AACTE Releases Toolkit to Help the Nation’s Schools Reopen
President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) in March, which includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. The ARP ESSER funds are intended to help state educational agencies and school districts safely reopen and address the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s students. AACTE has developed the Educating the Future, Today toolkit to help members navigate conversations with state or local education leaders, encouraging them to use ESSER funds to staff classrooms with teacher candidates.
These funds provide a unique opportunity for school districts and educator preparation programs to address the teacher pipeline. As the U.S. Department of Education’s noted in its COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs, ARP ESSER funds can be used to staff classrooms with teacher candidates, thereby providing them with practical experience while helping alleviate the challenges teachers are encountering with the transition back to in person teaching.
The AACTE toolkit outlines the provisions of ARP, provides examples of educator preparation programs (EPPs) that you can replicate with your school districts and PK-12 schools, and includes other resources that may prove useful as this unprecedented funding is distributed to states and school districts. AACTE encourages members to begin these conversations sooner than later to help ensure that principals and superintendents are aware that these funds can be used in this manner.
AACTE is looking for additional examples of successful EPPs doing this work so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like your program included in the toolkit.