Work Made For Hire Question

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    I don’t know where to post this so I am going to post it in a number of places.

    My district just initiated a “Work Made for Hire” policy which is common in the industrial sector, but I have never seen it in education before. Here are a couple of questions I have for all of you.

    1. Does your district or have you ever heard of a district having a policy like this?
    2. How does that affect us as music educators?
    – As ours reads we cannot do anything within our field outside school for pay. To me that says composing, teaching private lessons, coaching/conducting musical groups, playing gigs, anything that has any relation to our job.

    I have not had a chance to talk to my Association representative about this yet, but am I just blowing this all out of proportion or is there a legitimate concern? As I see it this effects anybody teaching any artistic class in school i.e. art, dance, music. . .

    Thank you for your thoughts and insights


    I have heard rumors of this here in Ohio, and it seems to be tied to the Ohio Code of Ethics language that prohibits educators from using their positions for personal gain. In my district, we don’t have issues with this. In others, they do. I think it all comes down to how your district interprets the ethics code.

    In my opinion, I find it absolutely ridiculous that some districts are going after music teachers for doing things that better our profession. (judging, honor bands, clinics, etc.) However, we voted these people into office so we have to live with the consequences. In short, all of this is nothing more than an attempt to demoralize public school educators.

    Back on topic: your best bet is to sit down and discuss this with your principal/HR dept/superintendent/union rep and find out how your district will interpret this policy.

    To be safe, in our district, we don’t teach private lessons to any students that we assign grades to. We are fortunate to have enough quality private instructors in our community that I don’t have to teach lessons at all. However, I do teach lessons for students from a nearby district. I don’t know how a school system can tell you what you can or can not do on your own time, especially when it doesn’t relate to the students in the district.

    Unfortunately, in their attempt to bash teachers, politicians are doing nothing more than limiting opportunities for kids. It’s a sad state of affairs. What state are you in?


    Thanks for the reply sp415. I don’t teach many private lessons, but even if they were my students or not I wouldn’t be able to give lessons without district permission. I live in Nebraska and thankfully it is not a state policy, but let us hope it doesn’t catch on.

    I have talked to my union rep at both the school level and the state level and I am waiting to hear back on what they find. It is really frustrating because if effects more than just musician. Any specialist (P.E., Art, Computer, Industrial Technologies. . . ) are impacted by this and I really worry about how it will impact the students.

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