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Congratulations!! We Did It!!

Our Seal of Fine Arts House Bill (HB 523) passed all committees, the Full House, the Full Senate unanimously!   AND the Governor approved the bill on April 2nd.

We owe a debt of thanks to Representatives Canady and Black and Senators Perry and Rouson for sponsoring in the bill.

Thank YOU for your successful letter-writing campaign at the FMEA Advocacy Action Center.  The postcards and emails you sent made the difference!

If you have not yet thanked your legislators for supporting this bill, please take a minute to do so!

  • Share a short personal story about the power of music education in your or your students’ lives connected to those themes if possible.
  • Thank your legislator for his/her support of the Seal of Fine Arts (HB523 – SB 694).
  • Invite them to attend your spring concerts.

Send either an email or a handwritten snail mail note to the district address.

Check to see if your legislator was a co-sponsor of the bill. If so, thank them for not only passing the bill but also for co-sponsoring it.

Senate Bill 694 Sponsor Perry, Co-Sponsors: Rouson; Burgess; Stewart; Torres

House Bill 523 Sponsors Canady and Black, Co-Sponsors: Amesty, Arrington, Baker; Bankson; Basabe; Bell; Daniels; Eskamani; Esposito; Franklin; Garcia; Gossett-Seidman; Harris; Hart; Plakon; Plasencia; Smith; Valdés; Woodson

You can find your state Senator and Representative at the links below.  Simply put in your address where you are registered to vote.



Seal of Fine Arts Legislation

This legislation provides long-overdue recognition of the importance and rigor of quality arts education by creating a graduation seal for high-achieving music students.


Engage in Arts Education Advocacy

 Did you know that students engaged in arts learning are:

  • Four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
  • Four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair.
  • Three times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • Three times more likely to win an award for school attendance.

The Busy Teacher's Guide to Advocacy


Careers In Music

The music industry offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals who are passionate about music. By exploring their interests and pursuing further education or specialized training in music, arts administration, or related fields, individuals can discover fulfilling and rewarding careers that allow them to contribute to the vibrant and dynamic world of music. Please see these resources from our national partners, the National Federation of High School Associations and the National Association of Music Merchants:


Music education is deeply personal to me. I have always wanted to play musical instruments. When I was in third grade, I desperately wanted to play the drums. I was told that I had to earn the right to learn this musical instrument by increasing my academic levels. There is no doubt in my mind that countless other children have been told the same thing. I proved my gatekeepers wrong. My ability to read and my number sense dramatically improved alongside my passion and love of learning music. I could visualize half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes and was quickly able to translate that into mathematical concepts in the classroom, putting me well ahead of many of my classmates.

I truly believe that music education enhances and supports academic growth and performance. This is why I have been such a vocal advocate for visual and performing arts as critical components to a high-quality education.

--Dr. Michael Grego, Superintendent (Retired), Pinellas County Schools


2023 Florida Legislative Summary:


End of Session Report 

This is a comprehensive report of the 2023 Legislative Session prepared by our lobbyists from the Capitol Hill Group.

The 2023 session will impact education in general for years to come. It is worth taking time to review this report. The narrative about the budget at the beginning of this document is most helpful.

Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Program

There were some bright spots for music and arts education in the 2023 session. Please see page 13 of the End of Session Report for Senator Perry’s Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Program.

This legislation passed unanimously. Senator Perry has been championing this legislation since 2017. This legislation moves this program from a pilot program to a permanent program administered by the Department of Education.

Arts Education Data Project

Senator Perry championed and secured $60,000 for Florida to participate in the Arts Education Data Project. This project has been a high priority for FMEA. Here is an example from Georgia.

Unfortunately, Governor DeSantis vetoed this allocation. We will continue to pursue other funding sources to bring this invaluable resource to FMEA members, parents, families, and community members. This resource will be particularly helpful to parents as they choose music and arts education programs for their students.

2024 Session Dates:

January 9, 2024 through March 8, 2024


Advocacy at the National Level: NAfME Hill Day

On June 23, 2023 more than 200 music education leaders and advocates from across the country participated in the annual Hill Day hosted by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)

Your Florida team included Jeanne Reynolds, Dr. Kathleen Sanz, Dr. Steve Kelly, Jason Locker, Scott Evans, Christopher Perez, Andrew Burk Colin Urbana and Megan Rodriguez. The team worked hard on your behalf advocating for high quality arts education for all.

NAfME had outlined many legislative priorities for us to discuss. Our Florida team focused mainly on two issues. The first was strong support for the funding for Titles I, II, and IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We asked legislators not only to fully fund these critically important programs but also to include clarifying language so that all school districts understand that these funds can be used for music programs. Currently, this varies from district to district.

The second topic we focused on was the Loan Forgiveness for Educators Act. In our conversations, we heard support for this program from both sides of the aisle.


FMEA members and leadership participating in the 2023 NAfME Hill Day.  © Ashlee Wilcox Photography, LLC.

FMEA members and leadership participating in the 2023 NAfME Hill Day. © Ashlee Wilcox Photography, LLC.

NAfME Hill Day 2023 © Ashlee Wilcox Photography, LLC.

NAfME Hill Day 2023 © Ashlee Wilcox Photography, LLC.