From: Dr. Jane E. West, Senior Vice President for Policy, Programs and Professional Issues
Date: February 9, 2009
Re: Education Funding in the Stimulus Package
As many of you heard at the AACTE Annual Meeting, there is significant funding for education in both the House and Senate stimulus proposals. The House passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in late January, and the Senate is set to vote on its version of the bill tomorrow. The likely bill the Senate will vote on is a compromise worked out under the leadership of Sen. Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Nelson (D-NE).
Within both bills there is funding directly targeted to support educator preparation. The House bill contains $100 million for the Teacher Quality Partnership Grants (Title II, HEOA), and the Senate compromise amendment contains $50 million for the program. There is also $100 million in the House bill to support programs such as the Noyce Scholarships and the Math and Science Partnerships at the National Science Foundation.
After the Senate votes on Tuesday, the bill will move quickly to conference with the House to negotiate the final numbers in the stimulus package. The goal is for Congress to vote on a final bill on Friday. Last week we asked you to call your Senators to ask them to vote against the Nelson-Collins Amendment, which reduces funding for education programs in the stimulus. Unfortunately, it now appears that the amendment has enough votes to pass in the Senate. We are no longer recommending that you urge opposition to this amendment. Since the bills are moving toward conference, we recommend that you call your Senators and Representatives today and ask them to support the House's funding for education in the final American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. You can find their phone numbers at www.senate.gov or www.house.gov or you can call the Capitol Switchboard at (866) 220-0044.
Key Talking Points
- Support the funding for education programs in the House's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in the final stimulus bill.
- The education funding in the stimulus bill will save thousands of jobs as states are making major cuts to the education workforce to balance their budgets.
- Include the House's recommendation for $100 million for the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant program (Title II of HEOA) in the final bill. This is a workforce development program that will result in the creation of 4,000 new teachers for high-need schools through the teacher residency programs authorized in the grants. Those who enter the residency program receive a living wage for the year they participate, a Master’s degree in education when they are finished, and a 3 year commitment to teach in a high need school.
- With well prepared teachers in such great demand in high need schools, the individuals who participate in these programs are likely to gain long term employment. These grants will have a dual impact on the economy -- preparing individuals for jobs and investing in high quality teachers in high need schools.