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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.

National Program Seeks to Advance Underrepresented Faculty through Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

Next month, members will gather for AACTE’s 75th Annual meeting and immerse ourselves in several days of sessions within the theme of “Innovation through Inspiration: Remembering the Past to Revolutionize the Future.” As representatives of an institution of higher education that was founded in 1855 as the Paterson City Normal School in response to the growing demand for professional preparation of teachers-in-service in the emerging free public schools of Paterson, New Jersey, and one that is now a comprehensive university that proudly wears its designation of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and is led by a president who is a first-generation college graduate and a member of LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education, we are excited to share an initiative that aligns with AACTE’s Annual Meeting theme.

In fall 2023, William Paterson University will welcome two pre-doctoral fellows into the College of Education, one in teacher education (preferably with a specialization in early childhood education or secondary education), and one in special education. Applications are now being accepted for this unique pre-doctoral fellowship program aimed at supporting career development of faculty from underrepresented backgrounds.

ASU Invites You to Virtual Next Education Workforce Summit 2023

We are excited to share information about Arizona State University’s upcoming Next Education Workforce Summit on Feb 8–9. There will be opportunities to engage with experts and speakers around diverse topics and see what this work looks like in the field from featured school partners. The conversation will be better with you in it. Learn more and register before the early bird rate expires on December 23.

This fifth annual event is hosted by ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and includes sessions from experts from K–12, research, policy, government, advocacy, nonprofit, edtech, and business.

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.

GACTE Works to Elevate the Teaching Profession throughout Georgia

The Georgia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (GACTE) has been looking at the teacher pipeline in our state and receiving input on ways to increase teacher recruitment and retention. Several state reports confirm the shortage in Georgia and GACTE’s goal was to get everyone on board to look for ways to help reduce shortages. GACTE convened an initial meeting where three main action items were identified including (1) Elevate Teacher Voice in the school and in policy and legislation; (2) Re-imagine induction and mentoring to increase the dignity and honor of the profession; and (3) Raise the profile of teachers in Georgia. A second meeting at Kennesaw State University, brought the collaborative together to turn general strategies from the first meeting into action items.

SUNY-ESF Graduates Launch Their Science Teaching Careers Together at the School of Education

This article was originally published by Syracuse University News

Syracuse University’s relationship with its close neighbor, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, has been a long and fruitful one. After all, SUNY-ESF was founded as a unit of SU in 1911, and today the two universities share resources, their professors collaborate, and students mingle across the two campuses, take classes together, join cross-campus organizations, and—sometimes—graduate from one college and into the other.

That last scenario is certainly the case for six SUNY-ESF graduates who, in summer 2022, enrolled in the School of Education’s (SOE) 13-month master’s degree program in science education (Grades 7-12).

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. 

Real Classroom Experience and Real Pay

A Snapshot of a Teacher Preparation Program in America’s Most Diverse Small City

New Jersey City University, a minority serving institution, is home to the innovative “Teacher Intern Program” (TIP) — a preservice collaboration that supports the preparation, placement, and retention of diverse educators. TIP includes vital elements that address financial and pre-professional learning needs, graduating educators that often return to teach in their home communities. 

Indiana’s CREA State Team Examines Standard-Setting Process for Licensure Exams

In 2021, Indiana joined the Consortium for Research Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA), an initiative by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education to examine state-level certification assessment scores and their impact on promoting a diverse educator workforce. Our state team consisted of faculty from Indiana University’s School of Education, representatives from the Indiana Department of Education, and school district administrators from Indiana’s public schools. Together, we looked at our state-level data on entrance and content area licensure exams and reached the same conclusion many have reached for decades in Indiana and across the United States: significant pass rate gaps between white and Black teacher candidates.

AACTE President Addresses the Educator Workforce Crisis at NGA Session

As school districts prepare for the 2022-23 school year, policymakers are determined to prioritize comprehensive solutions to address staffing shortages, a long-standing issue exacerbated during the pandemic.

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone recently shared insight on this topic at a virtual session hosted by the National Governor Association’s (NGA) Community Renewal Task Force. Led by Co-chair and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, the discussion also included Penny Schwinn, Tennessee commissioner of education, and Roberto Rodriquez, assistant secretary of planning, evaluation, and policy Development at the U.S. Department of 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.

Shortage to Surplus: 5 Shifts to Address the National Educator Shortage

AACTE participated in this past spring’s National Educator Shortage Summit, to promote conversations across traditional silos, hosted by the American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA). The Summit convened PK-20 stakeholders to discuss educator workforce and pipeline shortages with a culminating report, Shortage to Surplus: 5 Shifts to Address the National Educator Shortage.

Governor Lamont and Education Commissioner Russel-Tucker Announce Investments to Support Aspiring Educators

$2 Million Will Be Dispersed to Educator Preparation Programs Over the Next Two Years

Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker today announced new investments to defray certification-related testing costs for aspiring educators in Connecticut.

A total of $2 million dollars of federal, state-level reserve American Rescue Plan Act, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP-ESSER) funding is being dedicated over a two-year period, which includes $750,000 in year one and $750,000 in year two. The remaining $500,000 is being set aside for educators of color and other educators who will be completing their student teaching in urban school districts.

AACTE Applauds Secretary Cardona’s Vision to Elevate the Teaching Profession

On June 9, Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona released a vision to support and elevate the teaching profession. AACTE applauds the vision to recruit, develop, and retain future educators in a time when extreme educator shortages are afflicting the country, and looks forward to working with the secretary to realize each strategy. The secretary’s vision, announced during a fireside chat at AACTE member institution, Bank Street College of New York, arrived on the heels of AACTE’s premier advocacy event, Washington Week, as AACTE members and its state affiliates met with their federal legislators to promote comprehensive educator preparation.

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.