From the House Appropriations Committee work of last week, comes these results (via Ed Week):
Extension of allowing teachers in alternative certification programs to count as "highly qualified" through the 2014-2015 school year. This would include those "higly qualified" TFA 5-week trained teachers.
Losers: organizations, many of whom support disabled/Special Ed students, like the council for Exceptional Children, National Center for Learning Disabilities and the NAACP who do not want the provision extended. Here's what they said:
Absent expiration of the problematic provision ... low-income students,
students with disabilities and English-learners will continue to be
disproportionately taught by teachers-in-training and that fact will be
masked from parents and local communities.
Yes, because while TFA thinks the world of their teachers, they don't feel districts have any obligation to tell their parents where their teacher came from.
Middle ground (and this is interesting): This is an interesting debate, but soon, it might not matter quite as
much in many states, at least as long as the department's NCLB waiver plan is in
place. The conditional waivers allow states to move away from many of
the highly qualified teacher requirements, as long as they adopt a
system of teacher evaluations that takes student achievement into
account. So far, more than half of the states have been approved for
Well, Washington State has a waiver so does that mean we no longer have to consider TFA teachers "highly qualified"? It would seem so.
But in other parts of K-12 spending, other winners and losers:
Winner: Special education grants would go up by $500M to $12.1B. Title One would not change. (Obama had proposed no changes to either.)
Winner: Head Start, up $45M raising their total to $8B.
Winner: A head scratcher - abstinence education up by $15M (from $5M). Yes, that'll work just like Tennessee saying hand-holding is a "gateway activity" to sex.
Winners: Promise Neighborhoods (wraparound services for ed programs) and Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF).
Losers: Race to the Top, axed totally. Ditto on School Improvement Grants and Investing in Innovation grants.
From Ed Week:
The Senate Appropriations Committee has already
approved its own version of the fiscal year 2013 spending bill. And
there are some big differences. The Senate version would keep Race to
the Top, Investing in Innovation, SIG, and other key Obama initiatives,
while providing some very modest boosts for Title I and special
This isn't the first time House Republicans have attempted
to jettison many of the programs on the Obama administration
education-redesign hit parade. Last year, the committee also proposed
scrapping Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, SIG, and other
programs. But, the Democratically-controlled Senate—and the
administration—ultimately won out in budget negotiations.
So when we will know the outcome this year? Probably not until after the
presidential election. It's unlikely that Congress will actually finish
its work on the bills before that deadline—it's become tradition for
them to pass stop-gap measures extending funding until they can work out