This week, the House Education and Labor Committee Democrats marked up the College Affordability Act (CAA) and House Republicans shared the High-Quality Opportunities in Postsecondary Education (HOPE) Act. Both proposals address the Higher Education Act (HEA), which has been overdue for reauthorization since 2013. New Leaders is pleased to see continued Congressional interest in making critical updates to the law, especially with regard to educator preparation and development.

The CAA includes many improvements to Title II of the HEA, which provides federal grants to support the recruitment, preparation, and ongoing development of teachers, principals, and other school leaders. In particular, we are pleased it would update the Teacher Quality Partnerships (TQP) grant program to highlight the importance of leadership and the need to improve the preparation and professional development of teacher leaders, principals, and other school leaders. Upgrades to current law include the addition of principal or other school leader residencies, teacher leader development programs, and “grow your own” programs that can address school leader shortages and the need to diversify the school leader workforce. It would also require states to report important data on school leader programs, including related to program outcomes and effectiveness, improving transparency and accountability to support the continuous improvement of school leader preparation in states across the country.

Similarly, we are pleased the HOPE Act would update Title II to enable programs to invest specifically in upgrading their school leader development programs via principal or other school leader residencies. Further, the HOPE Act would also authorize teacher leader development programs. The proposal includes other revisions to more fully encompass school leader preparation and support throughout the HEA, though it could be strengthened through the inclusion of targeted data reporting requirements for school leader programs.

As Congress continues to debate proposals to reauthorize the HEA, we encourage Members to retain these important improvements to Title II. In addition, we urge Members to update relevant programs under Title II to support—and make eligible for grant funding—a wider range of programs that meet clear standards of quality, including those run by institutions of higher education as well as states, districts, charter management organizations, and nonprofits.