May 2017 State Policy Recap

Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For the recap from April 2017, see this blog.

As the calendar shifts to summer, many states have ended their legislative sessions, while about a dozen legislatures remained active in May.

The predominant focus centered on awaiting governors’ actions on key legislative and budgetary matters. During this year’s legislative sessions, 47 states proposed budgets that would cover Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, while 17 states are considering budgets for both FY2018 and FY2019. Summaries of proposed and enacted state budgets (and additional analysis) are available from the National Association of State Budget Officers.

Meanwhile, 23 state bills pertaining to educator preparation were enacted into law during May. One of these new laws, in Colorado, will require the state to develop a strategic plan for recruiting, preparing, and retaining teachers in certain shortage areas and fields. Indiana enacted a new law that would eliminate the office of state superintendent of public instruction and replace it with a secretary of education that is appointed by the governor.

As state legislatures adjourn, regulatory activity is likely to increase pertaining to the implementation of this year’s new laws. In May, AACTE tracked nine regulations in eight states. A new proposed regulation in Delaware, for example, would make various clarifications to requirements for the state’s alternative routes to teacher licensure and certification program. An adopted regulation in Kentucky will established revised standards for evaluating and assessing teacher candidates for initial and advanced certification and for the accreditation of educator preparation providers.

State Advocacy Strategies

A new blog series, “Solving Teacher Shortages,” from the Learning Policy Institute highlights research-based strategies for states to address teacher shortages. The series focuses on different subject areas, such as career and technical education and special education, and offers policy options for state and federal officials to consider when looking to strengthen the educator pipeline. This blog series could be a great resource to members and state chapters who are working with their state policy makers to tackle local workforce needs. As you may recall, last year, the Advisory Council of State Representatives adopted a set of state policy statements, one of which focused on strategies to strengthen the educator pipeline.

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

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Aaron Goldstein

Manager, State Policy & Relations