NCMEA Strategic Direction

Inform, engage, and activate the public, policymakers, and educational leaders to promote and support music as an integral and core component of a comprehensive and balanced education accessible to all students.

Read our official Advocacy Position statement.

Legislative Day 2022

Ad Info for 2022-2023

From L to R: Jazzmone Sutton, Ashley Perkinson, Jamie Bream, Jonathan Hamiel, GOP State Representative Donny Lambeth, Rachel Beaulieu, Roman Brady


This past June in Raleigh, NCMEA staff joined arts champions from all over the state to meet with our elected leaders to advocate for the arts. Visiting with us on a productive Legislative Day were NAfME Southern Division President James Daugherty and NAfME State Advocacy Engagement Manager Jazzmone Sutton. Guided by our lobbyists Ashley Perkinson and Rachel Beaulieu, the group met with several State Representatives and State Senators throughout the day.

JULY 6, 2022

The North Carolina General Assembly’s 2022 Short Session has primarily concluded, though legislators will be back in Raleigh on July 26 for certain purposes such as the potential adoption of conference reports and veto override votes.

Legislators were successful in adopting a new proposed budget, and the proposed budget has been presented to the Governor for his consideration. Key provisions of the education section of the budget are described below.


North Carolina teachers will receive, on average, a 4.2% raise for FY 2022-23 instead of the previous figure of only 2.5% in last year’s budget. Instead of a beginning teacher’s salary at $35,000, it now will start at $37,000 due to the rate increase. Step increases are fully funded. For the 2022-23 Teacher Salary Schedule, please see pages 43-44 of the 2022 Budget Bill/HB 103.

There is a consolidated teacher bonus program that ties the payout to the teacher’s student growth scores. Non-certified staff will either receive a 4% pay raise or have their hourly pay reach $15 an hour, whichever is more.* Some legislators maintain that the budget funds around half of the costs found in the Leandro Plan, which is still to be reviewed by the NC Supreme Court.

With school safety at the forefront of policy concerns, the state will allocate $32M to the School Safety Grant program whose funds are used for students in crisis, training and safety equipment. In addition, $15M is set aside for the School Resource Officer Grant program, particularly for elementary and middle schools. This increases the state match twofold to $4 from the state for every $1 provided by the district. In addition, $26M will go to an allotment to ensure that every high school has a School Resource Officer.

In the 2021 budget, $100M was distributed to school districts to provide local teacher supplements, and this funding is now upped to $170M in total with an emphasis on districts with fewer resources. Lawmakers infused the budget with an additional $56M into the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Reserve and expanded income eligibility to 200% of the amount students need to qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The Department of Public Instruction will use funds available for the School Business System Modernization Plan so that school administrative units and charter schools can migrate their business data to offsite premises and still meet Uniform Education Reporting System requirements. The Department of Public Instruction will add a minimum of 13 full-time employees to provide professional development and support to teachers who work with students with disabilities aged 3 – 5 (pg. 40).

  • $109M recurring – Teacher Salary Schedule Increases: The base teacher salary schedule increases monthly starting teacher pay to $3,700. Including step movement along the schedule, the average salary increase resulting from the schedule change in FY 2022-23 is approximately 4.2% (B15)
  • $70M recurring – Teacher Supplement Assistance Allotment: Provides additional funding to the Teacher Supplement Assistance Allotment and increases the maximum award per eligible teacher from $4,250 to $5,000 (B15)
  • 1% Retiree One-Time Cost of Living Supplement
  • $22M recurring – Comp. Increase Reserve/Noncertified Personnel: Provides funding for an additional 1.5% increase for noncertified personnel who are paid above the $15/hour minimum wage requirement for State-funded employees. The revised salary increase for State-funded noncertified personnel in FY 2022-23 is the greater of 4% or an increase to $15/hour (B15)
  • 7% increase – NC Pre-K Reimbursement Rates for Child Care Center Teachers: Further increases the rate for 2022-23 to address disparities in teacher salaries between Pre-K teachers in public schools versus private child care centers
  • $62.3M recurring – Special Population Headcount Adjustments: Increases funding for Exceptional Children and Limited English Proficient students
  • $32M nonrecurring – Transportation Fuel Reserve: Provides funds to support increased school transportation fuel costs. DPI shall distribute these funds based on need (B16)
  • $32M nonrecurring – School Safety Grants Program: Provides additional funding for the school safety competitive grant program to support students in crisis, school safety training, and safety equipment in schools. The revised net appropriation for this purpose is $41.7 million in FY 2022 -23 (B17)
  • $26M nonrecurring – At-Risk Funding/School Resource Officers: Provides additional funding for the At-Risk allotment to reflect the actual average salaries of school resource officers provided for each funded high school. The revised net appropriation for this allotment, including technical adjustments, is $337.7 million (B17)
  • $15M recurring – School Resource Officers: Provides additional funding for the School Resource Officer grant program operated under G.S. 115C -105.60. The revised net appropriation for this purpose is $33.0 million in FY 222-23 (B17)
  • $3M nonrecurring – Career and Technical Education (CTE) Grants: Provides funds for a grant program for the modernization and support of CTE programs. The grant program prioritizes low-wealth counties with high populations of at-risk students or students with disabilities. Up to $2 million may be used for modernizing existing programs in middle schools. Up to $1 million may be used to fund ancillary items necessary for CTE programs (B17)
  • $4M nonrecurring – Reduced-Price Lunch Copays: Provides funds to offset the copays for students eligible for reduced-price lunches in schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (B17)
  • $500,000 nonrecurring – Interoperable Student Data Systems Study: Provides a directed grant to myFutureNC, Inc. to study and submit a report by March 15, 2023, on the creation of an interconnected, real-time data system to facilitate communication and transition of students between public schools, community colleges, and universities (B20)
  • $56M recurring – Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve: Provides additional funds to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve (Reserve). Funds appropriated to the Reserve in a given fiscal year are used to award scholarship grants in the subsequent fiscal year. The revised net appropriation to the Reserve in FY 2022-23 is $150.8 million (B31)
  • $16.3M recurring – Personal Education Student Accounts (PESAs) for Children with Disabilities: Increases total funding to $48.9M in 2023-24 and further increases funds by an additional $1M each year for 10 years and solidifies this funding in the base budget. Clarifies the list of eligible disabilities by striking “developmental disability” but maintains intellectual and other physical disabilities (Section 8A.6)
  • $14M recurring/$600,000 nonrecurring – Regional Literacy and Early Learning Specialists: Provides funding for 9 Regional Literacy Coaches and 115 Early Learning Specialists, one for every school district (B18)
  • New authority for local school systems to create “Remote Academies”
  • $168M – New Education Complex to house the Department of Public
    Instruction, Community Colleges System Office, UNC System Offices and the Department of Commerce (H2)


For more information on educator salaries and benefits, please check DPI’s Financial & Business Services Summary of 2022-23 Budget.

2021 Legislative Session

Advocacy Legislative Agenda – January 2021

List of Senate & House Appropriation Committee Members

Lobbyist Reports

Enumerating the Importance of African American Music Beyond the Moment
A Call for Advocacy, Reflection, and Action–June 2020



In August 2019, NAfME endorsed a second bicameral resolution to celebrate the musical contributions of African Americans to United States culture and history. The resolution highlights the importance of increasing African American students’ broad participation in music education, as well as recognizing June as African American Music Appreciation Month.

While first decreed in the Carter administration as Black Music Month, it was not until 2000 that the first congressional resolution to officially commemorate African American music formally established African American Music Appreciation Month.

As NCMEA celebrates our fiftieth anniversary we want to celebrate and recognize the significant milestones and struggles of the African American music experience within North Carolina. There is no question that the power of African American music has defined the American experience and we also know from our own beginnings that strong leadership from within African American music associations paved the way for NCMEA to form.

Read the full document here:
Enumerating the Importance of African American Music Beyond the Moment.

NCMEA Music Educators Advocacy Toolkit – (Updated 12/3/19)

Everything ESSA

After years of stalled negotiations and Congressional stalemates, Congress has put No Child Left Behind away for good and passed by an overwhelming majority a new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. ESSA’s passage is an historic victory for music education advocates, because it includes for the first time a specific and separate mention of music as a part of a ‘well-rounded education.’ More information can be found at NAfME’s ESSA page.

Title IV, Part A Toolkit and FAQ

To learn more about how ESSA funding works see NAfME’s Title IV, Part A Toolkit and get answers to frequently asked questions.

Presentation from NCMEA District Meeting

This document briefly explains the current situation regarding ESSA, SSAE (Title IV, Part A), the funding distribution for LEA’s & next steps for NCMEA members.