May 2016 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a summary of state activities from January through April 2016, see this article.

Overview of Policy Activity

In May, state policy activities have begun to slow, as many state legislatures have adjourned their 2016 legislative sessions. This month, only 15 state legislatures have been in regular session, while four states have been in a special session. Six education-related bills were introduced this month in two states, New York and North Carolina. These bills covered issues such as offering loan forgiveness for teachers, supporting reimbursement for National Board certification, authorizing alternative routes to the teaching profession, and amending admission requirements for graduate-level preparation programs for teachers and school leaders.

In addition, seven state regulations were proposed during May in four states—Arkansas, Illinois, Nevada, and New York. These regulations relate to teacher quality, program approval standards for school leader preparation programs, rules for a teacher scholarship program, and “safety net” provisions for teacher candidates who did not pass certification assessments.

‘Teacher Education Day’ in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (PAC-TE) President Sally Winterton reports that PAC-TE hosted a successful media event May 17 in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg. At the event, organized by the PAC-TE Government Relations Committee, both houses of the legislature passed resolutions declaring the date Teacher Education Day.

PAC-TE members at the Capitol Rotunda

State Representative Karen Boback (R), herself a teacher educator, read the House of Representatives resolution, and Senator Andrew Dinniman (D), the minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, presented the Senate’s resolution. Many other policy and education leaders offered greetings and comments, including Representative Stanley Saylor (R), chair of the House Education Committee; Wil Del Pilar, deputy secretary of education for postsecondary and higher education; Terry Barnaby, director of the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality; Ron Cowell, president of the Education Policy and Leadership Center; Don Francis, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania; and Jerry Oleksiak, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association. A common theme expressed by these speakers was a concern about the decrease in students entering teacher preparation programs, coupled with the poor public opinion of the teaching profession.

Following the session in the Rotunda, PAC-TE members met with their senators and representatives, sharing talking points and the PAC-TE Belief Statement Brochure focusing on teacher candidate evaluation. They also discussed requirements of the new Every Student Succeeds Act.

If your state chapter has convened any recent state advocacy efforts, please let us know so we can share your story.

If you have any questions related to how AACTE can support your state advocacy efforts, contact me at agoldstein@aacte.org or (202) 478-4504.

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Aaron Goldstein

Manager, State Policy & Relations

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