The Stand Up 4 Music Coalition met on January 26th, 2014 at the NAMM convention and collaboratively decided upon the following policy priorities for music education at the state level in California:
•To ensure access to music education for all K-12 students, LEA compliancy of the Ed Code that addresses arts education needs to be enforced (music and the arts are mandatory K-6, and must be offered 7-12). Music Education advocate Carl Schafer wrote an article explaining this issue here
•Impacting SB 1458-holding schools accountable for providing arts education through the state’s Academic Performance Index (API). Due to SB 1458, 40% of a school’s API will need to consist of items that do not include standardized testing. There is opportunity to include arts education as a part of this 40%. More information is available here:
•Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and how these funds can be used for student access to arts education. Decisions about how to spend the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) are being made now in school districts. There is potential for K-12 students to benefit from these funds by increasing arts and music education in schools, but only if we advocate for our cause. Note the "local" in LCFF, which means this advocacy must happen in every community. CAAE has great resources to help with this advocacy here:
•Keeping intact the CA Single Subject Credential in Music by preventing the creation of the "VAPA" credential. In order to solve the long-term problem of no dance or theatre teaching credential in California, a proposal to group all four arts disciplines (dance, music, theatre and visual arts) under one “VAPA Credential” is opposed by music educators.
•Advocating for the state adoption of the new National Core Arts Standards for music. The final draft of these standards is now available to download at http://nccas.wikispaces.com. California's current standards were adopted in 2001. We hope that the development of these new next generation national arts standards will, as in Science, begin the process, leading to the adoption of these as the new California Arts standards.
•Working to address the effects of AB 1575. Governor Brown signed a bill in 2012 that strictly regulates the collection of student fees. While the bill ensures a “free and appropriate education” for all California students, many music programs have experienced difficulty in finding ways to fully fund music education activities and objectives given these restrictions.