Thanks to all who attended the workshop yesterday. I enjoyed meeting all of you and hope that you picked up some useful information. I always learn from the participants at workshops. I appreciate your contributions. Check out the site from time to time as I will continue to add material and resources. Thanks for filling out the survey and be sure to let me know if I can be of any help to you.
New Jersey's fiscal crisis management by the Governor and Legislature continues to escalate. I'm afraid their plan to reign in spending is going to backfire and create the highest jump in property taxes in years. In addition, we may lose hundreds of teachers around the state, and many of them may be music and arts teachers.
Trying to make so much change in so little time is going to have a devastating effect on schools around the state. Schools will have no choice but to make cuts in staff and programs, and with so little time to develop a strategic plan, Boards of Education will be making decisions that look at quick solutions to the short term problems and perhaps overlooking the long term goals.
Advocacy efforts will be more important than ever, but arts educators will be in competition with just about everyone else in the education community. We'll have to see how things progress over the next few weeks.
Our next NJMEA Leadership workshop is two weeks away. I plan to have this website finished by then and introduce it to the participants as part of the resources they can use as they develop their leadership skills in music education. My motivation continues to rise as I read the news each day about the State's financial difficulties. It is not hard to recognize the problems, but it is frustrating to know that the education system and funding remain pawns of the elected officials. Teachers and administrators have not created the problem, but we have to deal with the consequences.
I have been in the profession for 32 years. For each of those 32 years, I dealt with the threat, sometimes subtle and sometimes overt, that my job or program could be eliminated. It is no wonder that music teachers may question their value and become frustrated. Hopefully, these resources will be inspiring and provide the information that is needed to counter the threats.
I'm excited to start this new website dedicated to Leadership in Music Education, with an emphasis on New Jersey. We are definitely going through some challenging times regarding funding for education. Our new governor is telling us that everyone is going to feel some pain, and I have no doubt that music educators will share in the pain.
It is more important than ever for music educators to take a leadership role in advocacy as well as education in general. It is my goal to maintain this website as resource for music educators that want to take a lead and develop their skills and knowledge.
This website will be expanded as time and resources permit. Keep checking back to see how we grow