On June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) moved its Fiscal Year 2019 bill through markup. Despite the FY19 increase of $18 billion for nondefense discretionary funds from the deal made earlier this year, the House FY19 Labor-H bill received no additional funds (the Labor-H bill contains about 32% of the nondefense discretionary funds found across all federal agencies).
Given this challenge, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the programs that AACTE advocates for receive level funding or a small increase:
On November 14, the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) held a briefing to share research-based findings and recommendations on investing in community schools as a means to school improvement. The briefing was based on a study LPI recently conducted with the National Education Policy Center and highlighted community schools – that is, schools that partner with local agencies to provide integrated academic, health, and social services to the community – as a school improvement approach that meets the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirement for “evidence-based” interventions.
At the briefing, panelists included representatives from community schools and other supporters. Community School Director Shanelle England described her work at Baltimore’s Forest Park High School, which consists of supporting her students, their families, and the school staff, as well as developing relationships with community agencies. The panelists all advocated for continued funding for the integrated models.
On May 10, AACTE was pleased to submit a letter to members of Congress on behalf of 141 organizations and their state affiliates recommending full funding for Title II-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The letter went to leaders of the education subcommittees working on appropriations in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives for Fiscal Year 2018, in light of the recommendation in the president’s request to eliminate this $2.295 billion program (see the “skinny budget” released in March, and I’ll have another article soon about the full proposal being issued today).
At the end of November, the U.S. Department of Education released its final rule for regulations on accountability, state plans, and data reporting for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Critical for educator preparation is the deadline set for states to submit their consolidated state plans (which includes requirements for Title II funds). States can submit their consolidated state plans by either April 3 or September 18, 2017.
The consolidated state plan is required to be created in consultation with key stakeholders. While educator preparation is not listed as a required stakeholder, institutions of higher education are required at the table. As your state works to develop its plan, this is an excellent opportunity to engage and make your voice heard!
Did you miss this month’s AACTE Federal Update webinar? You can now view the webinar recording and slides through the federal page of the AACTE Advocacy Center. While you’re there, you can also explore the many resources that we have compiled or created for you to advocate on the federal and state levels.
In the November webinar, I covered the results of this month’s election, reviewed the composition of congressional leadership, and looked ahead to the activities expected during the next Congress with an impact on educator preparation. I also provided a very high-level review of the final rule for teacher preparation program regulations. Lastly, we discussed critical advocacy needs such as seeking cosponsors for a bill in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and engaging at the state level on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
NOTE: This webinar has been postponed until further notice.
The U.S. Department of Education released guidance (see PDF) for the implementation of Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in late September. I’ll discuss the guidance and its implications in a free webinar for AACTE members October 25 at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
As you might recall, Title II of the new law is focused on recruiting, preparing, and retaining high-quality teachers, principals, and other school leaders. With many allowable uses of funds for both state and local education agencies to engage in, it is vital that educator preparation be at the table with opportunities and options in hand to support the workforce pipeline of the profession.
As Congress returns from recess, so do the Federal Update webinars offered each month for AACTE members. This month’s update will be held September 20 and 21.
Each month, I’ll update you on what is happening in Washington, DC, related to educator preparation, and discuss how you can engage in advocacy for the profession. To accommodate a variety of schedules, each set of webinars is offered on consecutive days of the week at different times of the day.
In a new report issued August 10, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) calls for reorganizing schools to better cultivate deep learning for all students. The report, What Matters Now: A New Compact for Teaching and Learning, lays out an ambitious vision for educator-driven improvements buttressed by a coordinated system of policy and community supports.
As this year’s presidential election promises a tumultuous campaign season, the work of policy development goes on. So while the conventions and tweets capture our attention, the U.S. Department of Education is keeping to its tight timeline for the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including releasing proposed regulations for public comment (see this recent blog for the latest opportunities).
Wondering where to go for the latest information on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)? Here are some key resources and opportunities from the U.S. Department of Education:
Comment on Proposed Regulations
Make your voice heard in the three separate proposed regulations currently open for comment: