AB 2862 (O'Donnell), the CMEA Sponsored bill for updating our VAPA Standards was just passed in the Assembly 68-0! Now on to the Senate. 

Your work as a membership in making calls and contacts to your legislators makes the difference! Thank you for being there when we needed you. Now the process repeats itself in the Senate.

Also, SB 916 (Allen), the Theatre and Dance credential bill (TADA) was passed unanimously out of the Senate and moves to the Assembly. 

A good day for Arts Education in California!

Dear CMEA Member:

The Leaders of the partnering organizations that make up the CMEA-led Stand Up 4 Music (SU4M) Coalition have determined the 2016 SU4M Legislative Priorities.

SU4M includes the following partnering organizations in 2016:

-California Music Educators Association (CMEA);

-National Association for Music Education (NAfME);

-California Band Directors Association (CBDA);

-California Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (CA ACDA);

-California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA);

-California Alliance for Jazz (CAJ);

-Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA);

-Northern California Band Directors Association (NCBDA);

-Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA);

-Music Association of California Community Colleges (MACCC);

-California American String Teachers Association (Cal ASTA); and,

-Northern California Band Association (NCBA).

The Coalition (http://www.standup4music.org/) follows voting protocols in order to reach consensus when taking positions on legislation.

Here are the 2016 Legislative Priorities:

Support SB 916, Allen – Creating a Dance and Theatre Single Subject Credential.  http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB916

Support AB 2248, Holden – California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) will be required to issue credentials qualifying teachers from out of state within 30 days. This bill will address California’s teacher shortage crisis.


In addition, the Coalition voted unanimous support for ACR (Assembly Concurrent Resolution) 124, Calderon, recognizing the California Arts Council’s 40th Anniversary, and SCR (Senate Concurrent Resolution) 112, Fuller, recognizing March 2016 as Arts Education Month.

More information on the work of the Stand Up 4 Music Coalition may be found at: http://www.standup4music.org/ .



Michael D. Stone, President

California Music Educators Association (CMEA)


Yesterday, we notified you that we were nearing a conclusion related to the actions and comments made by Michael Butera. After a thorough review process, the National Executive Board of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and Michael Butera have agreed that he will not be returning to the association. We wish him well and thank him for his service to our purpose and mission.

Additionally, we are announcing that Michael Blakeslee will serve as the new Executive Director and Chief Executive Office for NAfME, effective immediately. Mr. Blakeslee’s experience and knowledge of our organization, fostered over nearly 30 years of dedicated service to NAfME and the music education profession, best position us to advocate for and provide opportunities to the greatest number of students and teachers.

Over the course of the last few days, it has become increasingly clear that there is a need for real, substantive conversation about providing access and opportunity to the millions of students that deserve a chance but are not afforded one. We believe that our organization can play an important role in convening and facilitating a dialogue to prompt action around ways to increase diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts.

While not in the manner we would have preferred, we believe this incident granted an opportunity to address an issue facing too many students and educators. Moving forward, we will be reaching out to a number of organizations, members, and partners to continue the much-needed dialogue regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity in the music and arts. We are committed to upholding our mission, achieving real solutions, and bringing about substantive change that impacts the future of our work and provides access to music for all Americans.



CMEA Board Candidates and Constitution and Bylaws Changes

As directed by our CMEA Constitution & Bylaws, as in the past year as CMEA President-elect I have:

  • Convened a Nominating Committee to assemble a slate of candidates to run for CMEA elected office
  • Convened a committee to review and update our CMEA Constitution & Bylaws

In the following pages, you will see the candidates for office approved by the Nominating Committee and the proposed changes to the CMEA Constitution and Bylaws as recommended by the revision committee.

Process for Selecting the Slate of Candidates

As directed by the CMEA Constitution & Bylaws, the Nominating Committee is chaired by the immediate past president and the members are our CMEA section presidents.  As chair, I convened this committee at our January 2015 board meeting to begin discussing potential candidates for the positions of president-elect, vice president and secretary.  Over 20 names were suggested.  In the ensuing three months, the committee had access to a confidential document where basic biographical information was collected and shared to help inform decision-making.  The names were then listed on a private site and committee members were asked rank the names in their order of preference.  Once the names were ranked, I began to call those with the highest cumulative rankings to ask if they were interested in becoming a candidate.  Those CMEA members who said yes were submitted back to the Nominating Committee for their approval at the August board meeting, and this slate was then endorsed by the CMEA Executive Board.  You will find these candidates on the following pages, two for each statewide elected office.  I am very proud of how this process played out, and I believe the nominating committee has gathered an extremely strong slate of candidates.

As a CMEA member, we ask that you read the candidate biographies and statements and carefully consider who you believe is best suited to lead our organization over the next two years, and in the case of president-elect, six years.  CMEA has positioned itself to become a strong voice in our state for your profession, music education.  As we march down the road towards increased advocacy and visibility, the outcome of the CMEA election becomes ever more important.  Your serious participation in this process is highly encouraged.

Constitution & Bylaws Revision

The full CMEA board served as the revision committee and unanimously approved the changes in the proposed CMEA Constitution & Bylaws that you will find after the candidate bios in this magazine.  The pink words would be added, while crossed-out words would be removed from our current document.  Here is a summary of the proposed changes:

  • The word “advocate” was added to highlight this critical part of our mission under purposes and objectives
  • The position of “CMEA Administrative Coordinator” was recently changed by the CMEA board to “CMEA Executive Administrator.”  This change is reflected throughout the proposed Constitution & Bylaws.
  • The position of CMEA Lobbyist has been added to the list of ex-officio, non-voting board members, alongside the Magazine Editor and the Executive Administrator.  Of these ex-officio members, only the Executive Administrator regularly attends board meetings.
  • The timeline for the nominating process has been updated to describe the way the process has actually been functioning, given the amount of lead time is necessary to secure high-quality candidates.
  • Given the importance of the CMEA Strategic Plan in directing the work of our association, verbiage was added to the president’s job description that includes strategic planning and implementation within the president’s scope of work.
  • There are few slight changes which make this revision gender-neutral.

This revised Constitution & Bylaws cannot take effect without the ratification of the general membership, and so this issue will appear on your ballot.  The CMEA Board of Directors recommends approval of these revisions.


Once again, this year’s election will be held primarily online through a secure election web platform.  Members will receive an email from CMEA Executive Administrator Trish Adams two weeks before CASMEC by which members will be able to access their own online ballot.  As directed by the CMEA Constitution & Bylaws, any member “may request a ballot be mailed to him/her two months prior to the California All-State Music Education Conference of an election year by sending a stamped and self-addressed envelope to the CMEA State Office.”  For your convenience, a computer will be available in the CASMEC exhibit hall for CMEA members in which they can use to vote.  The election will close at noon on Saturday, February 13 (during CASMEC).  The results will be released via a mass email to all members as soon as all candidates are first notified of the voting.

Russ Sperling