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Washington Update: Federal Investment in Public Education

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

I’m downright excited to have some GREAT news to report from Washington! Some of our leaders want to increase the federal INVESTMENT in public education!  Hallelujah. 

  1. House Moves Expansive Education Funding Bill through 8 Hour Marathon Mark up

This week Chair of the House Subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) successfully moved her spending bill out of the full Appropriations Committee.  The bill retains its overall 6% increase for education from last fiscal year, bringing the Department of Education to $75.9 Billion, and features significant increases for key education programs.

A Washington Update: May 3, 2019

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. To view the full blog, visit janewestconsulting.com.

Congress is back from a two-week recess and education saw a lot of action this week!

  1. House Subcommittee Marks Up FY 2020 Funding Bill with a 6% Increase for Education!

This week, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) began the FY 2020 appropriations process by moving the Labor/HHS and Education bill through the subcommittee. Her first bill as chair of the subcommittee reveals an impressive high-water mark for education spending, raising the federal investment by 6% over last year.  Lead Republican on the subcommittee, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), noted that he does not think the large increases in the bill will be supported by the Senate or the president and that at best, this disagreement will lead to a year-long continuing resolution or at worst, another government shutdown.  Nonetheless, the bill was passed out of subcommittee and will likely be marked up by the full House Committee on Appropriations next week. 

Are You Ready for Day on the Hill?

In anticipation of Washington Week’s Day on the Hill, AACTE’s premier advocacy event, members of the Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy hosted a webinar on Thursday, April 18 to answer questions about the event. How to schedule a congressional meeting, how to develop an advocacy message, and how to walk into a U.S. Senator’s office with confidence, are just samples of the many issues discussed during the webinar. The recorded webinar, Are You Ready for a Day on the Hill? is now available to watch on the AACTE website. 

During the webinar, an experienced panel of experts shared their personal stories and provided guidance on the methods and reasons for advocacy.  Additionally, they explained what attendees at this year’s Washington Week in the nation’s capital can expect when they attend Day on the Hill events. 

Webinar attendees were instructed on what things to arrange prior to traveling, who to involve from their institution, how to request an appointment with their legislator, and how to prepare for the meeting. It was a one-stop-shop for all things related to the event.

Get Answers to Your Questions at April’s Federal Update Webinar


The AACTE Federal Update Webinars are back! As April has unfolded, quite a few things have started to bloom and grow in Washington, DC, including the budget and appropriations process. The President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request was released and the Congress is in full appropriations season. But will the caps on defense and non-defense discretionary funds be raised to avoid deep cuts in programs? What is unfolding with legislation, including the Higher Education Act reauthorization?

We will cover this and more during the AACTE April 2019 Federal Update webinar. Remember there is always time to get your questions answered, and the webinar will be recorded and posted on the AACTE Advocacy Center federal page.

Register Today:

Tuesday, April 23 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT

Wednesday, April 24, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon EDT

An Update: Federal Budget, Education Hearings, New Resources and more

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. 

Congress was busy this week trying to wrap a few things up as they enter an extended recess period. With the timeline for the election pressing, the momentum will continue. Remember the first Democratic presidential candidate debate is in June—just two months away! So the pressure is on.

  1. House Makes Magic Move on Budget!

The Budget Control Act, as it stands now, would require dramatic cuts for education and other programs for FY 2020, which begins October 1. In order to avoid significant cuts to education and other programs, the Budget Control Act needs to be amended to increase the spending caps. While the House Budget Committee adopted new spending caps this week, Democrats were unable to find consensus and bring that provision to the House floor. 

But do not despair! Where there is a will there is a way!  On Wednesday the House adopted something called a “deeming resolution” which provides for $1.3 trillion for the 12 spending bills in FY 2020. The “non-defense discretionary” portion (which includes education) will be $34 billion over the FY 2019 spending level. This deeming resolution paves the way for Appropriations Chair, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), to divvy up the funding into 12 pots—one for each of the appropriations bills.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Process for TEACH Grant Reconsideration

As the U.S. Department of Education is engaging in negotiated rulemaking on the TEACH grants, the Department announced that it is opening a process for reconsideration of conversion. TEACH grant recipients study to teach in a high-need field and commit to teaching in a high-need school in their chosen field for 4 years. Recipients have an 8-year window in which to complete these 4 years of service. If a TEACH grant recipient does not complete this service, the grant funds received convert to Direct Unsubsidized Federal Loan. For those TEACH grant recipients whose grant(s) were converted to loan(s) and who met or are meeting the TEACH grant service requirements, a reconsideration can be requested.

The Department shares the following on its webpage:

If you met or are meeting the TEACH Grant service requirements within the eight-year service obligation period, but had your grants converted to loans because you did not comply with the annual certification requirement, you can request reconsideration of those conversions.

AACTE at the Table for Higher Education Negotiated Rulemaking

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is moving forward with negotiated rulemaking around a large number of issues dealing with federal student financial aid in the Higher Education Act, commonly known as “Title IV,” and AACTE will be at the table. Last fall, the Department put out a call for nominations for negotiators to be part of a full committee and three subcommittees, and this week announced the list of negotiators, which includes 18 AACTE member institutions.

The full committee will cover issues around accreditation and innovation, and the subcommittees will advise the full committee on the following issues: faith-based entities, distance learning, and TEACH grants. The first committee and subcommittees sessions will take place next week, January 14–18.

In addition to AACTE member participation, I will be representing the Association and its members on the TEACH grant subcommittee. Negotiators also include a number of AACTE partners. To see the full list of negotiators for the full committee and each of the subcommittees, along with the supporting materials, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Would you like to learn more about the law that establishes the processes around negotiated rulemaking? Review the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, or read a five-page summary of the negotiated rulemaking process.

Register for November 2018 Federal Update Webinar

With the election over, Congress returns to Washington, D.C. to wrap up the year—and for some members, their time in Washington. As the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate start the lame-duck session, some attention is turning to the 116th Congress that begins in January.

With Congress finishing the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill on time (September 30), it is important to remember that a large portion of the federal government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR). With a deadline of December 7, the CR brings with it contention and the potential for a government shutdown. It is also unclear what else the Republican majority will want to do in the last weeks of its leadership in the House and what the Senate can get done as well.

FY18 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Recipients announced

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) named the 2018 recipients of the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program on Friday, September 28. In total, the DOE funded 17 grantees from the $43.1 million appropriated by the U.S. Congress in the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill.

The TQP grant program is the only federal initiative dedicated to strengthening and transforming educator preparation at institutions of higher education (IHEs). To be an eligible grant recipient, the IHE must offer a baccalaureate or graduate program in education, and collaborate with PK-12 partners. Other requirements include the IHE’s educator preparation program and college of arts and sciences work in partnership with a high-need school or schools in a local, high-need district. This helps prepare teacher candidates to teach in high-need fields by providing practical experience in these schools during their training. The innovative partnerships between IHEs and PK-12 schools transform educator preparation programs as well as provide benefits to teachers in the classroom.

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