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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.

Introduction

  • 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  (kdsanz@flmusiced.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/