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Deborah Koolbeck

Director of Government Relations

President’s FY18 Budget Blueprint Includes Deep Cuts to Education

Today, President Trump issued a blueprint of his budget request for Fiscal Year 2018 that includes a 13% cut to education spending, eliminating or dramatically reducing funding for several programs of importance to educator preparation.

As with any new presidential administration, this request was issued late in the typical fiscal cycle and is more of a blueprint than a full budget request. This overview articulates priorities, but we will have to wait for details in the full request expected later this year. The blueprint conveys a clear focus on cutting programs, deregulating, and streamlining the federal government.

Resolution to Rescind the Teacher Prep Regs Awaits President’s Signature

Your advocacy and that of your colleagues, partners, and students has paid off: A joint resolution to rescind the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations for teacher preparation programs has passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and now awaits the president’s signature.

Since the initiation of negotiated rule making in 2011, these regulations have been contentious – even negotiated rule making did not reach consensus. In October 2016 when the final rule was released, a coalition of 35 organizations, including AACTE, signed a statement highlighting concerns with the final product. (For highlights of what the regulations entailed, you can read AACTE’s overview of the final rule or watch our webinar overview.)

CRA Resolution on Teacher Prep Regs Introduced in Senate; Our Advocacy Continues

On March 2, U.S. Senator Benjamin Sasse (R-NE) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 26 to rescind the federal teacher preparation program regulations. The measure has eight cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

This introduction is an important step in the process to have these regulations rescinded using the Congressional Review Act. Already, on February 7, the U.S House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 58 to rescind the regulations. Should the U.S. Senate pass the measure, it will go to the president for his signature.

Advocacy on Teacher Prep Regs Yields House Resolution to Rescind; More Outreach Needed

Thanks to the tireless advocacy efforts of AACTE members and many other education colleagues and partners, action is happening on Capitol Hill affecting the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations for teacher preparation programs.

On February 1, U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY), chairman of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced House Joint Resolution 58 to rescind the federal regulations for teacher preparation programs.

Keep Up With What’s Happening in D.C.: Monthly Federal Updates From AACTE

As the new Congress and the new administration get under way, I want to remind AACTE members of an exclusive and free resource: AACTE’s monthly Federal Update webinars. We offer the same webinar twice each month, at different times and days to accommodate more members’ schedules and time zones. The presentations are recorded and posted online so that even if you miss them, you can catch up as your schedule permits.

ESSA Regulations, Deadlines Now Set for Accountability, State Plans

At the end of November, the U.S. Department of Education released its final rule for regulations on accountability, state plans, and data reporting for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Critical for educator preparation is the deadline set for states to submit their consolidated state plans (which includes requirements for Title II funds). States can submit their consolidated state plans by either April 3 or September 18, 2017.

The consolidated state plan is required to be created in consultation with key stakeholders. While educator preparation is not listed as a required stakeholder, institutions of higher education are required at the table. As your state works to develop its plan, this is an excellent opportunity to engage and make your voice heard!

Presidential Transition Resources

As President-Elect Trump’s cabinet and adviser selections capture the top news headlines, there is a lot more going on in the transition between presidential administrations.

It’s a rather complicated change that unfolds over a longer period of time than you might expect. While Congress has promised to move quickly on the cabinet-level confirmation process, it will take several months to get these positions confirmed. In addition, many positions will need to be filled – over 8,000 or so – that are known as noncompetitive appointment, some requiring U.S. Senate confirmation. These positions can be found in what is known as the “Plum Book.”

November 2016 Federal Update Available

Did you miss this month’s AACTE Federal Update webinar? You can now view the webinar recording and slides through the federal page of the AACTE Advocacy Center. While you’re there, you can also explore the many resources that we have compiled or created for you to advocate on the federal and state levels.

In the November webinar, I covered the results of this month’s election, reviewed the composition of congressional leadership, and looked ahead to the activities expected during the next Congress with an impact on educator preparation. I also provided a very high-level review of the final rule for teacher preparation program regulations. Lastly, we discussed critical advocacy needs such as seeking cosponsors for a bill in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and engaging at the state level on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Announcing AACTE’s New Advocacy Center

Today, we are pleased to launch the online AACTE Advocacy Center to support your work in both federal and state advocacy. Please take a moment to visit the new center and explore the resources you’ve requested!

In this one-stop center, you’ll find downloadable advocacy guides, important hyperlinks, and an assortment of other digital resources. Want to catch up on the latest Federal Update webinar or blog post? Looking for contact information for your state legislators or tips on setting up a meeting with your representatives? Give us a visit!

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