The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is moving forward with negotiated rulemaking around a large number of issues dealing with federal student financial aid in the Higher Education Act, commonly known as “Title IV,” and AACTE will be at the table. Last fall, the Department put out a call for nominations for negotiators to be part of a full committee and three subcommittees, and this week announced the list of negotiators, which includes 18 AACTE member institutions.
The full committee will cover issues around accreditation and innovation, and the subcommittees will advise the full committee on the following issues: faith-based entities, distance learning, and TEACH grants. The first committee and subcommittees sessions will take place next week, January 14–18.
In addition to AACTE member participation, I will be representing the Association and its members on the TEACH grant subcommittee. Negotiators also include a number of AACTE partners. To see the full list of negotiators for the full committee and each of the subcommittees, along with the supporting materials, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.
Would you like to learn more about the law that establishes the processes around negotiated rulemaking? Review the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, or read a five-page summary of the negotiated rulemaking process.
The U.S. Department of Education Office (USDOE) of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, recently published a funding opportunity geared to help improve the outcomes of postsecondary students, specifically underrepresented students. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) has issued a Funding Announcement and Request for Proposals on “Building Rigorous Evidence about How to Improve Postsecondary Success.”
According to the USDOE newsletter, “LJAF is interested in funding research and evaluation projects testing interventions related to postsecondary success (including student learning, persistence, completion, time to completion, job placement, and post-college earnings). They are particularly interested in interventions that promise to improve success among underserved students, such as low-income students, students of color, adult students, and veterans. LJAF has committed up to $10 million for these grants.”
Letters of Interest are due by January 31, 2019.
(Please note: AACTE is sharing this opportunity; it is not an endorsement of the foundation or its work.)
To stay abreast of other funding opportunities and updates, subscribe to the USDOE newsletters.
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced that it will allow TEACH grant recipients who met or are meeting their TEACH grant service requirements and had their grant converted to a loan to have this conversion reconsidered. While there are no details yet, the TEACH Grant webpage states that the Department will share its process for reconsideration by January 31, 2019. This is available only for those recipients who were meeting the requirements and had their loans converted due to noncompliance with the certification requirements.
During the course of the year, stories have arisen of TEACH grants being erroneously converted by the servicer, FedLoan. While the Department is moving into negotiated rulemaking on the TEACH grants starting in January, it is taking action in the meantime to change processes to protect recipients. In addition to reconsideration, the Department is also making a universal annual certification deadline of October 31, starting in 2019.
With the election over, Congress returns to Washington, D.C. to wrap up the year—and for some members, their time in Washington. As the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate start the lame-duck session, some attention is turning to the 116th Congress that begins in January.
With Congress finishing the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill on time (September 30), it is important to remember that a large portion of the federal government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR). With a deadline of December 7, the CR brings with it contention and the potential for a government shutdown. It is also unclear what else the Republican majority will want to do in the last weeks of its leadership in the House and what the Senate can get done as well.
AACTE has awarded five state chapters the 2018-19 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant. The recipients are as follows:
- New Jersey
Each year, AACTE and the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) Executive Committee select recipients of the State Chapter Support Grants to help strengthen the capacity of the chapters on various levels, including advocacy and statewide collaboration to meet key challenges, as well as strengthen AACTE’s relationship with state chapters.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) named the 2018 recipients of the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program on Friday, September 28. In total, the DOE funded 17 grantees from the $43.1 million appropriated by the U.S. Congress in the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill.
The TQP grant program is the only federal initiative dedicated to strengthening and transforming educator preparation at institutions of higher education (IHEs). To be an eligible grant recipient, the IHE must offer a baccalaureate or graduate program in education, and collaborate with PK-12 partners. Other requirements include the IHE’s educator preparation program and college of arts and sciences work in partnership with a high-need school or schools in a local, high-need district. This helps prepare teacher candidates to teach in high-need fields by providing practical experience in these schools during their training. The innovative partnerships between IHEs and PK-12 schools transform educator preparation programs as well as provide benefits to teachers in the classroom.
On Thursday, September 13, 2018, a spending deal was reached on both the Department of Defense and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (labor-H) spending bills. These two bills were combined into one bill by the U.S. Senate and sent to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The two bodies then went into conference on the package, and a deal was reached. The next steps are to pass the agreement, known as a conference report, before the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2018).
In case you missed it in State Directions, AACTE’s state-focused monthly e-newsletter, the ACSR Executive Committee created two new ad-hoc committees in response to participants’ feedback at the 2018 State Leaders Institute during AACTE’s Washington Week in June.
The two ad-hoc committees will focus on:
AACTE has an active network of state chapters across the country, and would like to help promote what’s happening in your local chapter through its communication channels. Is your state chapter providing activities to share best practices, engage on solutions to challenges, or advance professional skills? If yes, then please share your event details with AACTE!
Whether your state chapter convening varies from monthly meetings to large conferences in the spring and fall, AACTE would like to promote your event details on the state chapter and events pages of its website. If you are a state chapter leader, please take a moment to complete a short online form for each chapter meeting and conference that will take place during the 2018-19 academic year.
The AACTE Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) seeks nominations by October 12 of state chapter leaders to run in an election for the ACSR Executive Committee. The positions open for election are the West Region representative, Northeast Region representative, and ACSR chair-elect, all to take office in March 2019.
Terms and Roles
I am thrilled to announce that AACTE’s contact lists for state policy makers in each state and the District of Columbia have been updated and posted in the AACTE Resource Library (accessible to AACTE members only!). In addition, links to these lists can be found on the AACTE Advocacy Center’s State Advocacy page and on AACTE’s State Policy and Legislation page.
These documents are an AACTE member benefit to support you in your state-level advocacy work. Use them to find key state policy makers–for example, legislators for authorizing and appropriating education funds, state department of education contacts, and even your governor’s education staffer.
Just a quick reminder to AACTE state chapters across the country: Friday, July 27, is the application deadline for the 2018-19 AACTE State Chapter Support Grants.
This year, a total of $40,000 is available for state chapter activities, and $10,000 is available to support chapter capacity and development, as described in the request for proposals.
As the focus of Congress turns toward accumulating “wins” for members to use to get re-elected, the appropriations process has taken an unexpected turn – work is getting done.
As I have shared with AACTE members in recent Federal Update webinars, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL, chair of appropriations in the U.S. Senate) and Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ, chair of appropriations in the U.S. House of Representatives) committed to seeing the appropriations process return to “normal” this year–and that commitment is coming to fruition. By the end of June, the Senate had moved all 12 appropriations bills through subcommittee and full committee, and the House is on track to do so by the August recess.
On June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) moved its Fiscal Year 2019 bill through markup. Despite the FY19 increase of $18 billion for nondefense discretionary funds from the deal made earlier this year, the House FY19 Labor-H bill received no additional funds (the Labor-H bill contains about 32% of the nondefense discretionary funds found across all federal agencies).
Given this challenge, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the programs that AACTE advocates for receive level funding or a small increase:
On June 6, while AACTE members and partners were on Capitol Hill advocating for educator preparation as part of AACTE’s Day on the Hill, Association President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone was testifying before the Federal School Safety Commission at a listening session at the U.S. Department of Education.
The Commission, tasked with quickly providing meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school and headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is composed of the leadership of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Last week’s meeting was the fourth since the Commission’s inception in March of this year and the first public listening session.