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President Biden Gives State of the Union Speech

President Joseph Biden gave his State of the Union address on February 7 to a Joint Session of Congress.  The President touched on numerous subjects, including a call to increase the salaries of public-school teachers, support student and educator mental health, lower student debt, and pass the bipartisan Equality Act to “ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity.” 

As is customary, the president invited members of the public to attend the speech. Among his guests were Maurice “Dion” Dykes, who is working to become a teacher through a Registered Apprenticeship Program in Tennessee. As you may know, AACTE is working with a coalition of partners to develop a National Guideline Standards (NGS) for registered apprenticeship programs in teaching.  When approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, these standards will serve as guidance for all organizations seeking federal recognition of an apprenticeship program in teaching.

Throughout his speech, the president encouraged Congress to pass these and other initiatives he believes will strengthen our nation. However, given the House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by different parties, the future of the proposals is limited, at best. Regardless of this partisan divide, AACTE will continue to highlight the importance of educator preparation programs and related issues and urge Congress to adequately fund them to ensure that our nation’s students are taught by highly quality, diverse educators.

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee made the Republican response, during which she also discussed several education issues.