Press Releases & Statements

AACTE Priority Federal Education Programs Funded by Congress

Official AACTE Statement

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(Dec. 19, 2011, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) today announced that several priority programs survived a fiscal year 2012 (FY12) package agreed to by both the House and Senate. Most of the programs, which invest in innovation and reform of educator preparation, were maintained at level funding in one of the most challenging funding environments in recent memory.

Following an initial push by Congress to eliminate or drastically cut discretionary funding programs to pay down the national debt, AACTE worked diligently with Congressional allies to convey the value of investment in higher-education based educator preparation. In addition, AACTE members, including current recipients of the critical federal funding programs, activated a steadfast grassroots approach to share their successes with their House and Senate members.

The result was the successful funding of all of the following programs:

  • Teacher Quality Partnership grants and School Leadership grants, both of which were slated for consolidation by the Obama Administration but were level-funded;
  • Striving Readers, which received funding after being zeroed out in FY 11;
  • Elementary and Secondary School Counseling and IDEA Personnel Preparation, which were level-funded;
  • Transition to Teaching and Mathematics and Science partnerships, which survived but received significant funding cuts from FY11; and
  • Programs for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority- Serving Institutions (MSIs), despite being severely cut in draft legislation, were primarily level funded.

"AACTE has remained committed to advocating for programs that help to foster innovation in higher-education-based educator preparation, which produces the majority of the nation's teachers," said Sharon P. Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE. "We are pleased to see that most of these critical programs were maintained, particularly in a package that did not fund 22 education programs. In an ideal environment, we would hope for increases to all education programs, rather than drastic cuts or eliminations. We look forward to continuing to work through our members and with Congressional allies to show the immense value of these programs."

In addition to advocating for priority federal funding programs, AACTE had also joined efforts with members of the Coalition for Teaching Quality to oppose an amendment that allows teachers-in-training to be deemed "highly qualified" immediately upon entering a classroom. Proponents of the amendment, which would expire in June 2013, received pushback from the Coalition and were unsuccessful in extending the amendment.

See a funding chart of educator preparation programs here. For the latest information on AACTE's advocacy and policy efforts, visit


The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE's reach and influence fuels its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information on AACTE, visit