As we await a spring thaw, things are heating up in Washington as Congress continues tackling a crowded agenda. With a March 23 deadline to pass an omnibus funding the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018, advocacy abounds to fund educator preparation programs. In addition, the process for Fiscal Year 2019 kicked off with the president releasing his budget request to Congress on February 12, launching Congress into its appropriations process.
With Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization moving in the House and a bill rapidly approaching in the Senate, what might the final bill look like? Will it be bipartisan? Will the process continue or devolve as the election year unfolds? Aside from HEA, will you pay more for Internet access, or will the joint resolution to address the rules change move forward under the Congressional Review Act? Join AACTE’s Deborah Koolbeck to learn about these and other important topics by signing up for the March Federal Update webinar – an exclusive AACTE member benefit.
On the same day that Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) released her Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Trump Administration released a set of principles for HEA reauthorization.
The White House document (see PDF here) reveals five broad goals and eight policy principles for consideration as the reauthorization process begins in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House Education and the Workforce committee is expected to move the bill forward starting the week of December 4. On the U.S. Senate side, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has stated that HEA reauthorization will be a priority for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee next year.
On December 1, the Republicans of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce released their bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. H.R. 4508, the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity though Education Reform (PROSPER) Act,” would change or repeal aspects of the current law.
While we are still analyzing the bill, here are few key provisions that would affect educator preparation:
The U.S. Department of Education released a proposed regulation last month dealing with institutional eligibility for Title IV funds (federal student financial aid). Comments on the proposal are due by August 24 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
In an effort to address concerns over fraudulent practices, noncompliance with requirements of Title IV programs, and other challenges, the Department is offering this latest round of proposed regulations (the initial work on this began in 2012) on distance education programs with an eye to those that operate in more than one state.
Editor’s note: As AACTE moves from collecting information through the Professional Education Data System (PEDS) to tapping other nationally available data sources on educator preparation, we will be providing periodic data reports on Ed Prep Matters based on PEDS, federal collections such as Title II and SASS, and other sources.
The U.S. Department of Education collects data annually from states on teacher certification/licensure programs of all kinds, as mandated by Sections 205 through 208 of the Title II of the Higher Education Act. Assembling information on programs that are “traditional” and “alternative,” based both inside and outside of institutions of higher education (IHEs), the Title II data collection aims to provide a comprehensive view of the field of teacher preparation.
On December 17, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) with original cosponsor Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) reintroduced the Educator Preparation Reform Act (EPRA). In addition, we expect that Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) will reintroduce EPRA in the U.S. House of Representatives early next year. We appreciate the continued support from both Senator Reed and Representative Honda on strengthening teacher preparation programs in the Higher Education Act (HEA), and we are pleased to see Senator Casey supporting EPRA on introduction as well this congress.
In new guidance released last month, the U.S. Department of Education issued five executive actions and outlined four policy recommendations for members of Congress to consider as they examine the accreditation process and begin weighing reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Although the guidance is motivated by concerns over institutional accreditors, AACTE will follow developments closely to monitor potential impact on programmatic accreditors, including the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
In the interest of strengthening oversight and transparency in accreditation, the Department plans to post copies of documents relating to accreditation for each institution, arranged by accreditor, in addition to data on “key student and institutional metrics”—to be drawn heavily from the Department’s College Score Card web site.
The fall is ushering in more than a change in the weather in Washington this year. Multiple unpredicted changes in leadership have D.C. buzzing about what it all means.
- U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) resigned from Congress as of October 30, 2015.
- U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan resigned as of December 2015.
- Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Rep. John Kline (R-MN) will not seek re-election next year.