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Posts Tagged ‘federal issues’

President’s FY18 Budget Blueprint Includes Deep Cuts to Education

Today, President Trump issued a blueprint of his budget request for Fiscal Year 2018 that includes a 13% cut to education spending, eliminating or dramatically reducing funding for several programs of importance to educator preparation.

As with any new presidential administration, this request was issued late in the typical fiscal cycle and is more of a blueprint than a full budget request. This overview articulates priorities, but we will have to wait for details in the full request expected later this year. The blueprint conveys a clear focus on cutting programs, deregulating, and streamlining the federal government.

Being Accountable for Program Effectiveness

The colleges and universities that prepare our nation’s educators are deeply committed to program quality, innovation, and accountability, and important progress is under way in each of these areas at the institutional, state, and national levels. While our priorities are unchanged by the presence or absence of federal regulations, the regulations that were voted down by Congress last week would have impeded this progress by redirecting already-tight resources to create an onerous new reporting and rating system for teacher preparation programs. Now, thanks to the robust advocacy efforts of the field, our professional commitments can proceed unhampered by burdensome mandates and prescriptive-yet-unproven methods.

Absent these regulations, educator preparation providers (EPPs) participate in numerous public reporting and quality assurance systems. Both EPPs and states are required by Title II of the Higher Education Act to submit annual reports to the U.S. Department of Education, and states must report at-risk and low-performing programs. Programs also must meet state review standards, and several states have developed data dashboards that display information for all providers to help the public compare program quality. A plurality of EPPs also undergo national examination through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation – a professional peer-review process using standards that are developed by the field and based on research.

Resolution to Rescind the Teacher Prep Regs Awaits President’s Signature

Your advocacy and that of your colleagues, partners, and students has paid off: A joint resolution to rescind the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations for teacher preparation programs has passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and now awaits the president’s signature.

Since the initiation of negotiated rule making in 2011, these regulations have been contentious – even negotiated rule making did not reach consensus. In October 2016 when the final rule was released, a coalition of 35 organizations, including AACTE, signed a statement highlighting concerns with the final product. (For highlights of what the regulations entailed, you can read AACTE’s overview of the final rule or watch our webinar overview.)

Apply by April 24 for Federal Grant to Support Development of Teachers of ELL Students

The U.S. Department of Education is now accepting applications for a new grant competition to support the development of educators serving English language learners (ELLs). The deadline to apply is April 24 (note that the Department requests a notification of intent to apply by March 13, but this is not required).

Grant funds awarded under this competition will go to consortia of higher education and state or local agency partners for the following purposes:

CRA Resolution on Teacher Prep Regs Introduced in Senate; Our Advocacy Continues

On March 2, U.S. Senator Benjamin Sasse (R-NE) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 26 to rescind the federal teacher preparation program regulations. The measure has eight cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

This introduction is an important step in the process to have these regulations rescinded using the Congressional Review Act. Already, on February 7, the U.S House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 58 to rescind the regulations. Should the U.S. Senate pass the measure, it will go to the president for his signature.

Advocacy on Teacher Prep Regs Yields House Resolution to Rescind; More Outreach Needed

Thanks to the tireless advocacy efforts of AACTE members and many other education colleagues and partners, action is happening on Capitol Hill affecting the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations for teacher preparation programs.

On February 1, U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY), chairman of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced House Joint Resolution 58 to rescind the federal regulations for teacher preparation programs.

Free Mentoring Support Available Through U.S. Dept. of Ed.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement is offering free mentoring services for educator preparation programs to help design, implement, and improve teacher and principal development initiatives. State education agencies, school districts, and other organizations that are actively working to improve teacher and principal preparation or development are also encouraged to participate.

The services will be provided by nonprofit organizations that have received federal Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grants and that are experienced in implementing educator preparation and professional development initiatives.

Keep Up With What’s Happening in D.C.: Monthly Federal Updates From AACTE

As the new Congress and the new administration get under way, I want to remind AACTE members of an exclusive and free resource: AACTE’s monthly Federal Update webinars. We offer the same webinar twice each month, at different times and days to accommodate more members’ schedules and time zones. The presentations are recorded and posted online so that even if you miss them, you can catch up as your schedule permits.

Teacher Educators Convene at National Innovation Summit

AACTE collaborated with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology last month to host a 2-day summit focused on advancing educational technology in teacher preparation. Participants were chosen based on their pledged commitment to the “Educational Technology in Teacher Preparation Challenge” announced last fall.

AACTE President and CEO Sharon Robinson welcomes attendees to the Advancing Educational Technology in Teacher Preparation Summit.

More than 30 AACTE members and partners attended the first day of meetings in the AACTE building, with workshops highlighting how to develop a culture for active use of technology in teacher preparation programs; promote standards, competencies, and credentials for higher education faculty and preservice teachers in educational technology; and build a sustainable system of professional learning.

On the second day, participants visited the White House for the Advancing Educational Technology in Teacher Preparation Innovation Summit. The event highlighted the forward-thinking work of providers advancing the four principles of educational technology in teacher preparation as outlined in the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan:

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