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Senate Appropriations Committee Releases Draft Labor-HHS-Education Bill

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 marked the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark civil rights legislation represents the promise of inclusion and access for individuals with disabilities across our nation. While our country has made significant progress since the law was signed over three decades ago- there is more work to do to live up to the promise of ADA.

Senate Appropriations Committee Releases Draft FY2023 Funding Bills

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its proposed Democratic fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding bills along with an explanatory statement and summary for each bill. The explanatory statement comes in lieu of a Committee Report and explains the intent behind the funding values and includes an overview and descriptions of each account, list of earmarks, and a programmatic funding table at the end. The Senate bills won’t be marked up, but they will serve as a starting point for negotiations in the fall.

Summer Scholars Helps Develop Science Teaching

 

The University of North Georgia’s (UNG) Summer Scholars STEM Institute held throughout the month of June helped pre-service teachers in UNG’s College of Education gain experience in preparing lesson plans in science and engineering while focusing on English language learners. A nearly $300,000 National Science Foundation grant, which runs through 2024, helped fund the academy for 60 students rising into fourth grade through eighth grade at local area schools.

UW’s Teacher-Mentor Corps Cohort to Improve Teacher Support, Retention

The University of Wyoming has welcomed the inaugural cohort of the Wyoming Teacher-Mentor Corps (WTMC), an initiative led by the UW College of Education.

The WTMC is designed to foster teacher excellence by creating a network of Wyoming educators who can provide expert support for emerging teachers. The 21 cohort members represent 16 of the state’s 48 school districts — creating a web of expert teacher mentors that spans Wyoming.

New UH Program Transforms STEM Pros into STEM Teachers

$1.2 Million Grant from National Science Foundation Funds Alternative Certification Program

Photo credit: Getty

Some people are born to be teachers, even if early career choices lead them down other paths first. For professionals working in STEM fields, a new University of Houston program offers a fast track to earn a place at the head of a secondary school STEM classroom – and change their own lives in the process.

Applications are currently being accepted for the first cohort of STEMPro, an intensive nine-month alternative teaching certification program and a collaboration between UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and College of Education. The addition of this post-baccalaureate outreach, which focuses on already established professionals, expands the existing teachHOUSTON program, which serves undergraduates seeking teaching certificates. It also supports the UH focus on training quality teachers ready to serve in communities where they are needed most.

K-State Rural Education Center partners with Rural Schools Collaborative to boost rural education in Kansas

The Rural Education Center in the Kansas State University College of Education has entered a strategic partnership with the Rural Schools Collaborative to strengthen and advance every aspect of rural education in Kansas. The Rural Schools Collaborative, housed at Monmouth College, is a national grassroots network of rural schools, higher-education institutions and organizations focused on rural teachers and rural education.

NEA and PDK International Announce Expanded Partnership to Inspire the Next Generation of Highly Effective Educators

The National Education Association (NEA) and Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) announced today significant steps to strengthen their partnership to ensure every P-12 student in the Nation has access to a great teacher and opportunities for learning success. This partnership will continue to inspire middle and high school students who reflect the demographics of their communities to serve as the next generation of highly effective educators. Students will have opportunities to explore programs, curricula and additional resources to prepare them for a career in education through Educators Rising, an ongoing project of PDK developed with the support of NEA.

FAU Receives $1 Million Grant for Equity in Instructional Performance

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Education School Leaders Program has been awarded a three-year, $1,039,041 grant from Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) to support two graduate degree programs as part of the Teacher School Leader Equity for Instructional Performance (EQUIP) grant project initiative. BCPS is the sixth largest public school system in the United States and the second largest in Florida.

SFA Partners with Galena Park Independent School District for Paid Internships

Stephen F. Austin State University’s James I. Perkins College of Education has partnered with the Galena Park Independent School District to staff up to five paid internships during the 2022-23 academic year.

The program, which launches this fall, will let students use clinical teaching assignments to gain valuable classroom experience before entering the education workforce. While all teaching areas are available, GPISD particularly needs interns in early childhood through sixth grade, special education, bilingual education, math and English language arts.

Dept. of Education Sends Aid to Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District

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, the House Appropriations Committee has been busy marking up the first 6 of 12 government funding bills for FY2023. The process is expected to be almost, if not completely, partisan. In the upper chamber, the Senate Appropriations has not reached an agreement on how much to spend on defending and non-defense discretionary funding, ultimately delaying forward movement. 

Interactive STEM Camp at MSU offers Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Chance to Learn Physics, Consider College Options

(Photo by Grace Cockrell)

A group of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are interested in science, technology and related fields are getting a new chance to learn about physics and other topics as part of an innovative camp at Mississippi State, which may be the country’s first of its kind.

MSU Assistant Professor of Physics Ben Crider is using a prestigious $600,000 National Science Foundation 2019 Career Grant to advance his nuclear physics research, which includes a highly interactive summer experience for students with autism that was delayed due to COVID-19.

Secretary Cardona Lays Out Vision to Support Teachers, Elevate the Profession

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 Congress is back in session and we have learned that the House has set the schedule for marking up FY2023 bills this month. Reports signal that on June 22, the House will approve the 12 subcommittee allocations, meaning they will set the mark for the total amount each subcommittee will have to work from. On June 30, starting at 10 a.m. EST the Committee will mark up the Labor-HHS-Education bill. It is sure to be a busy summer as advocates continue to urge Members to make significant investments in education- specifically investments targeted to address the critical shortage of educators and specialized instructional support personnel across the nation.

Alternative Certification Programs Are Booming. But Candidates Aren’t Finishing

Michael Darmas, a Teach For America instructor, gives his student a high five in this 2011 photo taken at Holmes Elementary School in Miami.
J Pat Carter/AP

This article originally appeared in Ed Week

Alternative-certification programs have long been thought of as one solution to teacher shortages, but a new analysis shows that the number of candidates completing those programs has declined over the past decade, despite a boom in enrollments and new offerings.

The findings underscore the complex and changing nature of the teacher hiring pipeline: Alternative programs are typically cheaper and faster than traditional teacher-preparation programs based at colleges and universities. They are bringing in new and more diverse talent to the teaching workforce. But as the authors of the new report warn, their candidates don’t always finish, and quality control remains an issue.

U.S. Department of Education Expands Second Chance Pell Experiment

During Second Chance Month, the U.S. Department of Education announced actions to help incarcerated individuals access educational programs as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader efforts to support reentry, empower formerly incarcerated persons, enhance public safety, and strengthen our communities and our economy. The Department has invited 73 colleges and universities to participate in the third round of the Second Chance Pell Experiment, an initiative first launched by the Obama-Biden Administration to expand access to Federal Pell Grants for incarcerated individuals enrolled in participating programs. The expansion will bring the total number of schools able to participate in the Second Chance Pell Experiment to 200. The Department is also announcing changes to policies to help incarcerated individuals with defaulted loans, including affirming that incarcerated individuals qualify for a “fresh start,” which returns borrowers with defaulted loans to repayment in good standing and allows them to access programs like the Second Chance Pell Experiment. The Department will also allow incarcerated individuals to consolidate their loans to help them exit default in the long term.

Leaders Urge White House to Extend Moratorium on Student Loan Repayment

Young male college student holding a sign of student loan

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.  

We are now hearing that the President’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2023 will likely be sent to Congress the last week of March or first week of April. The release of the budget signals the official “kick-off” for the FY 2023 appropriations cycle. Advocates will continue to work diligently to secure meaningful investments to support rebuilding and diversifying the special educator and specialized instructional support personnel.

Top Democratic Leaders Urge Biden Administration to Extend Student Loan Repayment Pause

Top Democratic leaders, including Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) who chairs the Senate education committee, are urging the Biden Administration to extend the moratorium on federal student loan repayments until at least the start of 2023. In a statement, Senator Murray noted the importance of fixing the “broken student loan system” and that borrowers are “struggling with rising costs, struggling to get their feet back under them after public health and economic crises, and struggling with a broken student loan system — and all this is felt especially hard by borrowers of color.”

Free and Open Academic Inquiry and Debate on Our Campuses Is Essential to Our Democracy and National Well-Being

AACTE was one of 94 higher education associations and organizations to issue the following joint statement:

Colleges and universities exist to examine complex issues, challenges, and ideas, and to provide a forum in which issues and opinions can be explored and openly debated. In our intensely politicized and divided country, with social media and societal silos coarsening already heated conversations, this can be extraordinarily challenging. Yet, fostering a rigorous and civil exchange of ideas has never been more important. To best serve American society, higher education institutions are committed to transparent intellectual inquiry and academic excellence, free speech, and civil discourse. It is incumbent on our governmental institutions to share and support this commitment.

Efforts to suppress inquiry, curb discussion, and limit what can be studied violate the basic principles of free speech and an open exchange of ideas, and undermine the very purpose of higher education. Nonetheless, some elected officials have proposed measures foreclosing evaluation of complex and challenging ideas.

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