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.

Persistence and Payoff at AACTE Day on the Hill

More than 100 teacher educators, students, and partners convened in Washington, DC, last week for AACTE’s Day on the Hill, bringing the voice of the profession to members of Congress. The event was held June 10-11 as part of AACTE’s Washington Week.

Day on the Hill began with a half-day orientation that explored participants’ role in advocating and advancing the profession. To prepare attendees for engaging with members of Congress and their staff, the afternoon started with an update on education-related activity on Capitol Hill from Deborah Koolbeck, AACTE’s director of government relations. Koolbeck also reviewed talking points provided by AACTE and discussed strategies for choosing the most effective talking points to use in various meetings with policy makers.

Your Next Steps on Federal Teacher Preparation Regulations

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.  

AACTE Applauds Committee Passage of Every Child Achieves Act

AACTE applauds the leadership of U.S. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) on the unanimous, bipartisan passage of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECA). AACTE is pleased with the committee’s progress on the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The bill moves away from the "test and punish" strategy that evolved from the implementation of the current version of ESEA, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While the bill retains the requirement for annual assessments disaggregated by subgroups, it leaves states, schools, teachers, and parents to determine what to do about the results of those assessments. AACTE believes students would benefit from stronger accountability for subgroup results, but overall, the bill makes important bipartisan progress toward fixing a broken law.

USED Webinar: ‘First in the World’ Grants

Are you thinking of applying for a federal “First in the World” (FITW) grant? Learn about the program during a free webinar with the U.S. Department of Education this Wednesday, April 15, 4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT.

The FITW program is run through the Department’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education office. Intended to spur collaborative innovation among institutions of higher education and partnering nonprofit organizations, FITW grants target improved educational outcomes, college affordability, and an evidence base of effective practices. The grants are funded at $60 million this year, including a $16 million set-aside for minority-serving institutions.

USED Offers Insight, Guidance on TQP Grants

Attendees of the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta were offered an opportunity to meet with a U.S. Department of Education official to discuss the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grants and how they may explore applying for them in the future.

In a concurrent session presentation, Mia Howerton of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement provided attendees with an overview of the TQP grants and what the profile of a successful grantee applicant typically looks like. With the TQP program now in its third grant cycle, Howerton reviewed the successes and challenges of the program and shared its lessons with audience members.

Comment Now on HEA Reauthorization-Related White Papers

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

Bills Introduced in Congress to Impede Proposed Teacher Preparation Regulations

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:

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