregon schools shall have access to a high-quality music program and shall study music as part of the instructional day.

• All school music curriculum shall be sequential, comprehensive, and sustained as defined in the National Core Arts Standards for Music Education and programs shall be supported with resources as defined in the NAfME Opportunity-to-Learn Standards for Music.

• All music instruction shall be delivered by well-prepared professional music educators, each of whom meets Oregon TSPC certification requirements.

Situation Status

The 2016 Oregon Student Music Access Project has documented that more than 56,000 public school students in Oregon (about 10% of total enrollment) do not have access to any music curriculum taught by a certified music teacher during the instructional day at school.  Many more students have some access, but their programs are inadequately staffed and/or they experience barriers to participation due to scheduling practices or lack of access to equipment, materials, and facilities.

Inadequate school funding is a root cause of these problems along with the curriculum narrowing and diversion of funds that has resulted from an emphasis on high-stakes standardized testing over the past decade.  Unfunded mandates have created further competition for limited funds and instructional time, resulting in the disproportionate cuts to the arts including music.  This situation makes it impossible for Oregon to provide the “well-rounded” education that is the intent of ESSA.  This needs to change.  OMEA recommends the following as a solution:

  1. Maintain or increase the current service level for education funding.  Do not cut state services while Oregon is 50th in business taxes.  Balance the state budget by generating new revenue that makes large businesses pay more, not Oregon’s small businesses or working families.

  2. Pursue legislative appropriations in an amount sufficient to allow full implementation of the Quality Education Model.

  3. Block or dismantle all legislation that would require unfunded mandates in any area of state-funded services.

  4. Support passage of House Bill 2587, which would reinstate Oregon’s comprehensive education mission, to include the arts and other courses beyond state-tested subjects.

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