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 educator preparation at institutions of higher education.

TQP grants support the preparation of profession-ready 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 and President’s FY19 Budget Request

In March 2018, Congress completed its work on the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) appropriations process by passing an omnibus spending bill. The TQP grant program received “flat-funding” or “level funding” (same amount as previous fiscal year) at $43.1 million. AACTE continues to advocate for TQP funding, which faces an uncertain future.

The president’s budget request for FY19 calls for the elimination of this program (as it also did for FY18), along with the elimination of or cuts to other programs important to educator preparation. It is important to remember that the president’s budget request is merely that—a request—and it is up to Congress to determine the funding for discretionary programs including TQP.

As Congress begins developing its FY19 budget, Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) have led letters to their respective appropriations committees requesting level funding for the program in FY19. The letter of support in the U.S. Senate had 21 signatories, and the letter of support in the U.S. House of Representatives is bipartisan with 44 signatories—both letters seeing an increase in signatories from the previous year. All eyes now turn to the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies as they commence their work to fund the programs found in this bill – including TQP.

To advocate for TQP funding, 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 April 2018

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