August 2016 State Policy Recap
Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For similar recap articles from earlier months, browse the “State Directions” section of the blog.
Overview of State Policy Activity
In August, legislatures actively met in only two states, Illinois and Alaska; most other states’ legislative sessions had adjourned. No educator preparation-related bills were introduced during the month, although California enacted one bill into law that will allow city or county boards of education to issue a temporary teaching certificate to an individual with an existing certificate, including one from out of state.
Several states, including Nevada, North Dakota, and Virginia, began prefiling bills for the 2017 legislative session, which means that state legislators can introduce bills prior to the start of the legislative session. Prefiled bills often provide some insight on the intended priorities for the state legislature. For example, in North Dakota, a bill has been prefiled related to loan forgiveness for teachers in shortage areas. In Nevada, two bills have been prefiled to modify licensure requirements.
State regulations saw a bit more activity than legislation in August, as six regulations were adopted in four states–Arkansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Wisconsin. These regulations’ topics include creating a new definition of qualified teacher, amending eligibility criteria for teacher loan-forgiveness programs in shortage areas and fields, establishing guidelines and procedures for educator certification examinations, establishing requirements for the certification and continuing education of military personnel, modifying certification requirements for school leaders by creating flexibility in certain aspects, and expanding pathways for into the teaching profession in order to meet workforce needs.
State Advocacy Activities
This month, states continued their activities supporting the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and engaging stakeholders, including teacher educators. Below is a sample of some of these convening activities:
- Arizona – Created a “We Are Listening Tour” to hear input on ESSA and K-12 education
- Colorado – The Colorado legislature created an interim committee to study ESSA
- Ohio – Is holding webinars on different ESSA topics for stakeholders