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.
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 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.
AACTE worked with Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) to craft the EDUCATORS for America Act, a bill to update Title II of the Higher Education Act. The bill will help state and local communities address educator pipeline challenges by channeling national resources to states and localities so local leaders can build a diverse, profession-ready army of teachers, principals, librarians, counselors, and specialized instructors. Nearly 50 national organizations have endorsed the EDUCATORS for America Act.
Having played a leadership role in drafting the bill, AACTE looks forward to its passage. AACTE encourage you to join in advocating for the bill. The investments called for in the measure are long overdue and AACTE needs your help to ensure that students are taught by well-prepared, diverse educators. Please follow this link, to fill out an advocacy form to send emails to your members of Congress urging the passage of the EDUCATORS for America Act.
Urge Your Members of Congress to Maintain the Historic Education Funding Levels
Congress is one step closer to passing an FY22 appropriations bill which includes historic increases for education funding. Now is the time to urge your Members of Congress to maintain the proposed levels in the House passed education funding bill in the final appropriations package. Voices from the field are imperative to garnering the momentum to get this historic legislation across the finish line.
The House Passes a Short-Term Spending Patch and Congressional Leadership Reaches Agreement on Funding Levels
This week Congress made significant strides towards passing an FY22 appropriations bill that will fund the government through the fall. On Tuesday evening the House voted 272-162 to pass a stopgap funding stopgap funding bill that will keep the government running when the Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on February 18. The Senate is expected to take up the measure that will keep the government funded through March 11 in the coming week.
In commemoration of her retirement, AACTE sat down with Jane West, Ph.D., former AACTE senior vice president and current senior consultant, for a candid interview about her life, career, and the change she has inspired within education and educator preparation.
Jane West’s career illustrates her passion for education and her pursuit to ensure equitable access for all students. This commitment may be written into the very fabric of her DNA, as she was inspired early in her childhood through her mother’s example. An incredible advocate in her own right, her mother was the youngest of 10 children from a small town in North Carolina and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1936. Her mother’s principal belief that public education is an essential core aspect of our society had a profound impact on West. This belief sparked the beginning of her efforts in both advocacy and education.
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.
Reversing the Trend of a Declining Educator Workforce is Going to Take a Bold National Strategy
This article originally appeared in the Des Moines Register and is reprinted with permission.
Our nation’s economic prosperity, global competitiveness, and civic vitality rely on a strong educational system. As the leading producer of educators in the state of Iowa, at the University of Northern Iowa we know a highly qualified and diverse educator workforce is critical for preparing each generation to lead their workplaces and communities while serving as role models at home.
Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Representative Alma Adams (D-N.C.) recently introduced the Educators for America Act, which would modernize Title II of the Higher Education Act and help ensure that future teachers are profession-ready to enter the classroom. The Educators for America Act was introduced after more than a year of consultations with experts in the educator field and partner organizations.
Now we must use our voice to build support and momentum behind the bill. Urge your representative and senators to co-sponsor the Educators for America Act via AACTE’s Action Center.
On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement in support of the Educators for America Act, which would update and modernize Title II of the Higher Education Act:
“AACTE enthusiastically supports the Educators for America Act and thanks Sen. Reed and Rep. Adams for their unwavering leadership in support of educator preparation. This comprehensive bill will make robust investments in teacher and other educator preparation programs while alleviating our nation’s educator shortage, diversifying the profession, and providing critical support to our member institutions and their community partners.”
Earlier this year, President Bident signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, which included more than $125 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. These funds are being used by state educational agencies and school districts to reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s students.
In response, AACTE created a Toolkit to help educator preparation programs 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.
This opinion article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
The demographics of our nation’s PK-12 student body are changing. In fact, a report from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES, 2019 as cited in Burden, 2020) projects that by 2027 the Caucasian student population will decrease to 45%, Latinx student population will increase to 29%, and the African American student population will remain at 15%. Thus, tomorrow’s student body will be more diverse than today and that trend is expected to continue. To meet the needs of the future PK-12 student population, educator preparation programs (EPPs) must attract a greater number of diverse candidates to the teaching profession—and that requires advocating for policies that promote diversity in the classroom and address critical teacher shortages.
AACTE recently posted two action alerts, which are a quick and easy way for you to urge your members of congress to support legislation pending before Congress.
The first action alert calls on Senators to include funding for educator preparation programs in the Build Back Better legislation it is currently negotiating. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed legislation that included more than $1 billion for these programs, an investment that is long overdue. However, it is unclear if the Senate will include this funding in their version of the bill. Your voice can help determine the fate of this critical funding.
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Democrats in Congress are taking a victory lap as they leave town for a weeklong Thanksgiving recess next week. With House passage of the Build Back Better Act, the Biden agenda is one step closer to enactment. But the Senate will have the final say.
House Passes Build Back Better Bill – At Last
After weeks of fraught negotiations, and multiple postponed votes, the House finally passed the Build Back Better Act (the reconciliation bill) this morning. One Democrat (Rep. Jared Golden of Maine) sided with all Republicans opposing the bill. This left the Democrats with the slim margin they needed to cross the finish line.
The Teacher Salary Project surveyed 1100+ teachers nationally, with an oversample of recognized teachers (e.g., State Teachers of the Year -STOYs, Nationally Board Certified Teachers – NBCTs, Teach Plus Fellows, and others) and found:
- Nearly half of the surveyed teachers say their salary was not sufficient to sustain them in teaching for the medium-to-long term (two-thirds when teachers who weren’t sure if they could continue teaching on their salary are included).