Senate Panel OKs Higher Education Bills Aimed at Boosting Teacher Preparation, College Access

From: Education Week
The Senate education committee today approved sweeping bills aimed at encouraging colleges to partner with struggling school districts to provide extensive classroom experience for prospective teachers, and boosting college access for disadvantaged students. The teacher-training provision, part of a broad, long-awaited measure reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, would combine the three current grant programs that help states and universities prepare and recruit K-12 teachers into a single initiative that would enable colleges to collaborate with high-need districts. “There’s a lot of potential here, particularly for school reform,” said Jane E. West, the vice president of government relations for the Washington-based American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. “You’re going to attract teachers who are already committed to teaching in low-income schools. … What a great way to turn around a school that’s in need of improvement.” But the “challenge is going to be funding,” Ms. West added. The measure doesn’t authorize or recommend a specific amount of money for the teacher-training grants, and the type of programs it encourages schools to develop can be expensive to operate, she said.

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