Director of Government Relations
On July 16, the U.S. Senate passed S. 117, the Every Child Achieves Act, to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill passed by a vote of 81-17, with three Democrats and 14 Republicans voting against the measure.
While 178 amendments were filed, including Senator Michael Bennet’s (D-CO) GREAT Act, Senator Bennet did not offer the GREAT Act amendment to be considered by the full Senate. In total, 66 amendments passed and will be incorporated into the final version of the Senate bill.
On July 8, the U.S. House of Representatives completed its work on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, passed by a vote of 218-213 (Roll Call vote no. 423).
While the final House bill with all agreed-to amendments has not yet been released, there are a few pieces that AACTE members will find of interest.
First, the Growing Education Achievement Training Academies for Teachers and Principals Act – the GREAT Act – is included in the House measure. The GREAT Act would not result in the systemic improvement of our nation’s teacher and principal preparation for several reasons. For one, the “training academies” it proposes are unlikely to involve higher education, which currently prepares 90% of all new teachers, and the bill would not require partnerships with PK-12 schools.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations completed its work on the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill June 24. In the full committee markup, Representative David Price (D-NC) offered an amendment to restore funding for the Teacher Quality Partnerships and other programs supporting teachers and administrators, but the amendment was defeated on a party-line vote. The bill does retain the policy rider prohibiting the promulgation or enforcement of the proposed teacher preparation program regulations.
U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee Marks Up Bill for Education Appropriations – Includes Provision on Proposed Teacher Prep Regulations
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up its draft bill on Wednesday, June 17. The bill passed on party lines with a vote of 9-5, including both the chair and ranking member of the full committee. All amendments offered by the Democratic members of the subcommittee were voted down. The bill now moves to the full committee next week.
The U.S. Department of Education seeks applications for $60 million in First in the World (FITW) grants to support innovative approaches to boosting college attendance and completion among disadvantaged students. The 2015 grant competition, announced Friday and officially posted in today’s Federal Register, includes a $16 million set-aside for minority-serving institutions.
AACTE is grateful for your energy and efforts on submitting comments to the Federal Register about the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed federal regulations on teacher preparation programs. Now, it is time again to make your voice heard.
Congress is hard at work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and next up will be the Higher Education Act (HEA). Part of the HEA reauthorization conversations will be around the increasing amount of regulation on institutions of higher education, including the proposed regulations on teacher preparation programs. I urge you to ensure that your representative and your senators know where you stand on these proposed regulations. Adding your voice to this conversation will increase the likelihood that the decisions made by your representative and senators will support teacher preparation across the nation.
Today, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) released a bipartisan bill on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). A summary of the bill, dubbed the Every Child Achieves Act, can be found here. The full bill can be found here.
TIME SENSITIVE: Responses due April 24, 2015
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) seeks input from the higher education community for its work on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Your feedback is requested by April 24 in these areas:
- Accreditation in higher education
- Risk sharing in student borrowing
- Data transparency and consumer information
Note: AACTE offered a free webinar to members March 25 and 26 about the next steps on the proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs. A recording of the webinar is available here.
Two new bills introduced in Congress seek to impede the U.S. Department of Education’s attempt to regulate teacher preparation programs. The Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 970), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and its companion bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 559, introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), seek to achieve the following objectives:
Please join me next week for a free webinar on what you can do next regarding the proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs.
The public comment period through the Federal Register, which closed last month, was just one piece of ongoing advocacy and outreach necessary to ensure the voice of the profession is expressed to policy makers and key stakeholders as the regulation process unfolds. Learn of the next steps for you to take on the federal proposed teacher preparation regulations.