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Meet the New Leaders of the Appropriations Labor HHS-Education Subcommittee

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

This week Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), chair and vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced the Appropriations Subcommittees chairs, ranking members, and full rosters for the 118th Congress.

In a joint press release, Senators Murray and Collins said:

“There are so many critical challenges our country faces right now, and we are glad to have this capable and committed group of Senators to lead our subcommittees this Congress and work to solve problems in people’s lives through our appropriations bills… We look forward to working closely with all of our Subcommittee leaders and colleagues on the Committee in the months ahead to find common ground — and deliver for the American people.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Senator Shelley More Capito (R-WV) will lead the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee. View the full committee roster.

Senator Sanders Hosts Town Hall on Teacher Pay Crisis in America

This week Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, hosted a town hall at the U.S. Capitol entitled “Respecting our Teachers: A Town Hall on the Teacher Pay Crisis in America.” Senator Sanders was joined by Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association (NEA),  Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) who joined the HELP Committee this year,  and four educators from across the nation.  In his opening remarks, Senator Sanders thanked our nation’s teachers, talked of the critical role educators play in ensuring we have the best educated workforce, and called for a $60,000 per year minimum salary for educators.

“If we understand that we live in a competitive global economy and that we need the best educated workforce in the world, we must understand that it is absurd that there are school districts throughout the country where there are major shortages of teachers… And if we understand the enormously important work that teachers do, that means, in my view, among many other things, that we should be paying public school teachers a minimum of at least $60,000 a year – and I will soon be introducing legislation to do just that,” said the Chairman.

It is anticipated that the legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks and is expected to not only address teacher pay but also include provisions that focus on comprehensive educator preparation and high poverty schools.

Read Senator Sanders’ full opening statement and watch the Town Hall.

U.S. Department of Education Announces First-Ever Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program Grants

This week, the US Department of Education announced the first ever Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program grants to increase high-quality teacher preparation programs for teachers of color, strengthen the diversity of our teacher pipeline, and address teacher shortages.  AACTE issued a press release congratulating the recipients and urging Congress to continue to fund the program at the highest levels possible. 

New Resources for Educators

  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities a new report “Inclusive, Innovative Assessments for students with Learning Disabilities.” The report includes: Findings from qualitative and quantitative research;  Principles for innovative assessments; An overview of current proposals; Federal, state, and local policy recommendations for equitable assessment systems

  • RAND Corporation released results from a new survey on “Educator Turnover Has Markedly Increased, but Districts Have Taken Actions to Boost Teacher Ranks”. The survey found that 10 percent of teachers retired or resigned in the 2021-22 school year, up 4 percentage points from pre-pandemic levels.

Congress and Washington Update are on recess next week, returning Friday March 3.

Until next time, see you on Twitter! Kait @brennan_kait

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