• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Third Way Report on TEACH Grants Comes Up Short

A recent report by the think tank Third Way claims that the federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program is failing to meet its aims, instead burdening nearly 40% of recipients to date with converted unsubsidized loans after they failed to complete all program requirements.

The report calls for changes to the program, either through “short-term fixes” such as reducing reporting requirements and limiting grant use to “high-performing” programs (as proposed in the new federal regulations for teacher preparation programs) or, preferably, in a thorough overhaul that streamlines all federal assistance for teachers into a simple loan-forgiveness program.

Member Voices: Join AACTE Twitter Campaign on #EDregs

With an intention of generating 100,000 comments to the U.S. Department of Education on its proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs, the members of the AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy are leading the charge with a Twitter campaign to spread awareness of the proposed regulations.

Remember, the deadline to comment is February 2, and the teacher preparation profession’s voice must be heard! (See AACTE’s regulations web page for more information.)

Please join our Twitter campaign at #EDregs to help us reach out to colleagues, public officials, students, organizations, and the public to help generate more conversation on Twitter about the regulations—leading, we hope, to more comments submitted to the government.

FY 2015 Appropriations: ‘CRomnibus’ Signed Into Law

On Tuesday, December 16, President Obama signed into law H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which distributes $1.1 trillion across the federal government.

U.S. Department of Education discretionary funding was cut by $166 million. The Teacher Quality Partnership program took only a small hit, reducing funding to around $40 million. We are grateful to our champions on the Hill, including Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), for the continued funding of this program.

January 2 Deadline to Comment on Regulations’ Cost, Burden

As you may know, embedded in the teacher preparation program regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Education is a request for feedback from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) concerning the cost estimates and burden estimates of the proposed information collection. AACTE encourages you to respond to this request.

The deadline for the OMB request is January 2, 2015. Please note this deadline is a month earlier than the deadline to comment on the overall regulations.

Federal Regulations Now Open for Comment

The proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs are now officially open for public comment. AACTE is carefully reviewing the regulations and encourages others to do the same during the 60-day comment period, which closes February 2, 2015.

We will be producing various resources for AACTE members and posting updates on our web site as they become available. Be sure to read Sharon Robinson’s initial statement on the regulations in the meantime, and contact us at regs@aacte.org with any questions or other feedback.

AACTE Statement on Federal Award of 2014 Teacher Quality Partnership Grants

AACTE is thrilled that the U.S. Department of Education last week announced the awarding of a new round of Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants, the federal government’s only investment in reforming teacher preparation. With grants totaling more than $35 million to 24 partnerships in the first year alone, these awards will assist to recruit, train, and support more than 11,000 educators in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

AACTE is pleased by the administration’s recognition of the value of continued federal investment in higher education-based teacher preparation programs. Many AACTE member institutions have benefited from TQP funding since the program’s inception in 2009, and the new round of grants expands the reach to more institutions and their partner schools.

Congress Tackles Appropriations, HEA in Advance of Recess, Elections

It’s an election year – the full U.S. House of Representatives and one third of the U.S. Senate are up for re-election – which makes for interesting legislative times. Elections are just 4 months out, and we have about 7 legislative weeks left in the 113th Congress.

The primary season has essentially ended, and we’ve seen some shockers – including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) losing his primary election and subsequently resigning his leadership position. As we approach the August recess and fall election season, some important work is under way in both the House and the Senate.

Notice of TQP Funding Opportunity: Applications Due July 15

Updated to reflect new application deadline.

Applications are now available for a new slate of Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants, the federal government’s only investment in reforming teacher preparation in institutions of higher education. Interested applicants will have to act quickly, though—the deadline for letters of intent is June 27, and full applications are due July 15.

Last week, in the Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the availability of approximately $35 million in new awards for fiscal year 2014 under the TQP grant program.

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