The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
The Legislative Long Session in North Carolina this year was, in many ways, a productive one for education, generating a number of consequential bills that became law. Included in the slate was the reintroduction of the Teaching Fellows program, thanks to a collaborative effort led by Senator Chad Barefoot and the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (NCACTE).
In an announcement on the Federal Student Aid website, the U.S. Department of Education has outlined cuts to this year’s award amounts for TEACH Grants, reducing grants by 6.9% for the year that started October 1, 2016.
This cut, which brings the maximum TEACH grant award down from $4,000 to $3,724, is due to the federal budget sequester. (See this helpful FAQ on what sequester means for the federal budget, or this report from the Congressional Research Service for much more technical information.) Along with other sequestration-mandated cuts in federal funding, the TEACH grants have undergone reductions since 2013 ranging from 6.8 to 12.6%. An e-mail to financial aid administrators last year spelled out the most recent cuts.
A recent blog by the U.S. Department of Education highlighted three federal loan-forgiveness programs available to teachers, in addition to programs available at the state level. Make sure your students (and prospective students) know about these programs:
Is your educator preparation program doing enough to equip students to manage their finances when they enter the workforce? Money concerns often influence students’ career choices as well as whether a new employee will stay in the profession. As the country grapples with ongoing teacher shortages and declining teacher preparation enrollments, an important part of the solution is helping prospective educators address the particular financial challenges they’ll face.
To assist programs in meeting this goal, AACTE is partnering with The Horace Mann Companies on a series of webinars for teacher educators. The first webinar, “New Educator Financial Wellness: Challenges and Solutions,” will be held Thursday, December 8, at 11:00 a.m. EST.
On Friday, September 23, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the presidents of certain institutions that are eligible for TEACH grants, announcing a change in eligibility requirements. If you are at one of these institutions, a response must be filed with the Department within 30 days of the letter – meaning by October 23.
Previously, institutions could offer the grants if their programs held either (a) specialized accreditation awarded through a Department-recognized agency or (b) state approval plus a requirement of at least 10 weeks of full-time preservice clinical experience and pedagogical course work. The letter (see PDF) explains that effective September 22, the Department no longer recognizes any national accreditor for educator preparation programs, eliminating option (a) as a qualifier for eligibility.
Last week, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law Senate Bill 511, which establishes the Teach Nevada scholarship for students interested in completing PK-12 educator preparation programs throughout the state. Sponsored by Governor Sandoval and passed by the State Assembly on the last day of the 2015 session of the Nevada legislature, this bill devotes $2.5 million to student scholarships in each year of the coming biennium. An additional appropriation of $5 million per fiscal year provides funding for Nevada districts to provide financial incentives for new teacher hires.
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