Christine Wolf, Central Davis Junior High
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Dear UMEA Members,
As you are probably aware, and because of Covid 19, the proposed changes to education in Utah are significant to each of us and the future of our programs and our careers. We have talked for years about how advocacy MUST start at the grassroots level. This is your chance to help to ensure that your program has the necessary funding to stay relevant.
UMEA has been working hard with our parent organization NAfME to create proposals to help mitigate those changes in our programs. UMEA is partnering with the Utah Dance Education Organization, the Utah Arts Education Association, and the Utah Advisory Council of Theatre Teachers to create the Utah Arts Education Coalition. Together, as arts educators, our voices are stronger.
The most pressing of the issues that we are currently facing is the proposed cuts to the education budget by the Utah State Legislature. The Utah Legislature’s Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee agreed on three tiers of recommended cuts that total $380 million. The Utah Legislature has not yet determined whether the 10% cut will be necessary and are looking at reductions of 2% and 5% as well. As educators, and for our students, we CANNOT allow this to happen. We are asking our legislators to consider all other funding options (rainy day funds, federal CARES Act money, bonding) before making cuts to education.
Our legislature is meeting in a special session to make these decisions on Monday June 15th.
Please click on the following link as soon as possible (before Monday June 15th) for the opportunity to have your voice be heard. It is CRUCIAL that you NOT use a school email address in your advocacy efforts. This is against policy for most school districts.
Please follow UMEA on social media
FaceBook Group: UMEA – Utah Music Educators Association
and share our advocacy efforts on your social media platforms. Together, we can positively advocate for change.
We will have additional information on advocacy efforts for your programs coming next week. Please watch for them.
UMEA Advocacy Chair
To serve as the principal voice for the advocacy of music education in Utah with a message that the arts play a unique and critical role in helping students develop the kind of innovative and creative skills that they will need to succeed in the 21st century workforce. As such, every child in Utah deserves comprehensive, sequential, high quality music instruction from a CERTIFIED music educator.
- To collaborate with other arts organizations and agencies.
- To promote and assist in the dissemination of music education advocacy materials.
- To promote awareness of music education endeavors in Utah schools and communities.
- To sponsor a yearly rally on Utah’s Capitol Hill to educate and bring attention to music education.
Capitol Hill Day
- “Arts on the Hill Day” 2024 TBA
- Read Caleb Chapman’s powerful speech given at the 2016 Capitol Hill Day.
- Read Jenny Oaks Baker’s Keynote speech given at the 2016 Capitol Hill Day.
The UMEA Advocacy Board supports the NAfME Advocacy program and further information can be found on their website at https://nafme.org/advocacy/
What We Believe
The Value and Quality of Arts Education: A Statement of Principles
- Every student in the nation should have an education in the arts.
- To ensure a basic education in the arts for all students, the arts should be recognized as serious, core academic subjects.
- As education policymakers make decisions, they should incorporate the multiple lessons of recent research concerning the value and impact of arts education.
- Qualified arts teachers and sequential curriculum must be recognized as the basis and core for substantive arts education for all students.
- Arts education programs should be grounded in rigorous instruction, provide meaningful assessment of academic progress and performance, and take their place within a structure of direct accountability to school officials, parents, and the community.
- Community resources that provide exposure to the arts, enrichment, and entertainment through the arts all offer valuable support and enhancement to an in-school arts education.
- Finally, we offer our unified support to those programs, policies and practitioners that reflect these principles.
[This statement of principles was signed in 1999 by ten major education associations: American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Council for Basic Education, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National Parent Teacher Association, and National School Board Association.]
Academic Benefits of Music
- Students in music programs scored 57 points higher in the verbal portion, and 47 points higher in the math portion of the SATs than students with no arts participation.
- Students who participated in music programs receive more awards and academic honors than do their peers with no such experience.
- In schools with strong music classes, cases of low self-esteem, shyness, and school delinquency are decreased.
- Schools with strong music programs have better school attendance.
- Schools with strong music programs have higher graduation rates, especially for minority students.
Challenges Facing Music Education
- There is a music teacher shortage nationally. Each year fewer music teachers graduate than retire. Unfilled music positions can mean decreased instruction time or even elimination of the music program.
- Music education classes often lack adequate funding.
- Music teachers are given inadequate instruction time to properly teach students.
- 94% of public schools have music programs; however, 57% receive an hour or less of instruction per week.
- Music classes held in inappropriate spaces (cafeterias, closets, etc.) often can result in inadequate learning or no learning at all.