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Deborah Koolbeck

Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE

FY18 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Recipients announced

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.

FY19 Spending Bill Heads to Finish Line

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).

Volunteer for New ACSR Ad-Hoc Committees

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:

Promote Your AACTE State Chapter’s Activities

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.

Updated AACTE Resource: State Policy Makers

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.

FY19 Appropriations Move Forward as Election Season Kicks Into High Gear

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.

Federal FY19 Appropriations on the Move

On June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) moved its Fiscal Year 2019 bill through markup. Despite the FY19 increase of $18 billion for nondefense discretionary funds from the deal made earlier this year, the House FY19 Labor-H bill received no additional funds (the Labor-H bill contains about 32% of the nondefense discretionary funds found across all federal agencies).

Given this challenge, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the programs that AACTE advocates for receive level funding or a small increase:

Gangone Testifies to Federal School Safety Commission

On June 6, while AACTE members and partners were on Capitol Hill advocating for educator preparation as part of AACTE’s Day on the Hill, Association President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone was testifying before the Federal School Safety Commission at a listening session at the U.S. Department of Education.

The Commission, tasked with quickly providing meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school and headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is composed of the leadership of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Last week’s meeting was the fourth since the Commission’s inception in March of this year and the first public listening session.

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So mark your calendars and get ready for an exciting week to come!

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