Author Archive

Civics Secures Democracy Act Reintroduced in the Senate


A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the Civics Secures Democracy Act of 2021, which would authorize a historic investment to support K–12 civic education and American history.

Over the last several decades, civics education in American schools has seen a significant decline. Given the divisiveness in our politics and the lack of knowledge and understanding of democratic principles, norms, and institutions, a robust investment in civics education is needed.

AACTE Applauds Secretary Cardona’s Vision to Elevate the Teaching Profession

On June 9, Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona released a vision to support and elevate the teaching profession. AACTE applauds the vision to recruit, develop, and retain future educators in a time when extreme educator shortages are afflicting the country, and looks forward to working with the secretary to realize each strategy. The secretary’s vision, announced during a fireside chat at AACTE member institution, Bank Street College of New York, arrived on the heels of AACTE’s premier advocacy event, Washington Week, as AACTE members and its state affiliates met with their federal legislators to promote comprehensive educator preparation.

Last Call for Washington Week

We’re getting close to kick off for AACTE’s Washington Week, June 6 – 8! Join us in the nation’s capital for the first, in-person Washington Week since 2019.

We are excited to share our lineup of exemplary speakers, including DoE Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten. They will cover critical topics in education and teacher preparation, including censorship, teacher shortage, and educator diversity. View the full schedule here.

Reducing Educator Debt

How Educators Can Better Manage their Federal Student LoansAACTE is sponsoring its second Public Policy in Action webinar on May 19 at 1:00 p.m. (EST) to help federal student loan borrowers new to the teaching profession manage their federal student loans and, eventually, to have them forgiven.  

Among the most significant reasons educators to leave the field is low pay and the significant debt they must take on to earn their degree. This is particularly acute for those just starting out, whether it be as a teacher in a K-12 classroom or as a faculty member at a school of education. 

The information in this webinar is critical to help keep profession-ready, highly motivated educators in our nation’s classrooms. AACTE encourages you to share the registration link with those who are on the verge or entering the profession via residency programs or new educators that may be interested. 

In response to COVID-19, Congress passed legislation in 2020 that authorized a “pause” on all Federal loan repayment plans, interest accumulation and suspended garnishment efforts.  This pause is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2022

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) is an underutilized program that forgives the federal student loan debts for borrowers that make 120 qualified payments while working in the public sector, including teaching and other education positions. While the program has been mismanaged over the past several years, the Biden Administration is working to make significant improvements to the PSLF, so that more beneficiaries will see their loans eliminated. This webinar will provide background on the program, explain the planned upgrades, and discuss how federal borrowers could benefit from the program. 

Panelists will include the following:

  • Michael Rose, Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE
  • Rachel Gentry, Director of Government Relations at National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
  • Michael Yudin, Principal, The Raben Group

Register today
How Educators Can Better Manage their Federal Student Loans
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EDT)

AACTE Celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week

National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1 through May 7, 2022. AACTE celebrates the work of teachers across the country and recognizes the significant contributions our nation’s teachers make in preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world.

AACTE joins with the American Federation of Teachers and more than 200 other partnering organizations, to thank teachers for “helping every child in America lay the groundwork to build a better life, which starts right in their very own school.” In addition, the campaign recognizes that, “Despite political interference, disrespect for [their] professionalism, and a seemingly endless struggle for resources, [teachers] rise to the occasion to help prepare every child for whatever comes next, and [they] do it with incredible humanity and grace.” 

AACTE Hosts Policy Briefing to Help Educators Manage Student Loans

How Educators Can Better Manage their Federal Student Loans

AACTE is hosting its second Public Policy in Action webinar, “How Educators Can Better Manage their Federal Student Loans,” on May 19 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).  These public policy events are designed to help members understand critical policy updates originating from Congress or the Biden Administration. May’s webinar is focused on two critical items related to the educator workforce: the potential restart of payments on Federal student loans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. We hope that attendees will also share policy developments related to student financial aid in their states.

Register for AACTE Washington Week: In Person for Greater Impact

2022 Washington Week - Register Now

Join AACTE in Washington, DC, June 6 – 8, for this year’s annual signature event, 2022 Washington Week, “Educating the Future: Policy and Advocacy as Levers of Change.” AACTE and ACSR state affiliate leaders, Holmes Scholars, and deans and faculty will join together in the nation’s capital to advocate for education and teacher preparation.

With legislative and other critical challenges facing educators and students throughout the country, this is the year to get involved and make your voice heard.

What’s new and different?

This year, AACTE combines the best programming from three separate events—the State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute, and Day on the Hill—into one reimagined mini-conference.

Registration Opens Soon for AACTE’s Washington Week, June 6 – 8

2022 Washington Week

Join AACTE June 6 – 8 in the nation’s capital for 2022 Washington Week. This annual, signature event is back in person, with state affiliate leaders, Holmes Scholars, deans, and educators joining together to advocate for education and teacher preparation.

With legislative and other critical challenges facing educators and students throughout the country, this is the year to get involved and make your voice heard. Join us for a reimagined event featuring keynote speakers, strand sessions, constituency sessions, and networking opportunities. Targeted sessions will include the following activities:

AACTE Participates in STEM Roundtable with Department of Education

STEM education. Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. STEM concept with drawing background. Magnifying glass over education background.AACTE is a member of The STEM Education Coalition whose mission is to raise awareness among policymakers about the critical role STEM education plays in enabling the United States to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. The Coalition recently participated in a roundtable discussion with Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten and Assistant Secretary of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Roberto Rodriguez on how best to advance STEM education for all students. Meredith Kier, associate professor of science education at the College of William and Mary, represented AACTE at the round table. 

Below is a summary of the discussion:

AACTE Weighs in on President Biden’s Budget Proposal

Word budget in lettern on background of dollar banknotesPresident Biden released his fiscal year 2023 budget proposal this week, which calls for an increase of $15.3 billion or roughly 15% for the Department of Education compared to fiscal year 2022.  AACTE strongly supports the investments in education programs called for by the president, which will make college more affordable for millions of students, help address the teacher shortage that our country faces, and diversify the profession.

Congress Condemns Threats of Violence Against HBCUs

happy male african american college student using tablet computerThe House of Representatives and Senate both recently passed resolutions condemning threats of violence against historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). 

Over the past several months, numerous bomb threats have been called in to HBCUs causing the colleges to cancel classes; disrupting campus environments; and increasing anxiety of students, faculty, and staff.  At least 18 HBCUs received bomb threats on February 1, 2022, the first day of Black History Month. Unfortunately, to date no one individual or group has been found responsible for these reprehensible acts. 

As the resolutions (H.Con.Res. 70/S.Res.534) note, HBCUs were established in response to discriminatory practices that excluded Black Americans from pursuing an education in the United States and they educate and produce a significant share of the nation’s Black leaders and innovators.

Congress Poised to Pass Annual Spending Bills

Close-up Of A Person's Hand Stamping With Approved Stamp On Document At DeskCongressional leaders announced this week that they have come to an agreement on the annual spending bills that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The government has been operating under a continuing resolution since October (a continuing resolution funds the government at the previous year’s levels). This agreement will allow Congress to begin work on the fiscal year 2023 spending bills, which should be signed into law by September 30. 

The House and Senate are expected to pass the legislation in the coming days and President Biden is expected to sign it into law.

AACTE Launches Public Policy in Action Briefings

AACTE is excited to announce that it is offering its members monthly public policy webinars to learn about critical policy updates impacting education preparation. The inaugural AACTE Public Policy in Action webinar will take place March 17 at 1:00 p.m. (EST). We hope that attendees will also share policy developments in from their states during the member-only briefings.  

During the March discussion, attendees will learn about a new and innovative way to address the nation’s teacher shortage by utilizing the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship program.  The U.S. Department of Labor recently approved Tennessee Department of Education’s application to include teacher residencies as a qualified apprenticeship program, opening the door to additional federal funds to help address the state’s teacher shortage. The program will provide candidates with high-quality, in-classroom experiences while learning from a mentor teacher as part of their clinical experience (known as student teaching in some states) and will increase the quantity and diversity of teachers in Tennessee’s classrooms; other states are expected to pursue this option to address teacher shortages in their classrooms.

How are You Using ESSER Funds to Address Educator Shortages in Your Community?

AACTE has heard about several educator preparation programs and local school districts partnering together to utilize Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds to help address the teacher shortage in their communities. Now, we want to hear from you. Please take a moment to complete this short survey to share how you are using ESSER funds to place teacher candidates in local classrooms to help with the transition back to in-person learning.

Pause on Federal Student Loan Repayments Extended

Young asian college student hold a sign of student loanThe Department of Education announced on December 22 that it would extend the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through May 1, 2022. 

When COVID-19 began to wreak havoc with the lives of millions of people in March 2020, Congress passed legislation to temporarily suspend federal student loan payments.  In addition, borrowers were not charged interest on their loans and debt collection efforts were suspended.  The pause was extended several times and was due to be lifted on January 31, 2022.