ALBANY – As a kick off to Music in our Schools Month, Music Educators from all over New York State came together in Albany on Monday, March 2, to spend the day meeting with legislators to advocate for the continued support of music in our schools.
Music educators from NYSSMA Zone 8 – which covers Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, and Madison Counties – held meetings with several NYS legislators, on Monday. The legislators included Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, Assemblyman Pete Lopez, Assemblyman Bill Magee, Senator James Seward, Senator Tom Libous, and Senator John Bonacic.
Among this group of Music Educator were Gregg Maistros, Gregg Norris, Amy Hoxie, and Julie M. Solomon from Chenango County; Ann Monaco and Andrea Reece from Otsego County; Diane Krick and Jonelle Rabeler from Delaware County; Cassandra Olin from Schoharie County; and Nick Anderalli, Holly McCoy, and Bill McCoy from Madison County.
This group represented and advocated for the two million plus music students and over 10,000 music educators of New York State. The music advocates spoke to the legislators about their concerns with Governor Cuomo’s latest education reform proposal, the lack of State Aid information for our schools, the Gap Elimination Adjustment, the effects of the Tax Cap, and asked for their continued support for Music In Our Schools.
“Every child deserves a comprehensive and sequential education including music and the arts,” said Julie Solomon, the NYSSMA Zone 8 Representative. “But, high stakes testing, additional mandates, and tax caps have put added stress on our schools. While some of these initiatives were intended to improve education they have had detrimental effects on music and other programs in many schools around New York State. We have to carefully guard every student’s right to a well-rounded education that includes music and arts.”
Amy Hoxie, a Music Educator in the Sidney Central School District, explained that the group went to Albany with five primary points of discussion in mind. She said that they wanted to address the Gap Elimination Adjustment, the Governor's proposal regarding NYS teacher evaluations, the withholding of state aid estimates from schools, the NYS Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA), and the upcoming Board of Regents election.