Bills Introduced in Congress to Impede Proposed Teacher Preparation Regulations
Note: AACTE offered a free webinar to members March 25 and 26 about the next steps on the proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs. A recording of the webinar is available here.
Two new bills introduced in Congress seek to impede the U.S. Department of Education’s attempt to regulate teacher preparation programs. The Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 970), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and its companion bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 559, introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), seek to achieve the following objectives:
- Delay the enforcement of the proposed teacher preparation regulations
- Repeal the highly controversial “gainful employment” regulations
- Repeal the State Authorization regulations issued in October 2010
- Repeal the regulated definition of credit hour
- Prohibit the proposed higher education “ratings system”
Please note that if the proposed federal regulations are finalized before any action takes place on these bills or on the Higher Education Act, this legislative effort would not have any effect on the implementation and enforcement of finalized teacher preparation regulations.
AACTE has sent letters of support for these measures, emphasizing our gratitude for the inclusion of the proposed regulations on teacher preparation programs, to Rep. Foxx and Sen. Burr, as well as to the original cosponsors in the House and Senate. Currently, H.R. 970 has 10 cosponsors, and S. 559 has 24 cosponsors. The higher the number of cosponsors on a bill, the more likely it is that action will be taken on it. (Keep in mind that the House has 440 representatives and delegates, and the Senate has 100 members.)
AACTE encourages you to reach out to your representative and your senators asking them to cosponsor H.R. 970 or S. 559, as appropriate. AACTE also addressed this recommendation in this week’s webinars to encourage the profession to continue outreach and advocacy on the proposed federal regulations on teacher preparation programs.
Not all members of Congress will support these bills, particularly because the measures seek to repeal the controversial gainful employment regulations, but it is important that the profession voice its support for the inclusion of the teacher preparation program regulations in these bills regardless.
Furthermore, AACTE encourages the profession to continue the dialogue regarding the proposed teacher preparation regulations with stakeholders and elected officials. This week’s webinars guided members in how to share their Federal Register comments with members of Congress and other elected officials. Please review the webinar here and share your comments!
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