Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE
With the election over, Congress returns to Washington, D.C. to wrap up the year—and for some members, their time in Washington. As the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate start the lame-duck session, some attention is turning to the 116th Congress that begins in January.
With Congress finishing the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill on time (September 30), it is important to remember that a large portion of the federal government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR). With a deadline of December 7, the CR brings with it contention and the potential for a government shutdown. It is also unclear what else the Republican majority will want to do in the last weeks of its leadership in the House and what the Senate can get done as well.
AACTE has awarded five state chapters the 2018-19 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant. The recipients are as follows:
- New Jersey
Each year, AACTE and the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) Executive Committee select recipients of the State Chapter Support Grants to help strengthen the capacity of the chapters on various levels, including advocacy and statewide collaboration to meet key challenges, as well as strengthen AACTE’s relationship with state chapters.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) named the 2018 recipients of the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program on Friday, September 28. In total, the DOE funded 17 grantees from the $43.1 million appropriated by the U.S. Congress in the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill.
The TQP grant program is the only federal initiative dedicated to strengthening and transforming educator preparation at institutions of higher education (IHEs). To be an eligible grant recipient, the IHE must offer a baccalaureate or graduate program in education, and collaborate with PK-12 partners. Other requirements include the IHE’s educator preparation program and college of arts and sciences work in partnership with a high-need school or schools in a local, high-need district. This helps prepare teacher candidates to teach in high-need fields by providing practical experience in these schools during their training. The innovative partnerships between IHEs and PK-12 schools transform educator preparation programs as well as provide benefits to teachers in the classroom.
On Thursday, September 13, 2018, a spending deal was reached on both the Department of Defense and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (labor-H) spending bills. These two bills were combined into one bill by the U.S. Senate and sent to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The two bodies then went into conference on the package, and a deal was reached. The next steps are to pass the agreement, known as a conference report, before the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2018).
In case you missed it in State Directions, AACTE’s state-focused monthly e-newsletter, the ACSR Executive Committee created two new ad-hoc committees in response to participants’ feedback at the 2018 State Leaders Institute during AACTE’s Washington Week in June.
The two ad-hoc committees will focus on:
AACTE has an active network of state chapters across the country, and would like to help promote what’s happening in your local chapter through its communication channels. Is your state chapter providing activities to share best practices, engage on solutions to challenges, or advance professional skills? If yes, then please share your event details with AACTE!
Whether your state chapter convening varies from monthly meetings to large conferences in the spring and fall, AACTE would like to promote your event details on the state chapter and events pages of its website. If you are a state chapter leader, please take a moment to complete a short online form for each chapter meeting and conference that will take place during the 2018-19 academic year.
The AACTE Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) seeks nominations by October 12 of state chapter leaders to run in an election for the ACSR Executive Committee. The positions open for election are the West Region representative, Northeast Region representative, and ACSR chair-elect, all to take office in March 2019.
Terms and Roles
I am thrilled to announce that AACTE’s contact lists for state policy makers in each state and the District of Columbia have been updated and posted in the AACTE Resource Library (accessible to AACTE members only!). In addition, links to these lists can be found on the AACTE Advocacy Center’s State Advocacy page and on AACTE’s State Policy and Legislation page.
These documents are an AACTE member benefit to support you in your state-level advocacy work. Use them to find key state policy makers–for example, legislators for authorizing and appropriating education funds, state department of education contacts, and even your governor’s education staffer.
Just a quick reminder to AACTE state chapters across the country: Friday, July 27, is the application deadline for the 2018-19 AACTE State Chapter Support Grants.
This year, a total of $40,000 is available for state chapter activities, and $10,000 is available to support chapter capacity and development, as described in the request for proposals.
As the focus of Congress turns toward accumulating “wins” for members to use to get re-elected, the appropriations process has taken an unexpected turn – work is getting done.
As I have shared with AACTE members in recent Federal Update webinars, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL, chair of appropriations in the U.S. Senate) and Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ, chair of appropriations in the U.S. House of Representatives) committed to seeing the appropriations process return to “normal” this year–and that commitment is coming to fruition. By the end of June, the Senate had moved all 12 appropriations bills through subcommittee and full committee, and the House is on track to do so by the August recess.