April 2017 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a recap of state policy and state chapter activity in March 2017, see this blog.

Already this year, a significant number of state legislatures have adjourned for the year. In fact, 14 state legislatures have concluded their official business for 2017. An additional 14 state legislatures will adjourn for the year by the end of May.

With the rush to adjourn, state legislatures did not finish their work in April without a flurry of action on education issues including educator preparation and higher education funding. In fact, 153 state bills were introduced during April that could affect educator preparation, particularly related to educator certification and licensure.

Of the 153 bills, at least 34 were sent to the governor or enacted into law. Four bills signed or sent to the governor would authorize loan forgiveness or scholarships for educators in Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, and North Dakota. A bill in Indiana awaits the governor’s signature that would change the state superintendent of education from an elected to an appointed position. An Arizona bill that generated controversy, now also awaiting the governor’s action, would allow all pathways into the profession to be offered a standard certificate that lasts at least 12 years for all content or subject areas. In addition, candidates for this certificate would be exempt from applicable subject knowledge proficiency requirements.

As state legislatures adjourn, we are likely to see a shift to significant regulatory activity. In April, 13 new regulations were adopted in 10 states. One new regulation in Oregon adopts uniform program standards for single-subject endorsement areas that do not require a full program, such as English and social studies. Additionally, the new regulation increases the allowable fee for background checks.

Interested in tracking the latest legislative and regulatory activity in your state? Use AACTE’s State Policy Tracker (member login required) to stay informed. If you have any questions, you can reach me at agoldsein@aacte.org.

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Aaron Goldstein

Manager, State Policy & Relations