AACTE Applauds Passage of Department of Education Spending Bill
On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement on the House Appropriations Committee passage of the fiscal year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill:
“AACTE is deeply gratified to see such an historic investment in education, and particularly in educator preparation. While our members have advocated for years, indeed decades, for such investments, this is the first time Congress has responded with such a robust bill. These unprecedented increases will make a significant difference in addressing the long-term deficits in our nation’s education system. They will enable our nation to address the critical shortage of educators and the lack of diversity in our profession in transformative ways. AACTE urges Congress to pass this legislation and send it to President Biden for his signature as soon as possible.”
The Committee increased funding for the Department of Education by more than $29 billion, or 41%, an historic increase. It also provides historic funding levels for teacher preparation programs. Specifically, the legislation includes
- $90 million for the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program with a priority for teacher professional development and pathways into teaching that provide a strong foundation in child development and learning, including skills for implementing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies.
- $132 million for Teacher Quality Partnerships (TQP), an increase of $80 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. The TQP program funds competitive grants to partnerships of higher education institutions, high-need local school districts, and other stakeholders to transform and strengthen educator preparation.
- $250 million for Personnel Preparation, an increase of $160 million above the FY 2021 enacted level, to address State-identified needs for qualified special educators to carry out the mandate of IDEA. The current nationwide shortage of special educators imperils the success of IDEA.
- $20 million for the Hawkins Centers of Excellence program, which provides five-year competitive grants to eligible minority serving institutions to establish centers of excellence. These centers will help strengthen and improve teacher preparation programs, increase the availability of educators from diverse backgrounds, and aid in the retention of teachers and principals of color. This is the first time this program has been funded.
- $1 billion to increase the number of qualified mental health professionals in schools, including school counselors, social workers, psychologists, or other mental health professionals.
- $8 million for a Basic Needs Grants pilot program for college students to use on housing, food, transportation, and access to physical and mental health.
- Increasing the maximum Pell Grant by $400 to $6,895. This will help make college more affordable for thousands of students.
- New language that allows DREAMERs and students with temporary protected status to be eligible for Pell Grants, as well as other categories of student financial assistance, including Federal student loans.
Learn more about AACTE’s advocacy efforts at www.aacte.org.