Washington Update, May 12, 2023
This week, in recognition of National Teacher Appreciation Day and National Teacher Appreciation Week the Biden- Harris Administration acknowledged the hard work and critical importance of our nation’s educators. President Biden issued a proclamation, saying in part:
“In schools across America, teachers are arriving early to set up classrooms, spending long hours educating students, and staying late to prepare tomorrow’s lesson plans. Their devotion to our children embodies the best of America — ready to serve and eager to see others thrive. Today and during this week, we celebrate our nation’s remarkable teachers and early childhood educators, and we recommit to having their backs, just as they have ours.”
Additionally, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden shared a video of 2023 State Teachers of the Year receiving thank you messages from the parents of their students. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona released a video and penned an op-ed, calling for the “ABCs of the teaching profession: agency, better working conditions, and competitive salary.”
1. Glenna Wright- Gallo Confirmed as Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
This week, Glenna Wright- Gallo was confirmed as the Department of Education’s new Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. In a statement, Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona praised Gallo’s confirmation saying:
“I am thrilled that Glenna Wright-Gallo, a lifelong educator and accomplished special education leader, has been successfully confirmed as the Department of Education’s new assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. Ms. Wright-Gallo has spent decades supporting students with disabilities and their families both in the classroom and as an administrative leader in the Utah and Washington public education systems. Her commitment to meeting the needs of the special education community and strong track record of improving outcomes are exactly what we need at this critical moment in our recovery from the pandemic, and I look to working with her to raise the bar for students with disabilities and their families.”
Glenna Wright-Gallo has served as the assistant superintendent of special education in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington since 2017. Prior to that, she spent seven years as the state director of special education for the Utah State Board of Education, following work as a classroom teacher and administrator. She has over 25 years of public education experience supporting students with disabilities and educators, and 16 years of experience in state-level education leadership with expertise in the improvement planning, data analysis, and monitoring of public P-12+ special education programs.
2. Funding Opportunities for Personnel Development
“The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2023 for Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel, Assistance Listing Number 84.325D. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820–0028.”
- Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 7, 2023
- Click this link for all the necessary information
- You can also find a PDF of the information here
“The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2023 for Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Preparation of Related Services Personnel Serving Children with Disabilities who have High-Intensity Needs, Assistance Listing Number (ALN) 84.325R. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820–0028.”
- Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2023.
”The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2023 for Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Personnel Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Personnel at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Other Minority Serving Institutions, Assistance Listing Number (ALN) 84.325M. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820–0028.”
- Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 14, 2023
- Click this link for all the necessary information.
- You can also a find PDF of the information here.
“The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2023 for Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Preparation of Early Intervention and Special Education Personnel Serving Children with Disabilities who have High-Intensity Needs, Assistance Listing Number (ALN) 84.325K. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820–0028.”
- Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 13, 2023
- Click this link for all the necessary information
- You can also find a PDF of the information here
3. Administration Calls on IHEs to use Federal Work Study Dollars to Support NPSS Initiative
Last July the Biden-Harris Administration launched the National Partnership for Student Success to support President Biden’s call for an additional 250,000 Americans serving as tutors, mentors, postsecondary transition coaches, and in other high-impact roles that help address the academic, mental health, and broader impacts of the pandemic on school-aged children.
This week, the Biden- Harris Administration in partnership with the Department of Education called on colleges and universities that receive federal work study funds to use these funds to support community service, and specifically to support National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS) roles in local schools or out-of-school time programs (such as afterschool and summer programs), consistent with all other federal work study requirements.
In particular, the Department is calling on colleges and universities to set a public goal to, within the next two years:
- Use at least 15 percent of their federal work study funds to compensate college students employed in community service activities, devoting any increase in FWS compensation for community service to employment in NPSS roles located in schools or out-of-school time programs; or significantly increase the number of college students in NPSS roles regardless of the funding source supporting these roles; and1
- Share data with the NPSS on the number of college students serving in these roles, including those receiving support through federal work study or other programs.
Colleges and universities can sign up to join the Administration’s effort to increase the number of college students serving in these roles, share their goals and progress, and participate in a professional learning community through the NPSS, using this
To learn more about NPSS, including opportunities for free technical assistance to implement or expand high-impact student support programs, help with matching your college or university with a local school or youth-serving organization, or vice versa, and access to learning communities and other resources, please visit www.partnershipstudentsuccess.org.
Further, if you are interested in learning more, you are encouraged to attend a White House briefing with senior Administration officials on May 24th at 1:30pm EST to learn more about this National Partnership for Student Success initiative and see if your institution or association can support this effort. You can register for the briefing here.
You can read the Dear Colleague letter sent to IHEs and school district leaders from Secretary Cardona here.
4. In the States: Arizona School District to Build Tiny Houses as a Teacher Recruitment and Retention Tool
As school districts across the nation struggle to find qualified educators to fill classroom vacancies, one Arizona school district will utilize an unconventional recruitment tool: tiny houses. As reported by CNN, the Chino Valley Unified School District is using federal money to build 10 studio units, each 400 square feet, on a vacant lot behind an elementary school, where teachers will pay roughly $550 per month in rent- well below the market rate for the area.
In an interview, Chino Valley Superintendent John Scholl said:
“Districts are fighting over applicants, and we sometimes don’t get any, and we have to do with people that are not fully certified…We’re hoping that these 10 units will help attract and retain teachers that we normally wouldn’t get.”
Across Arizona, an estimated 2,890 teacher positions remained unfilled as of January.
Marisol Garcia, president of the Arizona Education Association expressed concerns with the proposal saying:
“Our concern would be that a professional educator would not only work for the district, but the district would also be their landlord…If there’s a leaky sink or the air conditioning isn’t working, you have to go to your boss to ask them to fix that…We’re treating a symptom and not the illness…We don’t have enough educators who want to enter the profession, who want to stay in the profession, because we’re not able to pay them what they deserve to be paid, and more importantly, we have taken steps away from respecting the profession.”
Arizona is not the only state to consider “teacher housing projects” as a recruitment and retention initiative. Last year, California passed a similar bill that would allow California school districts to build affordable housing for teachers and staff.
While teacher pay and preparation remain top concerns, it is important to note that in March, Chairman of the HELP Committee Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced The Pay Teachers Act which would raise the minimum teacher salary to at least $60,000 annually and includes significant investments to educator preparation and professional development including:
- Triples Title I-A funding ($36.77 billion).
- Triples funding for Rural Education programs ($430 million), doubles Impact Aid Basic Support Payments ($1.46 billion), and provides an additional $1 billion for the Bureau of Indian Education.
- Diversifies and expands the teacher pipeline by: (1) authorizing a new Grow Your Own program within the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program and providing $550 million for TQP grants; (2) investing $150 million in the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence program to support teacher preparation at HBCUs, TCUs and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs); and (3) investing $300 million in IDEA, Part D to support the special education personnel pipeline.
- Supports the teaching profession by expanding leadership and advancement opportunities by investing in and strengthening the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program ($100 million) and the Teacher and School Leader Incentive program ($200 million).
- New Resources for Educators
- The New York Times published an article on the potential impact of the GOP’s current plan to address the debt limit by tying their proposal to appropriations.
- US DOE released a fact sheet on what the proposed cuts to non-defense discretionary spending would mean specifically for education. The link will also take you to a list of state level fact sheets. This is a great resource if you are connecting with Members of Congress surrounding the debt limit and FY24 appropriations.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and week ahead.
Until next time, see you on Twitter!