Posts Tagged ‘federal issues’

AACTE Endorses Educators for America Act

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.” 

CNN Cites AACTE’s Issue Brief

Line of diverse college graduates

CNN’s Katie Lobosco recently reported on President’s Biden’s universal pre-K plan that would make preschool available and affordable for six million more children and the resulting challenge of hiring “tens of thousands” of new teachers. In referring to the teaching shortage, Lobosco writes, “The average number of college graduates who completed teacher preparation programs fell 24% between the 2009-10 and 2018-19 academic years, according to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.”

Congress Avoids Government Shutdown as New Challenges Loom

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. 

USA open and end of shutdown and United States government opened for business and american federal employees back to work due to spending bill agreement the left and the right with 3D illustration style.It’s the end-of-year countdown season for Congress and a lot is at stake!

Congress Races to the Finish Line 

On this past Thursday, just 36 hours before government funding was set to lapse, lawmakers rallied to unite behind a deal that will keep the government funded at its current levels through February 18. The House voted 221-212 to approve the measure. The Senate then passed the 11-week stopgap spending bill in a 69-28 vote—sending the measure to the President’s desk. The legislation, referred to as a continuing resolution (CR), will prevent a government shutdown while keeping the government funded at levels set nearly one year ago by former President Trump.

Using COVID Relief Funding to Address the Nation’s Teacher Shortage

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.

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Educator Prep Programs and Fully Fund

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.

House Passes Build Back Better Act, All Eyes on Senate

Unites States CapitolThis 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.

Congress Introduces Legislation to Fully Fund IDEA

Urge Your Representative and Senators to Cosponsor the IDEA Full Funding Act Today

Portrait of disabled schoolboy using digital tablet in classroom at schoolSenator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) this week introduced the IDEA Full Funding Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to finally ensure Congress’ commitment to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). AACTE is a strong supporter of this legislation and has called for Congress to fully fund IDEA to help support students with disabilities.

Congress Faces End of the Year Frenzy

US Capitol with colored sky in background

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. 

While Congress has been out of session this week for a Veteran’s Day recess, the action behind the scenes continues to be dominated by the prospects of finalizing the reconciliation bill, or the Build Back Better plan.  Educators are eager to see this make it over the finish line, as it includes important investments for education, including $610 million for the educator pipeline. 

Bipartisan Infrastructure Heads to President Biden for Signature

Last Friday, all eyes were on the House of Representatives where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was working overtime to schedule a vote on both the bipartisan infrastructure bill (which had already passed the Senate) and the partisan reconciliation bill (which has passed neither body but is being intensely negotiated behind the scenes). Pelosi could afford to lose only three Democratic votes and still pass the bills.

Will Democrats Pass Long-Awaited Reconciliation Plan with Education Funding Boosts?

Young people and education. Group of students in class at school during lesson. Focus on girl listening to teacher

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. 

Educators watched closely as local elections around the country provided hints for what may be coming in next year’s Congressional midterms and even the 2024 presidential race. With the victory of Republican Glenn Youngkin for Virginia’s next governor, the spotlight was on education issues—particularly parental voice in local education decisions. Issues like Critical Race Theory (which is not taught in Virginia public schools but used as a proxy for teaching about race), vaccination mandates and school closures, and the rights of transgender students took center stage.

President Biden Releases Build Back Better Package

Build Back Better

AACTE expressed its strong support and appreciation for the historic funding for educator preparation programs included in President Joseph Biden’s Build Back Better framework, which was released today.  This funding will help ensure that our nation’s classrooms are led by profession-ready and diverse educators.  AACTE strongly urges Congress to pass this legislation as quickly as possible to help address the shortage of educators our nation has been experiencing and that has gotten worse in recent years.

AACTE Supports President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda for Higher Ed

education, high school, university, learning and people concept - student girl writing to notebook in lecture hallAACTE continues to work with its national coalition partners toward enhancing and improving the state of education and the educator preparator profession in the United States. To that end, the Association added its voice this month to the chorus of supporters of the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better education agenda.

In a letter to congressional leaders who are currently engaged in negotiating the elements of the president’s budget package, AACTE expressed its specific support for a key higher education component of the Building Back Better agenda: America’s College Promise. Contained within America’s College Promise is a historic, first-of-its-kind tuition-free community college program; an increase to the Pell Grant; and a retention and completion grant program.

Education Funding Bills on the Move

School financing and education business concept as a group of children drawing a hopscotch game on a floor with dollar signs as a symbol of student loans and paying for schooling fees.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. 

As you will recall, in July the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill . The bill included historic increases for education from the FY 2021 level—a 41% increase for the Department of Education, which would bring the Department’s total budget to $102.8 billion. This week, a bit unexpectedly, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released drafts of the nine remaining fiscal year (FY) 2022 Senate appropriations bills, including the Labor-HHS-Education bill. This is an unusual move, as we usually don’t see bills until they have gone through the Subcommittee markup. These drafts have not been approved by either Subcommittees or the full committee. Rather, they are intended to be a marker to keep the process rolling.

Congress Averts Debt Crisis for Now, New Resources for Educators

america usa united states economy financial monetary positive

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. 

Congress has been working hard this week, even though they are out of session. Negotiations on the reconciliation bill continue intensely behind the scenes, and next week promises to be action packed when they return.  

Default Averted: President Biden Signs into Law Short-Term Measure to Raise the Debt Ceiling

On Thursday, President Biden signed into a law a bill to raise the debt ceiling, averting a default on the nation’s financial obligations through at least December 3.  The House interrupted their scheduled recess and voted on the Senate passed measure earlier in the day. As you recall, last week the Senate passed the short-term debt ceiling extension with  a party line 50-48 vote–though 11 Republicans ultimately joined with Democrats to get the required 60 votes to overcome the legislative filibuster.

Congress Keeps Government Open, Confirms Department of Education Appointees

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. 

It’s been a tense week in Washington as a vote to save the nation from default hovered on the horizon. With a temporary solution in place, the rest of the year promises to be a continued set of cliff hangers.  

First Log Jam Broken in Congress—More to Come

Last week, President Biden signed into a law a Continuing Resolution to fund the government through December 3, thus avoiding a government shutdown. The stopgap measure was the first of four major pieces of legislation on Congress’s agenda. At the start of this week the other three—bi-partisan infrastructure, reconciliation, and legislation to raise the debt ceiling—remained in limbo. But, on Thursday evening 11 Senate Republicans joined with all Democrats to pass a short term solution  to the debt ceiling.

Department of Education Overhauls Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Graduates at university graduation ceremony wearing mortarboard and gown

The Department of Education announced today changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) that will allow thousands of students to qualify for the program and see their debts forgiven. 

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was designed to allow student loan borrowers, who pay down their debts for 10 years while working at a public-sector or nonprofit job, to have any remaining debt forgiven at the end of that decade.  However, only a small number of borrowers benefited from the program because they had taken out the wrong type of federal loan or had been enrolled in an ineligible repayment plan. In come cases, the debt was not forgiven because of minor clerical errors.

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