Two Major Legislative Victories in California for Music and Arts Education!

Two Major Legislative Victories in California for Music and Arts Education!

artsOn Monday, September 26, two major pieces of arts education legislation supported by the California Music Educators Association and their music advocacy campaign, Stand Up 4 Music, were signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown.

Bill Summaries

  1. The first law, Assembly Bill 2862, will require California to update and revise the Visual and Performing Arts standards for students in Grades Pre-K-12. The last adoption of standards for the Visual and Performing Arts was fifteen years ago in 2001. The new law requires that California’s Department of Education use the 2014 National Core Arts Standards, including the 2014 Music Standards, as the basis for the revision. A final set of California standards must be ready to be adopted by the State Board of Education by January, 2019.

  2. The second new law, Senate Bill 916, created teacher certification or licensing credentials for California’s theatre and dance teachers. Part of the coalition’s work to support high-quality, sequential, rigorous learning on all the arts, SB 916 would put dance and theatre educators on par with other content teachers in California. With the passage of this law, only one state is left without both dance and theatre certification – West Virginia.

CaliforniaThese new laws would not have made it to the finish line without the ongoing advocacy work and support of CMEA and its music education advocacy partners. CMEA and its partners have spent the past two years attempting to get music and arts standards revision moved to the front of the standards revision agenda for California. And CMEA has helped shepherd the dance and theatre licensure in support of our dance and theatre education colleagues so they can be recognized for their discipline and pedagogical expertise. CMEA, along with its music education advocate partners in Stand Up 4 Music, including members of NAMM this year, held a successful advocacy day at their state capitol in Sacramento, CA, in May. That legislative day, plus numerous meetings, letters of support, phone calls, and constituent contacts, helped pave the way for these two important pieces of arts education legislation to get passed in California.

Lynn Tuttle, Director of Content & Policy, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, October 6, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (