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    Bob Cooper

    WACTE Lobbyist

    Washington Chapter’s Legislative Efforts Pay Off

    The Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) is receiving the payoff from its long-term efforts working with the Washington Legislature. WACTE first hired a contract lobbyist in 2005, and their 14 years of work have made the chapter a significant voice in state education policy.

    For instance, teacher shortage has largely been defined either broadly across states or regions, or anecdotally. Now, the state of Washington will attempt to refine the definitions and locations of shortages with a “collaborative” that includes WACTE as a member, following the group’s testimony and request for the designation during the recent legislative session.

    This effort is part of a large, omnibus education bill passed by Washington lawmakers this year, which also includes a number of provisions from WACTE to attract more candidates to the teaching profession (Engrossed second substitute House Bill 1139).

    Those provisions include $1 million per year in “teacher shortage grants” to enable

    WACTE Builds Momentum for Its Next Day on the Hill

    Members of the Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) met with Washington state lawmakers during WACTE’s inaugural “Day on the Hill” earlier this year—an effort to familiarize legislators with teacher preparation programs across the state, present ourselves as resources to legislators on teacher preparation and K-12 education, and articulate the WACTE agenda/priorities.

    In the state of Washington, the legislative process is nothing like academia, where it can take a year from proposal to approval for a new program or process. The legislative sessions move at a furious pace. A bill can be amended to do something completely different than the original intent, and a legislative lobbyist can prevent the legislative process from “getting away from you before you know it.”

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