Pennsylvania

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The Coalition on Coalitions (CoCs) supports NAMM members and their networks working on state-level music and arts education advocacy efforts. The Pennsylvania network provides tactics, resources and best practices to move and improve state-level policies, funding and advocacy for music and arts education.

State Profile

To customize your state profile to reflect the current education advocacy partnerships in your state, please contact Jessica Cortez.

Update: July 2019

One area that PMEA has emphasized in the past year is the federal Title IV funding stream available for well-rounded subject areas - which includes music. Through the tremendous help of their members, PMEA has compiled Title IV success stories from around Pennsylvania. In fact, they've made it easier than ever by creating the PMEA TItle IV Toolkita one-stop shop for your Title IV work (See quick links below).  All are encouraged to review this material with your colleagues. As you'll see by the examples, you'll be able to easily make a case in your own district. If you have any questions or your own TItle IV success story, please e-mail Mark Despotakis.

Watch Mark Despotakis talk about music education on Pennsylvania Newsmakers.

PMEA Title IV Tool Kit Quick Links: 

Pennsylvania Music Education Advocacy Day

PMEA will hold its annual Music Education Advocacy Day in Harrisburg, PA on March 23rd. Learn more.

PMEA Legislative Priorities

In order for PMEA's fundamental beliefs to become reality in all Pennsylvania schools, PMEA encourages the legislature and the Governor to be proactive in ensuring that all school districts receive adequate and equitable funding as well as adequate policy support for the well-rounded education of every student which includes music and the arts as defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

1. Increase in Basic Education Subsidy Funding

Pennsylvania should increase the Basic Education Subsidy. By increasing the basic subsidy to school districts, Pennsylvania would serve students more effectively by allowing school districts the discretion to use the money as they see fit. We support an increase of $100 million to the basic education subsidy. Any increase in funding should take into account the rising mandated costs school districts are facing. Beyond the 2020-2021 budget, the General Assembly must provide annual state funding to school districts in an amount, and distributed through a formula, that supports the principles of equity, adequacy, accountability, and predictability. We applaud Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania General Assembly for their work in recent years to increase the basic education subsidy.

2. Fair Charter School Funding

Pennsylvania should adopt a funding formula for brick and mortar, and cyber charter schools that allows these schools to maintain their original intent – a place for innovative education that can be shared with traditional public schools. PMEA calls upon members of the General Assembly and Governor Wolf to rethink the current charter funding structure to allow all charter schools and all traditional public schools to thrive through a funding formula that supports the principles of equity, adequacy, accountability, and predictability for charter school and school districts.

3. Maintain Funding for School Safety

Pennsylvania should continue to focus on school safety and allocate $60 million to the School Safety and Security Fund. Allocating $60 million would fund these programs at the same level as the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 budget years. There is still a need for school safety improvements in Pennsylvania schools and by allocating a dedicated funding stream for school safety, schools will not be pressured to use other state or federal dollars and instead use that money on educational programs.

4. Increase the Allocation to the State System of Higher Education

PMEA supports an increase in funding to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). PASSHE schools are a valuable resource to Pennsylvania. Some of the finest music teacher preparation programs are housed in these universities. It is critical to provide funding to support adequate resources to prepare the next generation of music educators.

5. Review Current Pennsylvania Standards in the Arts

The Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State Board of Education should review content area standards as outlined in 22 Pa. Code, Chapter 4. A review and update of these standards is necessary to bring them in alignment with the current state of education in Pennsylvania and the nation. The Pennsylvania standards should be brought into closer alignment with the 2014 National Core Arts Standards and should include standards in media arts.

6. PDE Arts Content Advisor / Liaison

PMEA supports reinstatement of the funded Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) staff position that supervises the development of curriculum and standards in four content areas: Music, Visual Art, Theatre Dance, and Media Arts.
The position was removed from the PDE Curriculum staff in the 2011-12 state budget. PDE leadership are encouraged to review key pieces of the recently passed federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for ways to fund this position by way of federally available money. Specifically, Title IV, Section 4104 of ESSA addresses such a possibility.

NAMM Member Contacts

Mark Despotakis
Progressive Music
mark.despotakis@progrmusic.com
Twitter

State Music & Arts Organizations 

Pennsylvania Music Educators Association

Citizens for the Arts in PA 

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

American's for the ArtsArts Services Directory for Pennsylvania

Resources

View local, state and federal resources.