Posts Tagged ‘federal issues’

IRS Increases Teacher Tax Deduction

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it is increasing the educator expense deduction for the first time since 2002, when it was first implemented. 

Previously the maximum amount educators could deduct from their taxes was $250 for school supplies, including books, supplies, and other materials used in the classroom as well as COVID-19 protective items. However, the IRS will allow up to $300 in qualified expenses to be deducted for 2022.  The limit will rise in $50 increments in future years based on inflation adjustments.

Washington Update: Education Priorities, Parents Bill of Rights, and Supreme Court Arguments

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

This week, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is scheduled to deliver a major address at the Department of Education’s Lyndon Baines Johnson building in Washington, D.C.  The speech entitled, “Raise the Bar: Lead the World,” will offer the Secretary the opportunity to lay out the Department’s priorities for 2023 and detail progress made on 2022 initiatives. Afterward, the Secretary will take part in a fireside chat with Executive Director of the National PTA Nathan R. Monell, CAE. The event will be streamed on the Department’s YouTube  page.

Biden-Harris Administration Releases Regulatory Agenda with Renewed Focus on Higher Education

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Early Saturday, after a historic 5-day, 15 ballot fight- with major concessions made to the so called “never Kevin” holdouts, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) secured his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Many analysts and DC insiders believe that the political theatre surrounding the Speaker vote foreshadows just how difficult it could be to govern in an exceedingly narrow Republican majority. However, in speaking with reporters Speaker McCarthy downplayed concerns, saying: “This is the great part … Because it took this long, now we learned how to govern.” I suppose only time will tell if the Speaker’s projection reigns true.

FY2023 Spending Bill Passes with Increases to Critical Programs that Address the Educator Workforce

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Just before the holiday break, Members of Congress completed their final task as the 117th Congress — passing the FY2023 omnibus spending package. The bill provides a $3.2 billion increase over the FY2022 level of funding provided to the Department of Education, with several significant increases in programmatic funding to address the educator workforce.

Biden-Harris Administration Proposes New Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Plan

The Biden-Harris Administration today announced a new proposal to reduce the cost of federal student loan payments, especially for low- and middle-income borrowers.

While AACTE is generally supportive of the proposal, which according to a fact sheet will make college more affordable for perspective educators, additional steps must be taken to address the nationwide shortage of highly qualified, diverse teachers in our classrooms.  AACTE looks forward to working with the Administration, Congress and state officials to develop and implement policies that achieve these goals.

Congress Releases Spending Bills

Congress released the details of the annual spending agreement reached this week that will fund most of the federal government, including the Department of Education, for the remainder of the fiscal year. 

By law, these bills should have been completed by September 30. However, due to disagreements over various spending and other legislative priorities between the two parties and the House and Senate, the government has been funded by a series of continuing resolutions, which financed the government at previously agreed upon levels.

Senate Strikes Efforts to Overturn Rules on Allocating Federal Funds to Charter Schools

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

On Friday afternoon President Biden signed a short-term funding bill, otherwise known as a continuing resolution or CR, that will keep the government open and funded through December 23. The CR keeps the government open and freezes funding levels at their FY22 levels while appropriators finalize a deal for the FY23 spending bill. Stay tuned as we now have one final busy week in Washington before Members of Congress break for the holiday.

Department of Education Dissolves National Parent and Family Engagement Council

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

The final countdown is on for Congress to pass a FY2023 spending bill with the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expiring next Friday. There is considerable speculation on whether or not a bill will pass before January, but many on the Hill remain hopeful that we will see an omnibus package before Christmas. Stay tuned as next week is sure to be a busy week in Washington.

TEACH Grants: Helping to Make the Profession Affordable

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education issued a reminder that TEACH Grants are available to those who are interested in pursuing a career in education. 

The TEACH Grant Program, which was created approximately 15 years ago, provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching. A TEACH Grant-eligible program is a program of study that is designed to prepare you to teach as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field and that leads to a bachelor’s or master’s degree or is a post-baccalaureate program. A two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree is considered a program that leads to a bachelor’s degree.

Biden-Harris Administration Extends Student Loan Repayment Pause

In light of a District Court’s ruling in early November that President Biden overstepped his authority in creating a student debt relief program without congressional approval, the Administration recently announced that it would extend the repayment pause on federal student loans potentially through June 30, 2023 (the exact timing depends on any court rulings). The Biden Administration argued that this will allow the Supreme Court time to provide clarity to borrowers.

Where Do the 118th Congress and Student Debt Relief Stand?

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

It has been a busy week in Washington with Members returning after the mid-term elections and the new freshman class of Members arriving on the Hill for orientation. Speaker Pelosi made the momentous decision to step down from Democratic leadership. Speaker Pelosi is a historic figure, having become, at the time, the most powerful elected woman in U.S. history when she assumed the Speakership in 2007. The decision to step back from leadership paves the way for a new generation of Democrats to rise in the ranks; Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Caucus Vice Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) are viewed as the heirs apparent to the “big three” — House Democratic Leader, House Democratic Whip, and Democratic Caucus Chair. In remarks to her colleagues on the House floor, Speaker Pelosi recalled the first time she saw the Capitol, saying “I will never forget the first time I saw the Capitol.[…]The Capitol is a temple of our Democracy, of our Constitution, of our highest ideals[…] Indeed, American Democracy is majestic — but it is fragile.” Thank you Madam Speaker, for your years of dedicated service to the Republic.

Mid-Term Election Results: What This Could Mean for Education

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

On Tuesday, voters across the nation headed to the polls to cast their ballot in the highly anticipated 2022 mid-term elections; with millions more participating in early voting or vote by mail. We will not have final results in the Senate until at least December 6t and House results continue to trickle in, but please take a read below for an analysis on where things stand today and what this could mean for education policy.

Courts Pause President Biden’s Debt Forgiveness Plan

A U.S. District in Texas ruled on November 10 that President Biden overstepped his authority in creating a student debt relief program without congressional approval, preventing the Administration from providing relief to federal borrowers. A federal appeals court expanded the ruling on November 14 saying, the pause “will remain in effect until further order of this court or the Supreme Court of the United States.”

AACTE and Education Community Urge Congress to Support EDUCATORS for America Act 

AACTE recently sent a letter to all members of Congress urging them to cosponsor the EDUCATORS for America Act (S 3360/HR 6205), which would invest in and revitalize federal educator preparation programs. These programs are critical to addressing the shortage of profession-ready, fully licensed teachers in our nation’s classrooms. The letter was cosigned by 41 other education groups. 

Important Work Continues While Congress on Recess

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Department of Education logoWe have finally made it to mid-term election week. Congress remains on recess until after the elections, but important work continues. It is my hope that by the end of the week we will have the complete results of the mid-term elections and I will provide an analysis on the makeup of the 118th Congress in our next Washington Update.

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