The importance of ensuring effective teacher preparation programs, or TPPs, continues to be an issue of significant interest to state policymakers. As the focus of teacher education increasingly shifts from training to preparing, several states are undertaking new approaches to identifying and promoting successful TPPs. Louisiana and Tennessee have developed statewide systems that track the academic growth of a teacher’s P-12 students back to the preparation program from which that teacher graduated. This webinar focused on strategies by Southern states to ensure teachers are well-prepared for the classroom.

The American judicial system is complicated. How does a case get to the United States Supreme Court? Why are some cases heard in federal court and others in state court? Why do courts refuse to decide some issues? This free CSG eCademy webcast features Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, and Paul Clement, partner at Bancroft PLLC and former U.S. solicitor general who has argued more than 75 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. The presenters explain the basics of how our court system works and how the decisions of this complex judicial system impact state governments.

More than 40 states considered legislation in 2015 aimed at allowing or regulating rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft. While many of these bills served to enforce standards already in place at these companies, others add additional requirements. During this free eCademy webcast, Dr. Kim Staking of California State University reviews the 2015 legislative, regulatory and insurance landscape for rideshare companies and look at what may lie ahead in 2016. A follow-up to a June webinar, this webcast is part of a collaboration between CSG and the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation to inform state officials on these issues, while maintaining a commitment to an unbiased, nonpartisan and academic approach to programming.

Released Aug. 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plan, designed under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. One of the key changes in the final Clean Power Plan was to promote cross-state emissions trading between states, including through the establishment of mass-based targets and “trading-ready” mechanisms. This free CSG eCademy webcast features experts who discuss state emissions trading options as well as federal plans for states that fail to submit a satisfactory state plan that embraces trading.

Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal a significant increase in the use of heroin in the United States between 2002 and 2013, and the increased use of the drug spans across gender, age and income categories. The rate of death from a heroin overdose has nearly quadrupled over the same period of time; in 2013 alone, more than 8,200 people died from a heroin overdose. This webinar from the Southern Legislative Conference examines the policy options for lawmakers, recent legislative action in Kentucky to address the growing epidemic and efforts being undertaken by law enforcement in the SLC states to remove heroin from the streets.