Advocacy Updates

MMEA is working hard every day on advocacy/policy issues that directly impact music education in Michigan. From state certification to ESSA–and everything in between–we are involved in numerous discussions, working groups, & forums with the goal of insuring a top quality music education for all Michigan students. We’d like to share details of some current activities, and invite you to visit the advocacy pages on this website anytime for additional information about our advocacy/policy activities.
 
National News
The NAfME policy staff has put together letters to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, asks them to fully fund the Student Support & Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program under Title IV-A in fiscal year 2018. MMEA signed those letters on 5/25/17, showing our support for the highest allowable Title IV funding levels.
 
We are carefully watching the preliminary budgets from Washington, D.C., and specifically the proposed funding levels for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). We will keep you informed as information becomes available, and of any potential impact on your work as Michigan music educators.
 
MMEA leaders will be in Washington, D.C. later this month as part of the NAfME National Assembly & “Hill Day.” Along with collegiate members from throughout MI, we will be meet with legislators to discuss ESSA implementation & funding, and our current advocacy/legislative work in Michigan. We look forward to a great day of legislative meetings as we advocate for all Michigan music educators & students.
 
Michigan’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is looking for MI teachers to serve on a key leadership panel to help implement the state’s ESSA plan, under a grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers. This “Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council” will be comprised of 20 teachers – two from each of Michigan’s 10 Prosperity Regions across the state. They will be selected in an application process open to all Michigan teachers, with a competitive preference to those with experience or interest in teacher leadership positions. Members of the panel will participate in virtual meetings with MDE staff and partners to provide feedback on various new programs, policies, and supports related to Michigan’s ESSA plan, submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) on April 17. They also will help: spur interest among teachers in their regions who are interested in contributing to a Michigan Teacher Leader Network designed to ensure teachers have a voice in relevant and emerging education policy issues; amplify and advertise opportunities for teachers and teacher leaders to participate in surveys, feedback opportunities, focus groups, and other activities convened by the MDE; and act as ambassadors of the #proudMIeducator campaign. Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council activities will be held outside of school hours to minimize disruption to teaching and learning. Members will be paid a $500 honorarium for the 2017-18 school year. We encourage you to apply by CLICKING HERE. Applications are being accepted through June 16 (5 PM, and the members will be announced in July.
 
State Budget News
Governor Snyder’s proposed budget calls for 2 key funding provisions with a direct impact on the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultual Affairs (MCACA):
  1. An additional $1 million in one-time funds for the MCACA, and
  2. A change in the legislative language that governs the MCACA. If passed, this change would open up the MCACA to be charged administrative fees that could reduce the amount of grant dollars available across the state.
While the MI House budget did NOT include this additional MCACA funding, the Senate version DID include it, and also restore the language exempting MCACA from certain state administrative fees. Differences between the house/senate budgets will be negotiated in conference committees soon. MCACA supports many MMEA programs through an operational support grant, and those dollars are crucial in allowing MMEA to continue providing top-quality professional development & student programming throughout Michigan. We will keep you informed of any further details as they become available.
 
We welcome any questions you may have about these updates.  Thank you for your commitment to providing a top-quality music education to ALL Michigan students.