Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

AACTE’s Day on the Hill: An Opportunity to Advocate for Ed Prep Programs

The past year and a half have been a challenge. Everyone’s lives have been disrupted and we have had to adapt, adjust, and endure like never before, especially within the educator preparation community. However, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

There is good news. For example, President Biden proposed the biggest increase in funding for the Department of Education and teacher preparation programs in history. Specifically, he called for increasing the Department’s budget by more than $29 billion, or 41%, including an increase of $9 billion for teacher preparation programs.

AACTE Applauds Passage of Department of Education Spending Bill

On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement on the House Appropriations Committee passage of the fiscal year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill:

“AACTE is deeply gratified to see such an historic investment in education, and particularly in educator preparation.  While our members have advocated for years, indeed decades, for such investments, this is the first time Congress has responded with such a robust bill.  These unprecedented increases will make a significant difference in addressing the long-term deficits in our nation’s education system. They will enable our nation to address the critical shortage of educators and the lack of diversity in our profession in transformative ways. AACTE urges Congress to pass this legislation and send it to President Biden for his signature as soon as possible.” 

AACTE Leads Task Force on Teacher Preparation in Higher Ed

Earlier this year, AACTE reconstituted the Higher Education Task Force.  The task force, which was previously led by AACTE, will share information about the policy work underway in the teacher preparation world with our higher education colleagues and inform Congress and other key officials about important developments related to the field.  Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the change of administrations and other factors, the task force was dormant for a short time. But AACTE’s colleagues eagerly accepted our invitation to rejoin.

Task force participants are from the major associations of higher education, whose members are presidents of institutions of higher education. Members include the American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and UNCF. 

Register Early for 2021 Washington Week

Registration for AACTE’s 2021 Washington Week is now open. Take advantage of the virtual rates and join AACTE’s efforts to advocate for educator preparation programs in a post-pandemic world. Each session will take place during the month of September. 

Holmes Policy Institute – September 8-9

AACTE Holmes Scholars will learn how to advocate for their profession by participating in interactive policy discussions and briefings.

Holmes Scholar – $25

Holmes Program Advanced Policy Short Course – September 14-15

This short course is intended as an introduction to begin equipping you with the knowledge, desire, and skills to be an effective advocate and resource in the policy making process.

Holmes Scholar – $25

AACTE Announces 2020-21 State Chapter Support Award Winners

AACTE | ACSR logos

On behalf of AACTE and the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), I am happy to announce the winners of the 2020-21 State Chapter Support Award: The three recipients are Nebraska, California and Kentucky.

It is the mission of AACTE to elevate education and educator preparation through high-quality research, professional practice, and advocacy for all learners in ways that are collaborative and that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each year, AACTE awards funding to a handful of projects organized by state chapters in these areas.

Registration is Open for Washington Week 2021

AACTE Virtual Washington Week 2021 banner

Registration is now open for the 2021 virtual Washington Week.  Register today to ensure your voice is heard advocating for education. Every year, this popular gathering of like-minded members of the education preparation community attracts hundreds from around the nation. Join your peers at this year’s virtual Washington Week, which will feature the following four events:

AACTE Amplifies Your Voice in Policy Matters

Lynn M. Gangone
 
AACTE amplifies member voices in policy matters impacting education and educator preparation, and our collective voice is being heard. President Biden recently proposed the American Families Plan, which directly targets investments into educator preparation programs. AACTE supports the proposal and encourages Congress to act. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and learn more about how you can get involved.
 
Visit the AACTE Advocacy Center for the latest updates at aacte.org. Be sure to renew your AACTE membership by the extended May 31 deadline.

Washington Week 2021: Save the September Dates

Get ready to join AACTE at Washington Week 2021, which will be virtual again this year and scheduled throughout the month of September.  This year’s schedule includes the following:

  • Holmes Policy Institute – September 8-9
    AACTE Holmes Scholars will learn how to advocate for their profession by participating in interactive policy discussions and briefings.
  • Holmes Program Advanced Policy Short Course – September 14-15
    This short course is intended as an introduction to begin equipping you with the knowledge, desire, and skills to be an effective advocate and resource in the policy making process.
  • Day on the Hill – September 21-23
    AACTE members, nonmembers, students, Holmes Scholars, and PK-12 partners will engage in advocacy training and visit congressional offices.
  • State Leaders Institute – September 30-October 1
    AACTE state leaders will focus on capacity building and augmenting their chapters’ impact through leadership development.

AACTE Releases Toolkit to Help the Nation’s Schools Reopen

Educating the Future TodayPresident Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) in March, which includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. The ARP ESSER funds are intended to help state educational agencies and school districts safely reopen and address the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s students. AACTE has developed the Educating the Future, Today toolkit to help members navigate conversations with state or local education leaders, encouraging them to use ESSER funds to staff classrooms with teacher candidates. 

These funds provide a unique opportunity for school districts and educator preparation programs to address the teacher pipeline.  As the U.S. Department of Education’s noted in its COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs, ARP ESSER funds can be used to staff classrooms with teacher candidates, thereby providing them with practical experience while helping alleviate the challenges teachers are encountering with the transition back to in person teaching.

Amplifying AACTE’s Voice in the Corridors of Power

To effectively amplify the voice of members to policy makers to better help them understand what is happening in the field and offer sound policy recommendations, AACTE partners with other organizations to highlight the importance of certain issues.  

For example, AACTE is a member of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF). CEF was founded in 1969 with the goal of achieving adequate federal financial support for our nation’s educational system. The coalition is a voluntary, nonprofit, and nonpartisan group. AACTE is one of more than 100 member organizations that represent the full spectrum of education—early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, higher education, adult and career education, and educational enhancements such as libraries and museums. CEF’s current campaign is “5 Cents Makes Sense,” which calls for 5 cents of every federal dollar to be spent on education. The campaign’s official hashtag is #5Cents4EdFunding. 

AACTE Is Advocating for You

Through AACTE’s conferences, meetings, surveys, and even informal conversations, AACTE staff members stay well informed about the successes and challenges of your educator preparation programs (EPPs). The government relations team is particularly attuned to the challenges where the federal government can play an important role in contributing to solutions and is in regular touch with members of congress and their staffers. AACTE provides input into legislative proposals, offering feedback as to why a provision may or may not be effective and providing information from you about current trends—including  the impact of the transition to remote teaching because of COVID-19, ongoing racial injustice, declining enrollment in EPPs, the cost of college, and financial challenges future educators will face.

AACTE is an amplifying voice between you, members who are doing the important work in the field, and policy makers, who need to understand what is happening in the field to offer sound policy recommendations. Recently, President Biden announced the American Families Plan, which includes an unprecedented $9 billion to help address our nation’s teacher shortage.  The plan calls for, among other things, doubling the annual amount of TEACH grants from $4,000 to $8,000 per year; $2.8 billion for year-long, paid teacher residency programs and Grow Your Own programs; $400 million for teacher preparation at minority-serving institutions (MSIs); $900 million for the preparation of new special educators; $1.6 billion for educators to obtain additional certifications in high-demand fields such as special education and bilingual education; and $2 billion to support the development of teachers as leaders and high-quality mentorship programs for new teachers and teachers of color.

AACTE Urges Members to Advocate for Recovery Aid

Lynn M. Gangone
 
AACTE is mobilizing our professional community to advocate for funding authorized by the recent American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to aid schools and colleges of education in recovery from the pandemic. AACTE has distributed materials to begin the advocacy work in this area and will continue to provide members with resources and tools. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and learn more about how you can get involved.
 
Stay tuned to the AACTE Advocacy Center for updates at aacte.org. Be sure to renew your AACTE membership by the extended May 31 deadline.

Helping the Nation’s Schools Recover from COVID-19

Teachers wait in the hallway to welcome students and enforce social distancing before classes begin for the day

Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

President Biden recently signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. These funds are provided to state educational agencies and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s students. 

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced how much each state will receive through ARP ESSER and that the funds will be available for use through September 2023. The ARP ESSER funds are designed to help alleviate some of the challenges school district leaders face to “hire, recruit, and retain quality staff during severe labor market shortages while providing supplemental emergency benefits and compensation during the pandemic.”
 
AACTE encourages our members to collaborate with their local partner districts to allocate the ARP ESSER funds towards strengthening the educator workforce by supporting residency models, grow-your-own programs, and other innovative approaches to develop a pathway into teaching. Increasing financial support for teacher candidates is critical to developing and sustaining a diverse, profession-ready teacher workforce. Funding to support teacher candidates could be in place by as early as this fall to assist schools as they fully re-open and to help children overcome learning loss due to the pandemic.

Exemplary Educators Named to “Speaking Up for Public Schools” Panel Discussion

Learning First Alliance

AACTE Board member Kimberly White-Smith, dean, LaFetra College of Education at University of La Verne, is among the featured education leaders presenting at the “Speaking Up for Public Schools” livestream discussion on Tuesday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m.

Each year Public Schools Week brings together Learning First Alliance members, educators, parents, business and community leaders, and many others across the country to show the strength—and potential—of our nation’s public schools and our students’ futures. Even now, public schools are making connections each day with their students, families and broader communities.

We will celebrate Public Schools Week 2021, Feb. 22-26, virtually. On Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. EST the Learning First Alliance and its members will host a discussion on what has been learned and how public schools can move forward from the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will spotlight social-emotional learning and how the educators are meeting student needs as well as future needs. The show can be viewed on LFA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Discover and Discuss Legislative Priorities at AACTE21

Gavel and American Flag

With the new administration at work and a new congress well underway, the need for AACTE and its members to engage with their elected officials is as important as ever. The existing shortfall of highly trained educators has been exacerbated by COVID-19. According to one study, prior to the pandemic, 100,000 classrooms in the United States were staffed by instructors who were unqualified for their jobs; in one month alone, 469,000 public school district personnel nationally lost their jobs and roughly 27% of teachers say they are considering leaving their job, retiring early, or taking a leave of absence because of the pandemic. Congress must understand the consequences of the shortage and what needs to be done to address it.

Your voice is key to educating lawmakers.

The Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy, one of AACTE’s standing committees, is hosting a session during the AACTE Annual Meeting to educate attendees about President Biden’s priorities for education and the composition of Congress and legislation it may consider.  The session will also focus on AACTE’s legislative priorities, as well as strategies to move them forward. The committee will also share how to use your voice and share your experience with your elected officials.

Do you have questions about this session? Email gra@aacte.org.

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