Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE
The AACTE Federal Update Webinars are back! As April has unfolded, quite a few things have started to bloom and grow in Washington, DC, including the budget and appropriations process. The President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request was released and the Congress is in full appropriations season. But will the caps on defense and non-defense discretionary funds be raised to avoid deep cuts in programs? What is unfolding with legislation, including the Higher Education Act reauthorization?
We will cover this and more during the AACTE April 2019 Federal Update webinar. Remember there is always time to get your questions answered, and the webinar will be recorded and posted on the AACTE Advocacy Center federal page.
The U.S. Department of Education has released its Notice of Inviting Applications for the Fiscal Year 2019 Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grants in the Federal Register. TQP is the only federal initiative dedicated to strengthening and transforming educator preparation at institutions of higher education and to meet the workforce needs of high need school districts and schools.
As the U.S. Department of Education is engaging in negotiated rulemaking on the TEACH grants, the Department announced that it is opening a process for reconsideration of conversion. TEACH grant recipients study to teach in a high-need field and commit to teaching in a high-need school in their chosen field for 4 years. Recipients have an 8-year window in which to complete these 4 years of service. If a TEACH grant recipient does not complete this service, the grant funds received convert to Direct Unsubsidized Federal Loan. For those TEACH grant recipients whose grant(s) were converted to loan(s) and who met or are meeting the TEACH grant service requirements, a reconsideration can be requested.
The Department shares the following on its webpage:
If you met or are meeting the TEACH Grant service requirements within the eight-year service obligation period, but had your grants converted to loans because you did not comply with the annual certification requirement, you can request reconsideration of those conversions.
As you prepare for AACTE’s Annual Meeting, I would like to highlight a new opportunity for attendees— an advocacy preconference! Preconferences happen on Thursday, February 21, and this one is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Join members of the AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy as well as other colleagues in the field for “A Return to Discourse: A Foundation for Effective Advocacy.”
Early last month, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) National Center for Education Statistics released its “First Look” at the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) winter 2017-18 data collection. This includes fully edited and imputed data and four survey components: graduation rates for selected cohorts 2009-14, outcome measures for cohort year 2009-10, student financial aid data for the academic year 2016-17, as well as admissions for fall 2017.
Would you like to learn about or receive other releases from IES and its component centers and regional labs? Sign up for email updates from the U.S. Department of Education. Once registered, you have the option to manage your preferences to receive only those newsletters and updates that will serve you. Similarly, you can sign up to receive updates at your state level to stay abreast of your state’s Department of Education.
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is moving forward with negotiated rulemaking around a large number of issues dealing with federal student financial aid in the Higher Education Act, commonly known as “Title IV,” and AACTE will be at the table. Last fall, the Department put out a call for nominations for negotiators to be part of a full committee and three subcommittees, and this week announced the list of negotiators, which includes 18 AACTE member institutions.
The full committee will cover issues around accreditation and innovation, and the subcommittees will advise the full committee on the following issues: faith-based entities, distance learning, and TEACH grants. The first committee and subcommittees sessions will take place next week, January 14–18.
In addition to AACTE member participation, I will be representing the Association and its members on the TEACH grant subcommittee. Negotiators also include a number of AACTE partners. To see the full list of negotiators for the full committee and each of the subcommittees, along with the supporting materials, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.
Would you like to learn more about the law that establishes the processes around negotiated rulemaking? Review the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, or read a five-page summary of the negotiated rulemaking process.
The U.S. Department of Education Office (USDOE) of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, recently published a funding opportunity geared to help improve the outcomes of postsecondary students, specifically underrepresented students. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) has issued a Funding Announcement and Request for Proposals on “Building Rigorous Evidence about How to Improve Postsecondary Success.”
According to the USDOE newsletter, “LJAF is interested in funding research and evaluation projects testing interventions related to postsecondary success (including student learning, persistence, completion, time to completion, job placement, and post-college earnings). They are particularly interested in interventions that promise to improve success among underserved students, such as low-income students, students of color, adult students, and veterans. LJAF has committed up to $10 million for these grants.”
Letters of Interest are due by January 31, 2019.
(Please note: AACTE is sharing this opportunity; it is not an endorsement of the foundation or its work.)
To stay abreast of other funding opportunities and updates, subscribe to the USDOE newsletters.
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced that it will allow TEACH grant recipients who met or are meeting their TEACH grant service requirements and had their grant converted to a loan to have this conversion reconsidered. While there are no details yet, the TEACH Grant webpage states that the Department will share its process for reconsideration by January 31, 2019. This is available only for those recipients who were meeting the requirements and had their loans converted due to noncompliance with the certification requirements.
During the course of the year, stories have arisen of TEACH grants being erroneously converted by the servicer, FedLoan. While the Department is moving into negotiated rulemaking on the TEACH grants starting in January, it is taking action in the meantime to change processes to protect recipients. In addition to reconsideration, the Department is also making a universal annual certification deadline of October 31, starting in 2019.
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.