Welcome to Quarter Notes! What is Quarter Notes, you ask? Great question. This is my inaugural blog. I will be publishing quarterly blogs on various financial based topics having to do with music! I will sometimes write from my point of view, and when you get sick of that, I will bring in guest writers!
Did you catch the quirky play on words there…Quarter (for quarterly writing, but also Quarter as in $0.25) and Notes (well another double meaning…musical notes, but also notes on topics). I know we are a bit punny!
Each quarter we will dive into a topic, having to do with financial matters, that is helpful for our partners in music education. In addition, we have launched a new webpage with information about various funding opportunities. It can be found all in one place, at edufund.westmusic.com. This is a growing site with new content being added often, so stop back to see what’s new!
So the topic for our first installment, the recently passed “Every Student Succeeds Act”. The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. This sweeping act replaced the defunct and dying No Child Left Behind Act. Please visit the site above for the complete details of this Act. I’m going to discuss a few key areas of this Act.
Title I: S. 1177 stipulates the eligibility of Title I funds for all “Well-Rounded Education” subjects. The specific terms of “music” and “arts” gives a stronger position when advocating for these programs.
Title IV: S. 1177 requires school districts (Local Educational Agencies) to undertake a needs assessment of how they are supporting a well-rounded education in their schools, including music education, and then provides supplemental funding to strengthen programs which need assistance. In layman’s terms? Arts and Music programs have access to the same funds that math, science, and other class in the core curriculum have. This has been the case since no child left behind, HOWEVER, the wording was unclear, leaving room for interpretation (incorrectly). This clarification in wording alone levels the playing field for arts education and brings music funding a much needed boost.
Title IV: S. 1177 also includes new opportunities for music and arts education through formula funding grants in Title IV. States receiving formula grants must use those monies for purposes of carrying out particular State Activities, including offering “Well-Rounded” educational experiences, such as music, to underrepresented, disadvantaged, or minority students. The bill specifically notes activities and programs in “music” and “arts” are both appropriate uses of formula grants. WHAT?? More grant potential!!!! Funding for Music and the Arts…my favorite thing!!!!
So in conclusion, this Act being signed is step one in the evolution of music and arts education for all students. And it specifically allows for additional funding opportunities to increase these offerings. The research on the subject is clear in that exposure and compulsory involvement in music education system, especially in the primary years, boosts not only academic endeavors but increases focus and boosts IQ. With this act we can now help with the launching of a nationwide movement to make sure everyone can ‘experience the power of making music.‘