Federal Policy and Legislation

Teacher Quality Partnership Grants

The Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program, authorized in Title II of the Higher Education Act, is the only federal initiative designed to strengthen and reform higher education-based teacher preparation.

TQP grants support the preparation of effective teachers for high-need schools and high-need subject areas. Under this program, partnerships between institutions of higher education and high-need schools and districts compete for funding to develop master's-level residency programs or to reform undergraduate preservice preparation programs.

Program Highlights

  • Grantees are partnerships among institutions of higher education, high-need local education agencies, high-need schools, and other eligible entities that work together to develop a pipeline of profession-ready teachers.
  • Grantees are required to provide extensive, yearlong clinical preparation to teacher candidates.
  • Grantees must provide an induction program for at least the first two years of a graduate’s teaching career.
  • Candidates participating in teaching residency programs commit to teaching for at least three years in a high-need field in the high-need district where they were prepared.
  • All candidates are prepared to teach students with disabilities, to teach English language learners, and to teach literacy strategies. 
  • Grantees are expected to maintain the reforms even after the federal funding ends, and they must provide a 100% funding match.

Results of TQP Grants

  • Schools and school districts involved in TQP are seeing improvements in the quality and retention of their teachers and in the quality of their students’ learning experiences and achievements.
  • TQP grants have funded significant professional development opportunities for teachers in high-need schools, meaningful induction/mentoring programs for novice teachers, and the implementation of evidence-based reforms in teacher preparation programs.
  • Teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education have deepened their partnerships with their PK-12 colleagues and the communities they serve.

Funding: FY18 Update

AACTE continues to advocate for TQP funding, but it faces an uncertain future, as President Trump eliminated funding for the program in his FY18 budget request (which the Obama Administration also did annually beginning with the FY12 request). As Congress began developing its FY18 budget, Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) led letters to their respective appropriations committees requesting level funding for the program in FY18. The letter in the U.S. Senate has 16 signatories, and the first-time letter of support in the U.S. House of Representatives is bipartisan with 25 signatories.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations completed its consideration of all 12 appropriations bills by the end of July and zeroed out the funding for the TQP grant program. During the full committee markup, Representative David Price (D-NC) offered an amendment to restore funding to four programs including the TQP grants (these four programs support educators from cradle to career). However, the amendment was defeated by a vote of 29-23 with one GOP member voting for the amendment. Should more funds be made available to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill (Labor-H bill), there was a commitment to work together on possibly putting some of that money toward these programs.

Want to see the action on Rep. Price’s amendment? Watch the video here. AACTE members can hear more details on the markup in the archived July 2017 Federal Update webinar. Follow @AACTE and @koolbeck for live-tweeting on events such as this markup.

The Senate will mark up its Labor-H bill in September. If the TQP grants are zeroed out in that bill as well, there are still steps left in the appropriations process where the program could receive funding at some level, but it will be a challenge. It is vital to continue to engage with members of Congress to illuminate the effectiveness of TQP grants on transforming educator preparation and supporting student achievement.

If you are interested in advocacy and engagement of elected officials on this or other issues, please sign up for the AACTE Action Alerts and explore AACTE’s Advocacy Center (covering state and federal opportunities).

Download the TQP grant fact sheet for more information on the program and the list of institutions that have received a grant.

Last Updated August 2017

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