ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
This week, the House and Senate are expected to vote on yet another stopgap funding bill for Fiscal Year 2017. As we reported in September, Congress approved a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to provide temporary funding for the federal government through December 9. A CR is intended to put the federal budget on autopilot by continuing current funding levels for federal programs, including Perkins, until a long-term agreement can be reached. Earlier this fall, Congress seemed poised to pass a full-year funding bill before adjourning in December, but at the request of the incoming Trump Administration, this new CR will punt important funding decisions into April.
We previously noted that the CR passed in September included an across-the-board cut to keep overall spending within the required budget caps for the year. Because of the way Perkins funds are budgeted and dispersed, the cut (a total of $5.5 million overall) impacted Perkins Basic State Grant advance funding that began rolling out to states on October 1.
Based on revised figures from the U.S. Department of Education, 30 states saw reductions in their Perkins October allocations. The cut could be restored (and has routinely been in years past) if Congress approves a full-year funding bill. Though the new CR would adjust the across-the-board cut down slightly to 0.19 percent, states will likely not receive any supplemental funds—leaving the initial cuts in place for the foreseeable future.
This ongoing budget dysfunction will not only create funding uncertainty for states and local CTE programs who need to prepare budgets for the 2017-18 school year, it will also cause confusion when Congress is supposed to begin work on FY 2018 funding in the coming months. Let your Members of Congress know that they need to restore the cuts to Perkins.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 12/08/2016 at 12:53 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
Last week, ACTE released the latest draft of its Quality CTE Program of Study Framework (version 3.0). This Framework is part of an ongoing project at ACTE to identify a comprehensive, research-based quality CTE program of study framework, test the framework and integrate it into our efforts to recognize and disseminate information on best practices within CTE.
This new draft of the Framework incorporates feedback received over the past year, including from focus groups, expert review, surveys, and additional research on key issues.
Based on continued feedback, the Framework draft 3.0 will be refined a final time and then pilot tested in the spring to assess its validity and utility. To provide input on the draft framework, or if you are interested in participating in the pilot testing, please contact ACTE Public Policy Director Alisha Hyslop at email@example.com. You can access more information about the overall project at http://www.acteonline.org/high-qualityCTE.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 12/05/2016 at 04:58 PM in Data and Research | Permalink
The House Education and the Workforce has officially announced that Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) will assume the role of chair in the 115th Congress, following the retirement of current chair Rep. John Kline (R-MN). Rep. Foxx has served on the Committee for a number of years, including the last six as chair of its Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.
Prior to coming to Congress, Rep. Foxx served as an educator, school board member and was involved in North Carolina’s higher education system, including through work at community colleges. Upon the announcement of her new position, Rep. Foxx said:
“My colleagues have entrusted me with a significant responsibility, and I look forward to building on the foundation established by leaders such as John Kline and John Boehner and continuing their legacy of honest, dogged work confronting the challenges facing America’s schools and workplaces. The committee will continue to work towards fostering the best opportunities for students to learn, workers to succeed and employers to grow.”
In interviews prior to her official selection, Rep. Foxx outlined several priorities she would pursue as chair of the Committee. Chief among them was rolling back federal regulations on policies under the Committee’s jurisdiction. She has also expressed interest in reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In the past, she has also suggested that Perkins reauthorization should be a priority if not completed this year. “And certainly if it doesn't get passed this fall, it would be high on the agenda for whomever the next chairman is,” she said in an interview in late August.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 12/02/2016 at 04:55 PM | Permalink
The above data point from the ACTE-myCollegeOptions® nationwide survey of CTE students and educators demonstrates that many CTE high school students are taking part in CTE programs that match their career goals. In addition, the survey found that 3 of 10 students are unsure if they will pursue a career in their CTE area of study.
By providing comprehensive career guidance and offering, where possible, a variety of CTE programming choices, CTE educators and counselors can connect secondary students with education that will prepare them for college and careers that match their interests and aptitudes. And even students who don’t wish to continue in their CTE program are saving themselves time and money by learning what does not interest them before going on to postsecondary education or the workforce.
When providing the above information to students, parents, the media and policymakers, share how your CTE program is preparing students for further education and careers through guidance, coursework and extended learning experiences that match their abilities and interests.
You can find more research and data about CTE with ACTE Fact Sheets.
[i] ACTE, “College and Career Ready Through CTE” infographic, 2016.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 11/29/2016 at 06:24 PM in Data and Research | Permalink
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced its final regulations on the accountability, reporting, and state plan provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The rules address the use of multiple measures, including new indicators of school quality and student success, in state accountability systems, design and delivery of state and district annual report cards, and development of state plans across ESSA programs.
The final regulations make a few important changes from the draft version released in June. As noted in ACTE’s fact sheet on ESSA accountability, states must develop an accountability system that includes measures of student academic achievement as well as non-academic indicators of school quality or student success, which can include career readiness indicators. Under the draft rule, these additional indicators would need to be supported by research that shows the measure contributes to student achievement, or in the case of high schools, higher graduation rates. Because this standard would likely have been too restrictive to allow for many non-academic indicators, and with the urging of ACTE and other education stakeholders, the department broadened the standard in its final rule. It now states that the measure must be supported by research demonstrating that it helps “increase student learning, such as grade point average, credit accumulation, or performance in advanced coursework, or for high schools, graduation rates, postsecondary enrollment, persistence, or completion, or career success.”
You can read a summary of the final rule here. For more ESSA implementation updates, follow the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 11/28/2016 at 03:53 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
Last week, President-Elect Trump announced Betsy DeVos as his nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education. As a cabinet-level appointee, Mrs. DeVos will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Following the president-elect’s Inauguration in January, DeVos will first appear in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for confirmation hearings. The chairman of that committee, Senator Lamar Alexander, himself a former secretary of education, has expressed his support for the appointment. If DeVos is approved by the committee, her appointment will then move to the full Senate where she will need 51 votes for confirmation.
Mrs. DeVos’ experience in education is primarily centered on promoting pro-charter school policies. DeVos chairs the American Federation for Children (AFC), an organization that advocates for school vouchers and tax credits for charter schools. DeVos is unique from previous secretaries in that she has never held public office and has no experience as an educator.
Outside of her position at AFC, DeVos is chairman of the Windquest Group, a privately-held investment management and operating group that invests in technology, manufacturing and energy. DeVos has also been very involved in Republican politics, both as a major fundraiser and as chair of the Michigan Republican Party. In 2006, her husband unsuccessfully ran for governor.
Betsy DeVos’ husband, Dick, is heir to the Amway fortune and founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a charter high school on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mr. DeVos is a former member of the Michigan State Board of Education and has served on the Grand Valley State University Board of Control. He spearheaded a Michigan ballot initiative in 2000 to amend the state’s constitution to allow for vouchers and tax credits for private K-12 education.
Next Congress, all indications point to reauthorization of the Higher Education Act as the top legislative education priority. However, as Inside Higher Ed outlines, Mrs. DeVos’ positions on higher education policy are largely unknown. Similarly, aside from establishing a charter school focused on careers in aviation, Mrs. DeVos’ positions on CTE are also not known.
In the 115th Congress, among ACTE’s legislative priorities will be reauthorization of the Perkins Act and higher funding levels for the Perkins Basic State Grant program. We hope Mrs. DeVos’ business background will help her view CTE as a critical component to ensuring today’s students are prepared for college and career success.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 11/28/2016 at 02:50 PM in Advocacy Resources, Executive Branch, In the News | Permalink
Betsy DeVoss, Department of Education
Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced a joint effort with five other federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Treasury to better align federal support for college access and completion. The new joint guidance focuses on helping students to break down critical barriers to continued education and training, while also supporting colleges and universities in their efforts to expand postsecondary opportunities. Specifically, the Department of Education provided information on assisting unaccompanied homeless youth through FAFSA completion, and offered clarification on what defines an “ability-to-benefit” program for students pursuing a postsecondary education without a high school degree. Additionally, the Department of Labor issued a letter with strategies to support Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries seeking postsecondary education and training, and describes the financial aid accessible to those students. A summary and links to all the available resources across the six agencies is available here.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 11/22/2016 at 04:55 PM in Executive Branch | Permalink
Recently, congressional leaders signaled their intent to avoid moving forward with a long-term funding bill before the end of the year. As we reported in September, the House and Senate passed a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 to provide temporary funding for the federal government through December 9. The CR is intended to put the federal budget on autopilot by continuing the current funding levels for federal programs, including Perkins, until a long-term agreement can be reached. However, this CR also included an across-the-board cut to keep overall spending within the required budget caps for the year. Because of the way Perkins funds are budgeted and dispersed, the cut impacted Perkins Basic State Grant advance funding that began rolling out to states on October 1.
Based on revised figures from the U.S. Department of Education, 30 states saw reductions in their Perkins October allocations. The cut could be restored (and has routinely been in years past) if Congress approves a full-year funding bill, but at the urging of the incoming Trump Administration, the House and Senate leadership are planning to put off any consideration of a long-term bill until late March at the earliest. This ongoing budget dysfunction will not only create funding uncertainty for states and local CTE programs who need to prepare budgets for the 2017-18 school year, it will also cause confusion when Congress is supposed to begin work on FY 2018 funding in the coming months. Tell your legislators that they need to stop kicking the can down the road. Let them know that they need to pass a full-year funding bill that could restore cuts to Perkins.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 11/22/2016 at 11:32 AM in Federal Funding | Permalink
How much are students earning after they’ve achieved postsecondary certificates from various U.S. institutions? New data released from the Department of Education, based on information reported for gainful employment regulations, can begin to answer that question.
According to the data release, which encompasses about 3,700 postsecondary institutions, graduates of certificate programs at public institutions typically earn almost $9,000 more than graduates of comparable programs at for-profit colleges. In addition:
This data will be used to calculate debt-to-earnings rates that help individuals determine their likely return on investment from postsecondary education. Starting in January, institutions must disclose costs, graduation rates and alumni earnings by program, per gainful employment standards.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 11/21/2016 at 08:19 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
The results are in from the states that decided on some key education ballot initiatives last Tuesday. Among the handful of measures that sought to boost funding for public education through tax increases or the sale of state bonds, there were mixed results. Voters in Oklahoma defeated a proposed 1 percent sales tax increase, which was expected to generate $615 million for education, while a 3 percent tax surcharge that has been earmarked to fund public education in Maine was approved. Additionally, the state of California got the go ahead to issue $9 billion in bonds for repairs and upgrades to K-12 schools, community colleges and other postsecondary institutions.
Despite having the backing of Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA), voters in Georgia rejected the proposed Opportunity School District amendment, which would have given the state the authority to take control of chronically failing public schools. South Dakota’s Amendment R, a measure allowing the state legislature to establish a separate governing body for the state’s four postsecondary technical institutes, was narrowly approved. Voters also gave the thumbs up to an Oregon measure that will mandate state funding for dropout prevention and career and college readiness programs.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 11/16/2016 at 12:53 PM in Election Watch | Permalink
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