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.



Dear Friends,
The past several days have been a difficult time for your leadership in CMEA and those who have been tuned into the recent events at our national level.  
In consultation with the CMEA Executive Board, and under directives from NAfME, we have remained silent for several days to allow the statements officially put out by NAfME to provide some answers.  I realize that many of you want more, and I stand with you in that desire for information.  
One person does not make or break any organization.  None of us is that powerful or indispensable.  It is the organization itself, with it's Vision, Mission Statement, values, policies, and procedures that is the ongoing entity.  We exist within an organization as the stewards of those values for only a designated period of time.  And then others follow to fill our places.  In this current issue, CMEA and NAfME will survive and become stronger as we continue to address the issues of Inclusion and Diversity.  
We live in a democracy where everyone is innocent until proven guilty by an official source.  Public opinion should never be the ultimate judge, and we need to trust our leadership to do a thorough job in investigating and reporting back to us. 
CMEA is a tremendous organization, with a rich history and a bright future.  Out of this adversity will come dialogue and new directions. Diversity and greater inclusion for all students has been in the discussions among your state leaders for quite some time, and when you see the announcement of our new CMEA State Council, later this month, you will notice several new positions that relate directly to our need to reach out and be a much more important entity in the lives of our colleagues and the students they teach.  
A greater inclusion of all has been at the core of my wish for CMEA and has been my driving force in pursuing leadership within our organization for the past fourteen years.
Thank you for your understanding, your patience, and your professionalism in the recent days.  I look forward to our discussions and future directions within the CMEA family.

Scott Hedgecock
CMEA President
A Message From The NAfME National Executive Board:
Last week, the National Executive Board (NEB) and leadership team were made aware that Michael Butera, CEO of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), made disparaging remarks during a meeting convened by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). His remarks and behavior as reported are in direct contrast with the values, commitment, and mission of our organization. We began a review of this incident immediately upon notification, and the investigation is concluded. Michael has been placed on administrative leave pending final board discussion.

As part of this process, we reached out to participants in last week’s meeting, including Keryl McCord of Alternate ROOTS, to fully understand what happened and assess the situation. During those conversations, our national leadership affirmed NAfME’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts, as well as our desire to foster a meaningful dialogue that leads to an increase of diversity in our field.

As leaders of this organization, we want you to know that we take this matter very seriously. Our promise to you is that the review is timely, comprehensive, professional, and one of integrity and high ethical standards.

We will continue this important dialogue regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts. The National Executive Board has been in intensive meetings, and will follow up tomorrow.