Rockley Family Foundation Fights for Music Education in Colorado

Last month, Tobin and Liane Rockley attended the National Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In to advocate for the importance of the recent Federal Education Law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), in support of providing music education as part of a well-rounded education for all students.

Both the NAMM and the Rockley Family are grateful to Congress for coming together and making a bipartisan decision to pass this important law. Music has been shown to have a positive impact on student performance, retention and graduation rates making it an invaluable subject in a well-rounded education.

Every Student Succeeds Act

The ESSA repairs some of the challenges that our schools faced with the previous No Student Left Behind (NSLB) law and creates a greater opportunity to offer students a well-rounded education.

  • New definition of “well-rounded education” includes music for the first time in federal law
  • Provides flexibility in Title 1 funds – and state/district decision-making – to support a well-rounded education, including music
  • Allows funds to support more professional development for music educators as part of well-rounded education
  • Allows states to choose multiple measures to show progress in schools, such as student and parental
engagement and school culture/climate
  • Consolidates current programs into new formula block grants to school districts where at least 20% of funds
must be used to support well-rounded programs, including music

Advocating For Music Education

The Rockley Family Foundation values music education and is proud to partner with NAMM to advocate for access to quality, well-rounded education, including music education, for all students. Funding for ESSA law doesn’t pass until 2017, and it is critical to continue to advocate for the ESSA to ensure it is fully funded when the time comes.

During the NAMM D.C. Fly-In event, the Rockleys were trained on how to develop state-level advocacy efforts for music and arts education here in Colorado. They also met with Senator Gardner (R-CO), Senator Bennet’s (D-CO) office, Congressman Perlmutter (D – CO) and Congressman Polis (D-CO) to discuss the importance of music education and the support needed to ensure that each student has the opportunity to learn music in school.

Next Steps

Now back at home in Colorado, the Rockley Family Foundation will continue to advocate for well-rounded education policies and the importance of music education with both members of Congress and members of the education community. The Rockley Family Foundation is eager to connect with like-minded people and organizations that are interested in collaborating on advocacy efforts for music education here in Colorado.

In addition, the Rockley Family Foundation recently opened a first class community recital hall venue, complete with professional-level acoustics, lighting, and instruments, which is available to Colorado musical community on a no-cost basis. This space gives music students a venue to share their music with the community in a public forum.

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