House Committee Approves Significant Investments in Education Preparation Programs
On September 9, the House Education and Labor Committee began work on its part of the reconciliation package that would make historic investments in American families, students, and the workforce. The legislation passed on a party line vote (28-22) and will be considered by the full House of Representatives in the coming weeks.
Among the new policies, the House Education and Labor committee calls for investing an additional
- $197 million for Grow Your Own programs and $198 million for residency teaching programs through the Teacher Quality Partnership program
- $198 million for the Hawkins Centers of Excellence program, which provides funding for teacher preparation at minority-serving institutions (MSIs)
- $297 million for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part D Personnel Preparation to ensure that children with disabilities are supported by fully certified school personnel
The bill also calls for tuition-free community college education, an increase in the maximum Pell Grant by $500 and allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students to be eligible for federal student aid through the 2029-30 school year. It also provides $1.5 billion in direct aid to historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and other minority-serving institutions (MSI).
While AACTE appreciates the significant investment in educator preparation programs proposed by the Committee, it had hoped that it would have provided funding levels closer to President Biden’s proposal. AACTE encourages the Senate to build on the Committee’s important work. The Association looks forward to working with both chambers to pass this legislation to help ensure that tomorrow’s teachers are profession-ready and students are taught by a diverse group of teachers.
The reconciliation package, based on President Biden’s American Families Plan, needs a simple majority in each chamber to pass. Most legislation needs 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. Because Democrats control 50 of the 100 senate seats and Vice President Kamala Harris—as president of the Senate—breaks any ties, they can pass the legislation. This is assuming all Democrats vote in the affirmative (as of this writing, it is not clear that every Senate Democrat will support the legislation).