4/1/2014: The WMEA and WIAA boards have approved a two-year pilot for adding Guitar Ensemble as a category starting with the 2015 regional and state solo and ensemble contests. The category will be evaluated during the second year to see if it should be continued, expanded, or discontinued.
7/3/2013: SB 5909 was introduced to the Washington state legislature during the last session by Senator Rosemary McAuliffe. The bill will expand the current STEM language to include the Arts. It will turn STEM to STEAM. WMEA along with several arts organizations in Washington will be advocating for this bill in the new session.
6/6/2013: WMEA and Music Aid Northwest announced the first Music Matters check to be awarded from the struggling schools pool fund. The check for $6500, was presented to the music teacher at Prescott Schools. The funds will be used to purchase, repair and maintain instruments for the students in the Prescott School District.
2/26/2013: WMEA learned that both House Bill 1248 and Senate Bill 5451 missed their deadlines to get passed out of their committees. That means both bills are null. WMEA believes it was the efforts of those who opposed the bills that contributed to the bills failing to move forward.
2/25/2013: Bruce Caldwell, Jo Caldwell, Neal Porter, Barbara Porter and Mario Brown went to Olympia to testify in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. Bruce Caldwell and Neal and Barbara Porter spoke before the committee. While in the Olympia, the WMEA delegation met with several members of both the House and the Senate to talk about music education. WMEA, WEA and the Washington Arts Alliance stood in opposition to House Bill 1248 and Senate Bill 5451.
1/29/2013: Bruce Caldwell and Mario Brown testified before the House Education Committee in Olympia. WMEA testified in opposition to House Bill 1248. The well-meaning bill would authorize the legislature to provide funding to elementary schools to purchase music programs that could be used as curriculum even if the teacher has no experience or training in music. WMEA's mission is to ensure that every student has access to a comprehensive, sequential music education taught by a qualified instructor. WMEA appreciates and respects supplemental educational programs and technology, but we would like to see those programs used by qualified music instructors at all grade levels.
1/9/2013: On January 7, Mariko Lane and Ted Christensen hosted an advocacy training session that was attended by 82 participants!
1/8/2013: WMEA spent the morning with WEA Chief Lobbyist, Lucinda Young. We discussed working together to make sure that music education is included as part of any "basic education" format. WMEA needs its members to work with us as we advocate. If you would like to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide us with your private (non-work) email account. There are many opportunities to participate! We look forward to hearing from you.
1/8/2013 BREAKING NEWS: Attention music teachers in the 48 Legislative District (the Bellevue area). TODAY, Tuesday January 8th Senator Rodney Tom, Representative-Elect Cyrus Habib