Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Public Schools Week Honors Achievements of Schools, Students and Educators

The members of the Learning First Alliance (LFA) will host Public Schools Week, March 25-29, 2019, to show the great things happening every day in public schools–and show the potential for greater things.

This second annual event encourages school leaders to invite community members, lawmakers, parents and others to visit and see the wide array of programs and high-quality opportunities offered, honor students’ accomplishments and see the joys and challenges of teaching and learning in public schools.

“Public education is the foundation for students’ success, the growth of communities, and our nation’s future,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of the National PTA and 2018-19 chair of the Learning First Alliance, a coalition of 12 national education organizations representing more than 10 million parents, teachers, administrators, specialists, school board members and teacher educators. “Public schools educate 90 percent of our nation’s students and are providing talented professionals for jobs in the corporate and public sectors as well as the military. It’s vitally important that we have a strong system of public schools across the United States.”

Educators hope that ‘Year of the Teacher’ could be first of many

This article and photo originally appeared on Cronkite News and is reprinted with permission. 

A record 1,800 teachers were on ballots across the country this fall, and the National Education Association estimates that as many as 1,100 of them won their races. 

Not a perfect score, but good enough for educators to boast that what they have been calling the Year of the Teacher could be just the first of many such years. 

“Educators stepped out of their classrooms and into the public realm to run for the legislature and they did it fearlessly, and they did it in a way that made all us proud of them,” said Joe Thomas, Arizona Education Association president.

Learning First Alliance Issues Joint Statement on Federal School Safety Commission

AACTE and fellow members of the Learning First Alliance issued a joint statement on December 19, 2018 that emphasizes the Federal School Safety Commission should help schools provide mental health resources to prevent violence. LFA members said the federal government should focus its next steps on resources and training more mental health specialists to ensure safety of students and school staff:

A new federal report misses a high-profile opportunity to bring leadership and resources to social-emotional and mental health needs in K-12 schools, the Learning First Alliance, a coalition of 12 major national education organizations that represents 10 million parents, teachers, administrators, school counselors, specialists, teacher educators, and school board members, stated in response to recommendations by the federal Commission on School Safety, led by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Simply talking about the need for something to be done without creating the ability for schools to have the tools to reach more students in need avoids a core responsibility.

AACTE Response to the Federal School Safety Commission Report

AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement on December 20, 2018 regarding the latest Federal School Safety Commission report:

On December 18, 2018, the Federal School Safety Commission released its final report, outlining the background of its work and providing recommendations for action across three broad areas: 1) prevent, 2) protect and mitigate, and 3) respond and recover. While AACTE appreciates the effort of the current Administration to explore the critical issue of school safety, the report raises significant concerns and poses further questions.

The Commission’s report talks about the social-emotional and mental health needs of our K-12 students; however, it does not address capacity building for schools to have the tools to reach more students. The recommendation to rescind the current guidance on school discipline, created to combat the disproportionate suspension and expulsion of students of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ youth, is also highly problematic and contrary to our Association’s values of equity and inclusion. AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone testified before the Commission and joined others in strongly discouraging the use of federal funds to arm teachers as a solution to ensure school safety, yet the report does not eliminate the option of training and arming school personnel with firearms.

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.

Ohio Partnership Sways Teacher Licensure Legislation

Ohio recently proved that collaboration across education stakeholders can increase communication and partnerships, as well as shape state legislation.

In fall 2017, a superintendent group representing the Western Ohio Advocacy Network (WOAN) worked with Ohio Senator Matthew Huffman to craft the Ohio School Deregulation Act (SB216), intended to increase local control of education. The initial bill proposed reverting back to having only two general education licensure bands: Grades 1-8 and 7-12, a radical departure from Ohio’s existing licensure bands: PK- 3, 4-9, and 7-12. SB 216 also proposed moving teacher licensure bands from Ohio’s Administrative Code (controlled by the Ohio Department of Education) to Ohio’s Revised Code (with legislative oversight), which meant that any future changes would require legislative action.

WACTE Builds Momentum for Its Next Day on the Hill

Members of the Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) met with Washington state lawmakers during WACTE’s inaugural “Day on the Hill” earlier this year—an effort to familiarize legislators with teacher preparation programs across the state, present ourselves as resources to legislators on teacher preparation and K-12 education, and articulate the WACTE agenda/priorities.

In the state of Washington, the legislative process is nothing like academia, where it can take a year from proposal to approval for a new program or process. The legislative sessions move at a furious pace. A bill can be amended to do something completely different than the original intent, and a legislative lobbyist can prevent the legislative process from “getting away from you before you know it.”

AACTE Announces 2018-19 State Chapter Award Recipients

AACTE has awarded five state chapters the 2018-19 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant. The recipients are as follows:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • New Jersey

Each year, AACTE and the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) Executive Committee select recipients of the State Chapter Support Grants to help strengthen the capacity of the chapters on various levels, including advocacy and statewide collaboration to meet key challenges, as well as strengthen AACTE’s relationship with state chapters. 

HACU proposes PK-12 and Higher Ed Collaboration Initiative for Federal Grant Funding

Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) across the country have just concluded another successful observance of National HSIs Week, celebrated this year from September 17-23. The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) joined the celebration by releasing a Resource Page dedicated to its new legislative initiative, the PK-12 and Higher Ed Collaboration. This initiative would create a new Part C under Title V of the Higher Education Act for a grant program to support partnerships and collaboration between HSIs and Hispanic-Serving School Districts (HSSDs) that educate the majority of Hispanic students.

On the Resource Page, you will also find a recently launched interactive map that shows the geographic relationship between HSIs, HSSDs, Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Emerging Hispanic-Serving School Districts. Click on this link for details on our PK-12 and Higher Education Collaboration initiative and to view our interactive maps.

Volunteer for New ACSR Ad-Hoc Committees

In case you missed it in State Directions, AACTE’s state-focused monthly e-newsletter, the ACSR Executive Committee created two new ad-hoc committees in response to participants’ feedback at the 2018 State Leaders Institute during AACTE’s Washington Week in June.

The two ad-hoc committees will focus on:

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