The L.A. Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP) Policy Advisory Group finalized its 2021 legislation and budget priorities, which include advancing alternatives to subject matter competency tests, reducing financial burdens for teacher trainees and increasing teacher diversity. In March of 2021, the policy advisory group sent letters to California State Senate and Assembly Committees voicing our support for four bills promoting our priorities and a suite of funding initiatives included in the Governor's January Budget.
Launched in June 2020, the LAEPP Policy Advisory Group comprises thought leaders from the six leading L.A.-area university teacher preparation programs, LAUSD and LACOE (most of whom are engaged in our longstanding LAEPP research and data sharing to improve teacher training, effectiveness and retention). The new policy advisory group's mandate is to develop recommendations around teacher and teacher-candidate recruitment, preparation, certification and effectiveness, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic; persistent, systemic racism and inequity; and other evolving conditions.
The policy advisory group worked over the course of several months in the later part of 2020 to refine its policy priorities, which include supporting alternatives to subject matter competency tests, decreasing financial hardship, and promoting teacher diversity and equity. The UNITE-LA Policy and Research & Evaluation teams worked together to craft budget and policy support letters, which emphasize the need for improvements that will enable the recovery, restructuring and reimagining of a K-12 education system. In particular, we support:
- The $315.3 million package for educator professional development and $225 million to improve the state's teacher pipeline in the proposed FY 2021-22 state budget;
- AB 250, which will alleviate the burden of many of the state's teachers who purchase instructional materials for their classrooms or students with no expectation for reimbursement or credit;
- AB 312, which will expand credentialing opportunities by authorizing candidates to demonstrate basic skills proficiency through qualifying coursework or a combination of coursework and exams;
- AB 320, which would prevent otherwise qualified candidates from being denied a credential based on the timing of their chosen IHE's accreditation timeline;
- AB 437, which will expand credentialing opportunities by authorizing candidates to demonstrate subject matter competence by passing a state basic skills proficiency test and/or completing and passing coursework that relates to the subject matter for which they are seeking a credential.
The support letters (click on the bill number above to view) were sent to the appropriate committees. We have also developed template letters that we invite partners to use and send to policymakers.
When new investment amounts were announced in the Governor's May Revise, the LAEPP Policy Advisory Group revised their budget support letter to reflect the strong support for teacher training and retention, financial relief, and greater equity and diversity in the field. As such, this group strongly supports the newly proposed $3.3 billion package for educator professional development and to improve the state's teacher pipeline in the proposed FY 2021-22 state budget. You can view our updated letter here.
For more information, please contact Dr. Lisa Catanzarite, Vice President, Research and Evaluation, at [email protected].
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