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Greg Gumina, AMEA President Finish Strong! Hello AMEA!


I hope you have had a very productive school year full of high quality, sequential, standards-based units of instruction, and wonderful performances. We are the protectors and advocates of our beautiful art form, and we also possess a noble profession. Closing down a school year can be both enjoyable and sorrowful at the same time. So let’s make the best out of the time we have left in this academic year. I have chosen to share some information with you in this article from both the state and federal levels. My hope is that you will read through, get motivated, and take action where necessary.


Arts Alliance Meeting I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Alabama Arts Education Alliance Pre-Summit Conference. Representatives from Theater, Visual Arts, Dance, and of course Music were present and we discussed many topics throughout the day. Our organization was the largest and most organized of the Professional Organizations represented at the Summit, but the other areas were well represented by


distinguished


professionals and contributed great ideas to the discussions. The meeting was administrated by Andy Meadows, Arts Specialist with the Alabama State Department of Education. Some of the topics of the day were organizations’ strengths and weaknesses, Artistic Literacy Consortium, advocacy, Arts in Alabama Schools Month, Arts Signing Day, certification pathways, On-line arts courses, Arts Mega Conference, and next steps for each area of discussion.


8


NAfME Monthly Update Highlights A grassroots action alert has been activated for members to write to Congress in support of fully funding Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act following the release of the President’s budget for FY20, where he zeroed out appropriations for this section of the education law. Title IV, Part A is known as Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) and is a block formula grant with a wide range of allowable uses. It allows States, LEA’s, schools, and local communities to provide students with access to a well- rounded education, improve school conditions for student learning, and improve the use of technology in order to improve academic achievement and digital literacy. I encourage you to contact your Federal Representatives in Washington and encourage them to fully fund Title IV, Part A. In other news, NAfME membership numbers are strong and growing. Active Members, Retired Members, Collegiate Members, TRI-M Chapters, and TRI-M Members all showed growth from 2018 to 2019.


Teacher Shortage and Teacher Raises There is a nationwide teacher shortage coming, and depending on which data you look at, it could be disastrous for schools and students. Alabama is no exception. Many, including our state Superintendent Eric Mackey, are calling it a crisis. This situation is not expected to drastically impact our profession, but we must always be vigilant. According to the Director of Human Resources with the Jefferson County School System, prior to 2013, there were approximately 12% of high school graduates who


pursued education as a career. Since 2013 that number has dropped to 4%. Teachers who entered service after 2013 are only staying in the teaching profession for an average of 5 years. 2013 is the year that the Tier II Retirement plan was put into place. The teachers in Alabama who were hired after


We all see the finish line together, but we can’t win the race if we stop short ...


Let’s be great examples to our students, and finish strong!


May/June 2019


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