We need you!
FMEA has an ambitious goal of having every legislator visited by an arts advocate prior to the start of the legislative session. Let’s get started!
- Identify 2 or 3 people to make the visit. At least one of you must be a constituent of your elected official. If you are personally unable to make the visit, identify an articulate parent or community supporter.
- If you are unsure of your elected officials, click here: Find Your Elected Officials.
- To see if your elected officials are on one of the specific education committees, click here: 2015-2016 Educational Committees
- Review the FMEA Legislative Info Page
- Call your legislator for an appointment. Do not make these arrangements on your work time, nor should you visit during your work hours.
- Review the talking points below carefully
You are asking legislators for support for arts education and will address the talking points specifically.
- The actual visit should be 15 - 20 minutes. Begin by identifying yourself as an arts advocate. Share with the legislator and leave behind one of the Florida cohort studies or brochures: Music Advocacy Brochure
- Please keep the FMEA office informed of your progress by entering information here: FMEA Legislative Visit Database
- If you have already made a legislative visit, please provide that information to the database as well: FMEA Legislative Visit Database
2016 February Legislative Visits Talking Points
Getting An Appointment
- Call your local legislative office and set up appointment in district.
- Plan to attend with another FMEA member - but no more than 4 people.
- Introduce yourself as an FMEA member and Arts Advocate. Share FMEA Mission
- The mission of FMEA is to promote quality, comprehensive music education for all Florida Students as a part of their complete education.
- Share cohort study information again. Also share new updated information based on the 2013-2014 data.
- Share shortpositivestory about highlighting the positive effect of arts education on students.
- Share good news about the new federal Every Child Succeeds Act - specifically the mention of the importance of Music and the Arts as part of a well-rounded education. This legislation helps to secure the place of music and arts education in public schools. http://www.nafme.org/wp-content/files/2015/11/ESSA-Implementation-and-Music-Education-Opportunities-Abound-FINAL.pdf
2016 Legislative Priorities
- Adequate funding for education in general (to include comprehensive music education.)
- State your support for strong education funding
- Accountability for music at the state and local level
- Remind legislators about the DOE Fine Arts Report - as a result of previous legislation
- Express Support for legislation that ensures access to high quality arts education for all students. Examples follow:
- Support legislation that continues to reduce the number of state mandated tests or replace them with appropriate national tests.
- Support legislation that examines the effect of teacher pay for performance plans and the effect on recruitment and retention of high quality arts teachers.
- Support HB 1253 – Senate Bill 1550
- General Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot Program: Creates Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot Program within DOE; provides for participation, program requirements, funding & incentive payments, & rulemaking; requires UF's College of Education to perform evaluation; provides for expiration. Effective Date: July 1, 2016
- Request that legislators be mindful of unintended consequences on arts programs. Examples follow:
- Oppose bill - SB96. This additional required course reduces students' opportunities to participate in arts classes. Financial literacy could be offered as an elective rather than a requirement in order to offer students and families a choice.
- Oppose Health Legislation HB125 - SB480. An additional required course will reduce students' opportunities to take arts classes.
- Offer the Center for Fine Arts Education staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (1-800 301-3632) to help legislators analyze effects of education legislation on students' access to quality arts education.
Other broad topics made include:
- Extending the school day: This may be a long-term goal but needs to be addressed. This may come up in discussions about the elementary music pilot program.
- The need for a required Middle School Credit: Many school students do not have adequate access to arts education.
- Proper reporting of arts education teacher shortage: Currently Florida does not list music or arts as a shortage area despite the shortage of arts' educators.
Thank legislator for his/her time and commit to staying in touch throughout the legislative session.
Report your visit on the FMEA Visit Database http://fmea.flmusiced.org/advocacy/legislative-visit-database/