The weather may have tampered down our usual annual advocacy day, but we didn’t let the snow and ice get the best of us last week. Our meetings about the Fine Arts Mentorship Program were well-received, particularly by the Governor’s Office, and the presentation before the Education Committee was heartfelt and impressed several members and meeting attendees.

The Advocacy Leadership team met with Legislative Leadership except the Speaker’s office and were well received. Linda Fandel, the Education Liaison for the Governor, was very enthusiastic regarding our efforts in implementing the Fine Arts standards.

In the presentation to the Senate Education Committee, the presenters reiterated the need for the state’s appropriation for the nation’s only discipline-specific mentoring program for first and second year teachers. Likewise, the committee seemed receptive to having an interim study to establish a baseline of information regarding the Fine Arts Education in Iowa as the State of Iowa implements its Fine Arts Standards and coordinates with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that requires Fine Arts as part of a well-rounded education.

Introduced in the same week is a bill (House File 60) that would require music therapists to hold board-certified credentials from either the Certification Board for Music Therapists or a professional designation in good standing that is listed on the National Music Therapy Registry. The bill also provides penalties for violations.