Get the Latest Washington Updates in May Webinar

    As the midterm election rapidly approaches (yes, even though it’s May), members of Congress are scrambling to tackle as much of their agenda as possible before they leave Washington, DC, to campaign back home. Join AACTE for our member-exclusive Federal Update webinar May 23 to learn about all the latest developments.

    How might the elections influence activity at the state and federal level? What is the status of federal funding for Fiscal Year 2019? Has there been progress on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act? What’s the status of DACA? Net Neutrality? Get answers to these questions and more on the webinar with Deborah Koolbeck, AACTE’s senior director for government relations.

    April Federal Update, TQP Grant Webinar Recordings Now Available

    It’s been a busy spring in Washington, DC, and there is a lot to stay on top of. For AACTE members, it’s not hard to catch up on the latest developments – just visit our archive of webinar recordings!

    The most recent Federal Update webinar, held last week, is available in our archive. These exclusive, members-only webinars are held twice monthly while Congress is in session so that you can stay up to date on federal policy, funding, and other national-level developments related to educator preparation.

    Choice of Advocacy Tracks Caters to Day on the Hill Participants

    AACTE’s Day on the Hill is always an exciting event for me. I love the energy of the group at orientation and the feeling of making a difference when I visit my elected officials and their staff during Washington Week. But anticipating these visits can also provoke some anxiety, which is why AACTE offers a full day of preparation before our Capitol Hill visits.

    The orientation day has always prepared us well, but this year’s promises to be even better. The enhanced agenda offers a choice of two tracks with breakout sessions tailored to increase readiness based on your experience and comfort level with advocacy.

    Day on the Hill Is for Education Students Too!

    James McManus (undergraduate social studies education major), Jennifer Bucciarelli (MAT math education major), and Associate Professor Stephenie Hewett represent The Citadel in their visit with Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) at the 2016 AACTE Day on the Hill.

    I have been attending AACTE’s Day on the Hill (DOTH) for the past 18 years. It is a highlight event of the year, as it allows opportunity to assess our priorities for advocacy while simultaneously putting advocacy into action. Over time, I have found that some of the best advocacy team members are our education students. I have had the privilege of making DOTH congressional visits accompanied by numerous students over the last 8 years – including both undergraduate and graduate students – and, in every case, the students have added value to the conversations well beyond what might have been obtained by faculty and deans alone.

    When planning our Hill visits, we ask students to help us deliver important messages about pending legislation or federal education budgets and policies to our congressional members, and they are very effective in doing so. More importantly, we ask our students to tell their own story: Why did they decide to become an educator? How will new policy changes impact them as practicing teachers and school leaders? What can the federal government do to make a career in education more important to other students at their institution? When students visit and present answers to these and other questions, congressional members and staffers take notice.

    Learn About TQP Grants, Federal Updates in Member Webinars

    Join AACTE next week for two members-only webinars! Learn about the latest developments in Washington to inform your advocacy as well as resources to support you in applying for Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants, for which funding was recently renewed in the omnibus legislation.

    Teacher Quality Partnership Grants – Are You Ready to Apply?

    On April 23, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT, we will highlight the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program and how institutions can begin preparing for an anticipated new grant cycle. This webinar will point you to resources developed by the U.S. Department of Education to support you in developing your application. Current grantees have been invited to participate to offer their expertise as you craft your grant proposal. Click here to register.

    March Federal Update Recording Now Available

    capital-hill-close-up

    If you missed AACTE’s March Federal Update webinar, the recording is now available to AACTE members only in our Resource Library.

    View the webinar recording and slides to learn about the latest developments in Washington, DC, relating to educator preparation, including the latest on Higher Education Act reauthorization, federal funding, net neutrality, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and more.

    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.

    Federal Disaster Aid Going to Schools, Students Affected by Wildfires, Hurricanes

    The U.S. Department of Education has announced additional federal aid for schools and students impacted by recent natural disasters.

    To assist schools in California impacted by wildfires, the Department has disbursed $2 million in Project SERV funds to the California Department of Education. The funds will help fund portable classrooms, substitute teachers, mental health services, and transportation for displaced students (along with substitute bus drivers).

    More Aid Available to Students at Hurricane-Affected Institutions

    The U.S. Department of Education has announced it will redirect $22.9 million in unspent funds to provide assistance to institutions that have been affected by the 2017 series of severe hurricanes: Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

    According to the announcement, the Department “will provide $5.4 million to students through the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant Program, at 285 colleges and universities, including 277 postsecondary schools located in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” Additionally, the Department plans to provide $17.5 million by means of the Federal Work Study program.

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