Senate Appropriations Committee passes funding bill to support PD

The Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed an education funding bill investing $125 million in fiscal year 2012 to support innovative teacher professional development programs by national nonprofits. The funding is designed to support programs and services like those provided by the non-profit National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)

The Committee’s action increases the available funding five-fold from last year when Congress first created this funding stream and provided $25 million for the competition.

A bipartisan group of more than 25 Senators led by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) signed a letter to Appropriators earlier this year in support of increasing the funding from $25 million to $125 million. On the House side, more than 55 Representatives sent a similar letter, led by Representative George Miller (D-CA), the top Democratic member on the House Education Committee, to Appropriators. This increase was also supported by the Chiefs for Change, a coalition of 10 state education superintendents, including Tony Bennett of Indiana; Steve Bowen of Maine; Deborah Gist of Rhode Island; and Kevin Huffman of Tennessee.