Author Archive

Deborah Koolbeck

Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE

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.

Request for Proposals: State Chapter Support Grants

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AACTE is pleased to offer the State Chapter Support Grant Program for the 2018-2019 academic year, directing member dues toward supporting the development of AACTE state chapter initiatives and relationships. Applications for the grants are now being accepted through AACTE’s online submission site.

For the current funding cycle, the AACTE Board of Directors has allocated a total of $50,000 for the grant program, of which $40,000 is for “Chapter Activities” and $10,000 is for “Chapter Development.”

FY18 Federal Spending Bill Passed; President Threatens Veto

In the late evening of March 21, the text of the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus was released. Coming in at 2,232 pages, the bill includes items well beyond funding of the federal government’s discretionary programs, at a total cost of $1.3 trillion to fund the government through September 30, 2018.

The U.S. Senate passed the measure in the first hour of March 23, sending the package to President Trump for his signature; later that same morning, the president tweeted out a veto threat. With members of Congress headed home or attending the funeral of a colleague, if the president vetoes the measure, the government will shut down.

President Trump Releases FY19 Budget Request

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On February 12, President Trump released his Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget request to fund the federal government. Similar to the previous request, this plan cuts 29 education programs while carving out space and funds for new programs focusing on choice opportunities.

In a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, Secretary Betsy DeVos lauded the request for “expanding education freedom for America’s families while protecting vulnerable students.”

According to the Department’s fact sheet, the president’s education budget features six major themes:

  • Providing better choices for more families to attend a high-quality school.
  • Supporting high-quality special education services to children with disabilities.
  • Creating new and alternative pathways to successful careers for students.
  • Promoting innovation and reform around STEM education.
  • Implementing school-based opioid abuse prevention strategies.
  • Making the Department more efficient while limiting the Federal role in education.

Putting Advocacy to Work – Try ‘Speed Dating’ in Baltimore

As you plan your session schedule for the AACTE Annual Meeting, don’t neglect your advocacy skill development! Please join me Friday, March 2, at 2:00 p.m. for “Putting Advocacy to Work.”

In this speed-dating-style session, I will run the clock while you circulate through your choice of introductory mini-sessions led by experts and professionals. There will be four time slots during this hour-long opportunity, each beginning with a few minutes of commentary by the leaders, and then opening for questions and discussion. Move from table to table to learn how to start off:

Congress Reaches Agreement on Tax Reform, Plans to Vote This Week

On Friday, December 15, members of the U.S. Congress unveiled a conference report on tax reform, resolving differences between the House and Senate bills.

Full text of the conference report, which is nearly 1,100 pages long, can be found here. For those who want to go into the weeds, a joint explanatory statement, which describes current law, the House and Senate provisions, and what is in the conference agreement, can be found here.

White House Releases Higher Education Reauthorization Principles

On the same day that Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) released her Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Trump Administration released a set of principles for HEA reauthorization.

The White House document (see PDF here) reveals five broad goals and eight policy principles for consideration as the reauthorization process begins in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House Education and the Workforce committee is expected to move the bill forward starting the week of December 4. On the U.S. Senate side, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has stated that HEA reauthorization will be a priority for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee next year.

House HEA Bill Would Repeal Title II, End TEACH Grants

On December 1, the Republicans of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce released their bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. H.R. 4508, the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity though Education Reform (PROSPER) Act,” would change or repeal aspects of the current law.

While we are still analyzing the bill, here are few key provisions that would affect educator preparation:

NEA Releases Analysis of House Tax Bill

Today the National Education Association (NEA) released an analysis of the U.S. House tax reform bill, H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” to project the impact on PK-12 education of the elimination of the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction for individuals (the tax plan permits corporations to keep this deduction).

In a press release, the NEA highlighted the potential effect of this single elimination: “The impact of eliminating SALT on public education is nearly equal to the education jobs lost during the Great Recession. By most accounts, the country lost about 300,000 education jobs during that time.”

On Twitter

Happy Friday to all, and safe travels to everyone heading to Milwaukee for the AACTE Leadership Academy! We look fo… https://t.co/P17Yka4MKk

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