Advocacy

NYSSMA Government Relations & Advocacy Committees 

  

Alan Orloff

Alan Orloff
NYSSMA Government Relations
Committee Chair

 Many thanks to all who made our 45th Annual Joseph R. Sugar NYSSMA Day in Albany such a resounding success!!  Visitors to Sen. Kemp Hannon’s office heard him say that “if NYSSMA hadn’t been coming here all these years, support for your programs would have ebbed long ago.” Comments like this make us realize the importance of our legislative visits and the relationships NYSSMA members have made with their legislators over the years. They cannot help us if we don’t tell them what we want.

This year NYSSMA moved to the political forefront of NY Music Education politics.  NYSSMA was an integral part of the team that wrote the NY State Every Student Succeeds Act Plan and the new Standards for the Arts which were submitted to and approved by the Federal Education Department.  We have been “at the table” regularly with the SED Chancellor and our Regents. We worked closely with the SED to create the training for the New Arts Standards and it is NYSSMA Members who have been authorized to deliver that training. We have become a more politically savvy and respected organization.

On the national level, our counterparts at NAfME have worked tirelessly in Washington to secure more funding for Music Education through the Tiers. Here are the newest figures, set in the last round of budget negotiations:

*   Title I-A – $15.8B ($300 million boost)
 *   Title II-A, Supporting Effective Instruction Grants – $2.1B (Level funding)
 *   Title IV-A, Student Support & Academic Enrichment Grants – $1.1B ($700 million boost)
 *   21st Century Learning Centers – $1.2B (20 million boost)
 *   Arts in Education – $29.0M (2 million boost)

The $700 million dollar “boost” to Title IV-A block grants represents a 250% increase from last years totally inadequate $400 million-dollar appropriation. A large percentage of our NYSSMA membership fees provide us all with NAfME membership and the results of the NAfME political team are outstanding!

Next, we move on to Washington DC, where we will join with Collegiate Conference members to lobby on Capitol Hill.  This event takes place June 26-28, and I look forward to working with our NAfME/NYSSMA Collegiate members to bring our message, “Making the Magic of Music Education Accessible to All”, to our New York congressional leaders.

 

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NYSSMA MUSIC EDUCATION ADVOCACY

The future of music education in the state of New York is dependent on the support of educators, parents, students, communities, legislators, and support groups. This new area on the NYSSMA Web Site features important advocacy information to aid in supporting music education at the local level. The NYSSMA Government Relations Committee presents the information on this web site to assist music educators and parents in supporting the right of every student to receive a well-rounded education that includes a comprehensive, sequential, high-quality program of music taught by a qualified music teacher.  Please credit the source when using this information in your advocacy efforts.

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