September 2016 State Policy Recap
Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For similar recap articles from earlier months, browse the “State Directions” section of the blog.
Overview of State Policy Activity
Although almost all states’ legislative sessions have now adjourned for the year, September did have a bit of policy activity. Three bills were introduced in Michigan and Montana, including one in Michigan that would create a program to prevent teacher shortages in high-need subjects and geographic areas.
Several states, including Montana and Nevada, got a head start on the 2017 legislative session by prefiling bills, which gives us a preview of likely priorities for the coming year. For example, some of the prefiled bills relate to teacher loan forgiveness and standards for initial teacher licensure.
More states worked on regulations in September. In all, five regulations were adopted in four states – Delaware, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Utah. These regulations covered a range of areas, including standards for obtaining an emergency certificate and processes for the reinstatement of an educator license. Additionally, five regulations were proposed in three states – Delaware, Florida, and Nebraska – to amend certification requirements for teachers of English language learners, modify requirements for a professional certificate in a STEM field, and establish additional criteria for admission to school leadership preparation programs.
State Advocacy Activities
Many states are conducting activities supporting the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Below is a sample of some of their work in September:
- Arkansas – The Arkansas Department of Education announced a listening tour.
- Montana – The state’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan Stakeholders Working Groups plan to meet in September and release a draft plan in November.
- New Mexico – The Public Education Department will host regional community meetings this fall to solicit feedback from stakeholders.
- Oklahoma – State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister invites stakeholders to complete a survey to provide input for the state’s consolidated plan.
If your state legislature is like most others around the country, its next session won’t start until 2017. This makes the remaining months of 2016 a prime time to reach out to officials to discuss your programs and how policy makers can help support and improve them. As legislators are at home in their districts, holding town hall events, and otherwise communicating with constituents – especially legislators who are up for reelection next month – now might be your best chance to catch their attention. Remember to tap AACTE’s resources to assist you:
- Track state legislation and regulations using AACTE’s State Policy Tracker
- Locate contact information for state officials in AACTE’s Resource Library
- Download the Advisory Council of State Representatives’ State Policy Statements to Enhance Educator Preparation and several supporting resources here
For more information on state policy and advocacy, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.