Text: H.R.1828 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/29/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1828


To establish a national teaching fellowship program to encourage individuals to enter and remain in the field of teaching at public schools.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 29, 2007

Mr. Price of North Carolina (for himself, Mr. Etheridge, Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Miller of North Carolina, Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Klein of Florida, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Walz of Minnesota, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Watt, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Scott of Georgia, and Mr. Shuler) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


A BILL

To establish a national teaching fellowship program to encourage individuals to enter and remain in the field of teaching at public schools.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Teaching Fellows Act of 2007”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The United States faces an increasing need for high-quality educators.

(2) Up to 1,000,000 of the country’s 3,000,000 teachers will retire in the next 5 years. Schools in the United States will have to hire 2,200,000 teachers by 2010.

(3) The Congress desires to inspire promising high school seniors and accomplished persons currently involved in the field of education to become certified teachers.

(4) The opportunity created by a fellowship program would allow persons in the field of education the financial opportunity to obtain a quality education which they would use to teach America’s youth.

(5) The Congress desires to motivate those who go into the field of teaching to become career educators.

(6) Many paraprofessionals have received their training at community colleges and have the potential and desire to obtain degrees in education and certification as teachers.

(7) Rural and inner-city communities could greatly benefit from encouraging those in the community who already have an interest in teaching to pursue a degree in education and become career educators.

SEC. 3. Establishment of program.

Title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1021 et seq.) is amended—

(1) by redesignating Part B as Part C; and

(2) by inserting after Part A the following new part:

“PART BTeaching and Partnership Fellows

“SEC. 211. State Teaching Fellows Program.

“(a) Purpose.—The purpose of this section is to encourage promising high school seniors and undergraduate students to enter the field of teaching and become career educators.

“(b) Establishment of State Teaching Fellows Program.—

“(1) USE OF FUNDS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS.—From the funds appropriated under subsection (h), the Secretary shall make grants available to States for the purpose of establishing State Teaching Fellows Programs to provide scholarships for Teaching Fellows. Such scholarships shall be used to pay for tuition, fees, and other costs of attendance at institutions of higher education incurred by such Teaching Fellows.

“(2) SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNTS.—Scholarships to Teaching Fellows made available under this section shall be no less than $6,500 per year—

“(A) for each of 4 years of undergraduate education, in the case of a Teaching Fellow who, at the time of application, was a high school senior;

“(B) for the third and fourth year of undergraduate education, in the case of a Teaching Fellow who, at the time of application, was in the second year of undergraduate education; and

“(C) for a fifth year of undergraduate education, in the case of a Teaching Fellow described in subparagraph (A) or (B), if such year is required in order to obtain a bachelor’s degree with a State license or certificate to teach.

“(3) SELECTION OF FELLOWS.—Teaching Fellows shall be selected from individuals who—

“(A) at the time of application, are high school seniors or are in the second academic year of a program of undergraduate education at a two- or four-year degree-granting institution of higher education;

“(B) are United States citizens or aliens lawfully residing in the United States (other than as a nonimmigrant);

“(C) are residents of the State sponsoring the State Teaching Fellows Program to which they are applying;

“(D) meet the criteria established under subsection (c)(2)(C); and

“(E) enter into a written agreement with the State agency to fulfill the service requirement under subsection (e) in exchange for receipt of the scholarship made available under this section.

“(c) Competition for Federal funds.—

“(1) ADMINISTRATION OF STATE PROGRAM.—The governor (or chief executive officer) of each State desiring to participate in the State Teaching Fellows Program shall designate a single State agency to administer the State Teaching Fellows Program. Such State agency shall have a full-time staff and may be a division of the State’s education department, a coordinating or governing board of higher education, an independent government agency, or a non-profit organization.

“(2) APPLICATION.—A State agency designated under paragraph (1) shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such a manner, and containing such information, as the Secretary may require. Such application shall—

“(A) identify the private and public institutions of higher education within the State that will participate in the State Teaching Fellows Program;

“(B) describe any step the State agency will take to encourage the involvement of Hispanic Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in such program;

“(C) describe the specific, rigorous criteria to be used in selecting Teaching Fellows;

“(D) describe the procedures the State agency will use for the distribution of scholarships and administration of service obligation oversight;

“(E) provide assurances that each participating institution will be required to provide a full-time faculty member or administrator to serve as the State Teaching Fellows Program director at that institution, and to work closely with the State agency to administer the campus program and to create and execute the mandatory extracurricular enrichment programs and activities required by subparagraph (F); and

“(F) describe the mandatory extracurricular enrichment programs and activities that will be part of such program that—

“(i) are designed to motivate Teaching Fellows to become career educators;

“(ii) provide Teaching Fellows with a multidisciplinary education;

“(iii) are offered regularly during each year of schooling (including during intervals between periods of enrollment); and

“(iv) expose Teaching Fellows to the business, political, demographic, cultural, and economic climates of the State, and help Teaching Fellows develop leadership qualities.

“(3) COMPETITIVE SELECTION.—From the applications submitted by State agencies designated under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall approve those applications that the Secretary determines to be the most promising in carrying out the purposes of the State Teaching Fellows Program. Each such State agency whose application is selected by the Secretary to participate in the State Teaching Fellows Program shall receive funds to offer scholarships under this section. The Secretary shall determine the amount of funds to award to each such State agency based on the amount of the total appropriation for the State Teaching Fellows Program, the relative size of the State’s student population, and the cost of administering a viable State Teaching Fellows Program, as estimated by the Secretary.

“(d) Requirements for State receipt of Federal funds.—Each State participating in the State Teaching Fellows Program shall provide assurances that—

“(1) the State agency and participating institutions shall, collectively, match the Federal funds provided under this section by providing at least 25 percent of the total cost of the State Teaching Fellows Program; and

“(2) funds received under this section will only be used to supplement the amount of funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be made available from non-Federal sources for the purposes of this section, and not to supplant such funds.

“(e) Service requirement for Teaching Fellows.—Each individual selected as a Teaching Fellow and receiving scholarship assistance under this section shall, within 7 years after graduation—

“(1) teach for 4 qualifying years at one or more public schools within the State that awarded such scholarship; or

“(2) teach for 3 consecutive qualifying years (unless the recipient takes leave of absence, approved by the State agency on a case-by-case basis), at one or more public schools within such State that, at the time the recipient accepts employment, the local educational agency in which such school is located has identified for school improvement under section 1116(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

“(f) Failure To meet service requirement.—

“(1) OBLIGATION TO REPAY.—The State agency administering the State Teaching Fellows Program shall require that any Teaching Fellow who fails to meet the service requirement under subsection (e) shall repay a pro rata amount, as determined by such State agency, of the scholarship received from the State Teaching Fellows Program, and to pay interest on such pro rata amount at an annual rate of 10 percent until such pro rata amount is repaid.

“(2) EXCEPTION.—Paragraph (1) shall not apply if the State agency finds that it is impossible for the Teaching Fellow to meet the service requirement under subsection (e) because of the death or permanent disability of the recipient.

“(3) REVOLVING FUNDING.—Any funds repaid by a Teaching Fellow pursuant to paragraph (1), together with any interest thereon, may be retained by the State agency for making available additional scholarships under this section, and for paying costs related to the disbursement of awards under this section, and the collection of payments under paragraph (1).

“(g) Definitions.—For the purposes of this section:

“(1) QUALIFIED YEAR.—The term ‘qualified year’, with respect to the service required of a Teaching Fellow under subsection (e), means an academic year during which the Teaching Fellow teaches a minimum of six full calendar months within such academic year.

“(2) STATE.—The term ‘State’ includes the several States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

“(3) STATE AGENCY.—The term ‘State agency’ means the agency designated pursuant to subsection (c)(1).

“(4) TEACHING FELLOWS.—The term ‘Teaching Fellow’ means an individual selected for an award of financial assistance under this section.

“(h) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $200,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

“SEC. 212. Partnership Fellows Program.

“(a) Purposes.—The purposes of this section are—

“(1) to encourage members of the education community, such as education-related paraprofessionals and other school employees who are not yet certified teachers, to obtain a bachelor’s degree with a State license or certificate to teach; and

“(2) to encourage partnerships between associate’s degree-granting institutions and bachelor’s degree-granting institutions to reduce and remove common barriers that prevent many individuals described in paragraph (1) from completing such a degree.

“(b) Grants for State Partnership Fellows Programs.—

“(1) USE OF FUNDS.—From the funds appropriated under subsection (f), the Secretary shall make grants available to States for the purpose of establishing State Partnership Fellows Programs to—

“(A) support the creation and maintenance of eligible partnerships; and

“(B) provide funds to eligible partnerships to award scholarships to Partnership Fellows, which shall be used to pay for tuition, fees, and other costs of attendance incurred by Partnership Fellows at institutions of higher education that are members of such eligible partnerships.

“(2) STATE AGENCY TO ADMINISTER PROGRAM.—The governor (or chief executive officer) of each State desiring to receive a grant under this section shall designate a single State agency to administer the State Partnership Fellows Program. Such State agency shall have a full-time staff and may be a division of the State’s education department, a coordinating or governing board of higher education, an independent government agency, or a non-profit organization.

“(3) APPLICATION.—A State agency designated under paragraph (2) shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such a manner, and containing such information, as the Secretary may require. Such application shall—

“(A) describe—

“(i) the process by which the State agency solicited proposals from eligible partnerships within the State for participation in the State Partnership Fellows Program;

“(ii) any criteria used, in addition to the criteria described in subsection (c), to select from such proposals eligible partnerships to participate in the State Partnership Fellows Program; and

“(iii) any steps taken by the State agency to include the involvement of Hispanic Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the State Partnership Fellows Program;

“(B) provide a list of the eligible partnerships that have been selected for participation in the State Partnership Fellows Program, which shall include the names of the institutions of higher education that comprise the members of each such eligible partnership, and the proposals submitted by each such eligible partnership;

“(C) provide a detailed description of how the funds provided through such grant shall be allocated among eligible partnerships within the State; and

“(D) provide assurances that—

“(i) not less than 25 percent of the total cost of the State Partnership Fellows Program shall be from non-Federal funds;

“(ii) the funds received under this section shall only be used to supplement the amount of funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be made available from non-Federal sources for the purposes of this section, and not to supplant such funds; and

“(iii) not more than 20 percent of the funds received under this section shall be used for administrative costs to carry out the State Partnership Fellows Program, including funds made available to eligible partnerships to—

“(I) support the creation and maintenance of such partnerships;

“(II) sponsor the mandatory extracurricular enrichment programs and activities for Partnership Fellows, as required by subsection (c)(3); and

“(III) collect payments under subsection (d)(4)(A).

“(4) COMPETITIVE SELECTION.—From applications submitted by State agencies for State Partnership Fellows Program grants, the Secretary shall award grants to those State agencies that the Secretary determines, based on such applications, to be the most promising in carrying out the purposes of this section.

“(c) Criteria for proposals from eligible partnerships.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, a State agency shall require each eligible partnership selected for participation in the State Partnership Fellows Program to have submitted a proposal that—

“(1) identifies the specific, rigorous criteria to be used by the eligible partnership to select Partnership Fellows, including outstanding service to school-age children, a firm commitment to the field of education, and aptitude to succeed as a teacher;

“(2) designates a full-time faculty member or administrator to serve as Partnership Fellows Program director or coordinator for the eligible partnership, who will work closely with the State agency to administer the program and to create and execute the mandatory extracurricular enrichment programs and activities required by paragraph (3);

“(3) describes the mandatory extracurricular enrichment programs and activities that will be part of such program that—

“(A) are designed to motivate Partnership Fellows to become career educators;

“(B) provide Partnership Fellows with a multidisciplinary education;

“(C) are offered regularly during each year of schooling (including during intervals between periods of enrollment); and

“(D) expose Partnership Fellows to the business, political, demographic, cultural, and economic climates of the State, and help the Partnership Fellows develop leadership qualities;

“(4) specifically describes how the eligible partnership will provide Partnership Fellows in rural or underserved communities access to the curriculum and mandatory extracurricular enrichment programs and activities created by the eligible partnership;

“(5) describes how the program will accommodate Partnership Fellows who maintain employment while pursuing a degree, including any available distance learning methods, evening and weekend programs, minimum credit requirements, or other programs;

“(6) describes the circumstances in which, and the amount with which, the eligible partnership will assist Partnership Fellows during the period of student teaching, in accordance with subsection (d)(2)(C), should they be financially unable (as determined by the State agency) to complete such period of student teaching;

“(7) provides an itemized account of how the eligible partnership plans to use the funds received under this section; and

“(8) provides assurances that scholarships to Partnership Fellows will be administered in accordance with the requirements of subsection (d).

“(d) Partnership Fellows scholarship administration.—

“(1) SELECTION OF FELLOWS.—Partnership Fellows shall be selected by an eligible partnership from individuals who—

“(A) are United States citizens or aliens lawfully residing in the United States (other than as a nonimmigrant);

“(B) are residents of the State sponsoring the Partnership Fellows Program to which they are applying;

“(C) are—

“(i) education-related paraprofessionals, as such term is defined by the State agency of such State; or

“(ii) enrolled in an associate’s degree-granting institution;

“(D) meet the criteria established by the eligible partnership under subsection (c)(1); and

“(E) enter into a written agreement with the eligible partnership to fulfill the service requirement under paragraph (3) in exchange for receipt of the scholarship made available under this section.

“(2) SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNTS.—Scholarships to Partnership Fellows made available under this section—

“(A) in the case of a Partnership Fellow attending an institution of higher education on a full-time basis, as defined by the eligible partnership, shall be—

“(i) not less than $6,500 per year; and

“(ii) available for each year of undergraduate education required to obtain a bachelor’s degree with a State license or certificate to teach that the Partnership Fellow begins after being selected as a Partnership Fellow, which may include a fifth year of undergraduate education if a fifth year is required to obtain a bachelor’s degree with a State license or certificate to teach;

“(B) in the case of a Partnership Fellow attending an institution of higher education on less than a full-time basis, as defined by the eligible partnership, shall be—

“(i) the amount under subparagraph (A)(i), reduced in proportion to the degree to which that student is not so attending on a full-time basis; and

“(ii) available for a period not to exceed six years; and

“(C) in the case of a Partnership Fellow described in subparagraph (A) or (B), may be awarded during the period of student teaching, as permitted under subsection (c)(6).

“(3) SERVICE REQUIREMENT FOR PARTNERSHIP FELLOWS.—Each Partnership Fellow shall, within 7 years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree with a State license or certificate to teach—

“(A) teach for 4 qualifying years at one or more public schools within the State in which the eligible partnership that selected the Partnership Fellow is located; or

“(B) teach for 3 consecutive qualifying years (unless the recipient takes leave of absence, approved by the State agency on a case-by-case basis), at one or more public schools within such State that, at the time the recipient accepts employment, the local educational agency in which such school is located has identified for school improvement under section 1116(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

“(4) FAILURE TO MEET SERVICE REQUIREMENT.—

“(A) OBLIGATION TO REPAY.—Any Partnership Fellow who fails to meet the service requirement under paragraph (3) shall repay to the eligible partnership that selected the Partnership Fellow, a pro rata amount, as determined by the State agency administering the State Partnership Fellows Program, of the scholarship received from the Partnership Fellows Program, and to pay interest on such pro rata amount at an annual rate of 10 percent until such pro rata amount is repaid.

“(B) EXCEPTION.—Subparagraph (A) shall not apply if the State agency finds that it is impossible for the Partnership Fellow to meet the service requirement under paragraph (3) because of the death or permanent disability of the Partnership Fellow.

“(C) REVOLVING FUNDING.—Any funds repaid by a Partnership Fellow pursuant to subparagraph (A), together with any interest thereon, shall be transferred by the eligible partnership to the State agency, and may be retained by the State agency for making available additional scholarships under this section, and for administrative costs related to the disbursement of such scholarships.

“(e) Definitions.—For the purposes of this section:

“(1) ELIGIBLE PARTNERSHIP.—The term ‘eligible partnership’ means a partnership agreement between at least one associate’s degree-granting institution and at least one bachelor’s degree-granting institution in which all members of the partnership agree to—

“(A) establish significantly similar curricula and degree requirements for individuals pursuing a bachelor’s degree with a State license or certification to teach;

“(B) ensure that credit earned by an individual at any institution that is a member of the eligible partnership is acceptable for full credit toward such a bachelor’s degree at any other member institution of the same eligible partnership that offers such bachelor’s degrees; and

“(C) jointly sponsor the mandatory extracurricular enrichment programs and activities required for Partnership Fellows under subsection (c)(3).

“(2) PARTNERSHIP FELLOW.—The term ‘Partnership Fellow’ means an individual selected by an eligible partnership for a scholarship award under this section.

“(3) QUALIFYING YEAR.—The term ‘qualifying year’, with respect to the service required of a Partnership Fellow under subsection (e), means an academic year during which the Partnership Fellow teaches a minimum of six full calendar months within such academic year.

“(4) STATE.—The term ‘State’ includes the several States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

“(5) STATE AGENCY.—The term ‘State agency’ means the agency designated pursuant to subsection (b)(2).

“(f) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.”.