ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« January 2012 |
| March 2012 »
By: Ashley ParkerYesterday evening, ACTE and NASDCTEc hosted a reception on Capitol Hill highlighting CTE. The theme of the reception was “Beyond the Farm: Integrating Agriculture, STEM and CTE in the 21st Century,” and featured students from Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) demonstrating projects showcasing the intersection of agriculture and STEM. The CTE Congressional Caucus served as honorary host for the event.Attendees had the opportunity to interact with students and not only learn about the projects, but gain better insight into CTE, the different programs and organizations students can become engaged in through CTE, and the overall impact of CTE on students. One young woman was utilizing skills and knowledge gained through her business coursework and participation in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) to modernize the sales and marketing processes of her family’s sheep farm, including setting up a Facebook page for advertisement and digitizing sheep herding records. She was planning to attend Purdue University in the fall. Another student from Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) showed off her competitive event project, “Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse,” modeled from the Center for Disease Control’s disaster preparedness campaign. Several staff from Congressional members’ offices attended, as well as CTE Congressional Caucus co-chair Rep. Glenn Thompson (D-PA) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who visited with students and spoke with the officers from the various CTSOs present.ACTE Executive Director Jan Bray and Rep. Glenn Thompson shared remarks with the attendees. Rep. Thompson touted the importance of CTE as a solution to the skills gap crisis and emphasized his continued support for CTE. Jan Bray thanked participants and students for attending and encouraged attendees to interact with the students and learn more about the subjects and skills taught in CTE courses that prepare students for career success in many fields. HOSA, FBLA, National Future Farmers of America (FFA), SkillsUSA and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) were represented at the event by students from Maryland, Iowa, North Carolina, New Jersey and Montana.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 02/29/2012 at 11:33 AM in Advocacy Resources | Permalink
On February 28, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a markup on the Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990). These two pieces of legislation will serve as the basis for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Both bills were passed by the full committee on a party line vote of 23 to 16. The two bills are now ready to move forward for consideration of the full House of Representatives.
Key provisions in the bills include replacing the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) system with state-determined accountability systems, maintaining the requirement that states and school districts issue and distribute annual report cards with disaggregated data on student achievement, repealing the federal "Highly Qualified Teacher" mandate, requiring states and school districts to develop teacher evaluation systems, and consolidating existing education programs into a new Local Academic Flexible Grant.
Additionally, the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act (H.R. 3154), a bill introduced last October by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), co-chair of the Congressional CTE Caucus, was included as part of the Student Success Act. The legislative language from the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act would allow school districts to use Title I ESEA funds to better integrate academics with CTE through coursework and networks of schools. The bill would encourage school districts to link secondary school programs, including both middle and high schools, and align secondary and postsecondary education.“American competitiveness is contingent upon the next generation of young minds attaining both the knowledge and necessary skills to graduate high school and be career and college ready,” said Rep. Thompson. ACTE is a supporter of the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/29/2012 at 11:31 AM in ESEA | Permalink
By: Jamie Baxter
In October 2011, states saw a 1.5 percent cut in their Perkins allocations. This cut was the result of a continuing resolution bill that applied a temporary across-the-board cut to advance appropriations in order to meet specific budget caps. In the final funding bill that Congress passed in December, those original 1.5 percent across-the-board cuts were replaced with a smaller 0.189 percent cut to all discretionary programs. Since the final cut was smaller than initially proposed, states were told they would be reimbursed the difference.
Recently, the Department of Education sent the difference between the 1.5 percent and the 0.189 percent, 1.31 percent of the original Perkins allocation, back to states. This may result in additional local funding as well, depending on how your state initially applied the cut. You can view your state’s allocations here.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/25/2012 at 11:34 AM in Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
On Feb. 13, the president released his budget priorities for FY 2013. The budget invests in CTE by maintaining FY 2012 levels for Perkins and proposing $1 billion over three years for career academies. One important note about the proposed Perkins funding level is that it is linked to the Administration’s goals for reauthorization of Perkins (although this is very unlikely to occur next year). Within the proposal, $105 million of the overall $1.1 billion Perkins allocation is redirected from the regular state formula to what is likely to be a competitive grant initiative to spur innovation. We expect more information on this when the Department of Education releases its Perkins reauthorization Blueprint later this spring. It is important to remember that the president’s budget is not law, but just a guiding document that Congress can use or not use when allocating funding to specific programs.
Overall, the Department of Education’s $69.8 billion budget freezes many tried and true programs including IDEA state grants, Title I of ESEA, adult education and 21st century learning communities, along with others. Regarding K-12 education, once again, the president proposes to consolidate 39 programs into nine funding streams. This reflects the Administration’s blueprint for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Additional highlights include increasing the Pell Grant Maximum award to $5,685; $80 million for STEM teacher and leader training and professional development; increases to Race to the Top; a new proposal to expand Race to the Top to postsecondary institutions; reforms for Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study and Perkins loans; and $55.5 million for “First in the World Fund” to strengthen college completion.
The Department of Labor’s budget rallies around the theme “Good Jobs for Everyone.”Unlike the Department of Education’s budget, the Department of Labor’s has few surprises or new initiatives. Highlights of the legislation include: slight decreases in funding for adult and dislocated workers; level-funding for YouthBuild and youth employment programs (WIA); $125 million for the Workforce Innovation Fund; $12.5 billion for Pathways Back to Work, which strives to connect workers to jobs; and the elimination of Women in Apprenticeships.
On Feb. 16, ACTE hosted a Webinar that discusses in detail the president’s budget. If you missed this, you can view the archive at ACTE’s Web site. If you have any questions or need clarification, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/16/2012 at 11:35 AM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
On February 13, the president released his budget proposal, which outlines the Administration’s funding priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. This budget will serve as a blueprint for when Congress allocates funding to specific programs through the budget and appropriations process. In his budget, President Obama invests heavily in CTE areas. The overall funding level for Perkins is the same as Congress allocated in FY 2012, $1.1 billion, although this is contingent on proposed changes to the CTE system that will be unveiled at a later date (and that ACTE will weigh in on when appropriate). In this economic environment, and considering the Administration’s history of proposed funding cuts, this level of funding is a great victory for everyone in the CTE community. This level funding positions us well to fight for a restoration of recent funding cuts as the FY 2013 appropriations process unfolds.
Besides the investment in Perkins, the Administration has included several other programs that are related to CTE. The president proposes $1 billion over three years to expand career academies so that more students have access to this “successful educational model for young people.” The president also proposes $12.5 billion for the “Pathways Back to Work Fund.” This fund would support summer and year-round jobs for low-income youth and help connect long-term unemployed and low-income adults to training and subsidized employment. The Administration also bumps up funds to community college by proposing $8 billion over three years to strengthen job training programs and to connect community colleges with businesses.
ACTE is very pleased that the Administration sees the need to expand CTE programs and is anxious to see details related to its thoughts on the reauthorization of the Perkins Act and on the other newly proposed programs. It is important to remember that the president’s budget is just a guide for Congress. The House and Senate appropriations committee will use this as they develop allocations for specific programs. ACTE will continue to sort through the budget and will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/13/2012 at 11:36 AM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding | Permalink
On January 29, the Wall Street Journal included an article discussing a report on New York City’s CTE programs produced by New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. The report criticizes Mayor Bloomberg’s CTE efforts, citing poor performance of a number of vocational schools. Without debating the findings of the report, ACTE submitted a letter to the editor to the Wall Street Journal focused on the title of the article, which we viewed as misleading. Following is the text of the letter, which has not been printed by the Wall Street Journal.Dear editor:The title “Flaws Seen in Vocational Education” which appeared in your January 29 edition was a misleading heading for an article that focused on the debate of how to improve current New York vocational programs.Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s report, referenced in the article, makes some good points about the city’s current vocational system that, if true, need to be addressed. NYC is undergoing a CTE reform process begun several years ago and the changes are leading to the alignment and relevance the author highlights. The debate about how to improve the City’s CTE system is worthy but my fear is that parents and students will read and misunderstand the headline, which reinforces the negative stereotype of vocational education that many individuals have embraced for years.Today’s vocational education is more closely linked to employment, more engaging and more concerned about getting students on a true career pathway than many other educational options that exist for today’s high school students, and it is an option that more parents and students should consider. I thought it was worth noting.Sincerely,Janet BrayExecutive DirectorAssociation for Career and Technical Education
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 02/10/2012 at 11:38 AM in In the News | Permalink
In preparation for the release of the president’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget, Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) along with numerous other Senators sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget requesting funds for Perkins. A similar letter was sent requesting funds for the Workforce Investment Act, Pell Grants and other key workforce development programs.
ACTE worked with the Sen. Blumenthal’s office on crafting the letter regarding Perkins funding. This will be the first step in influencing the budget and appropriations process for FY 2013. The next step will be to circulate a “Dear Colleague” letter in the House and Senate regarding Perkins funding. ACTE will keep you up-to-date on this process and alert you when action is needed.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/09/2012 at 11:39 AM in Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
On February 2, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing titled “Innovations in College Affordability.” The purpose of the hearing was to explore new and creative methods to make higher education more affordable for all students. The renewed interest in the issue of college affordability has been partially motivated by President Obama’s State of the Union address last month. In his address, and in a subsequent speech at the University of Michigan, he called on states to make higher education a bigger priority in their budgets and to suspend cuts to state funding, which he identified as the leading cause for the rise in cost. He also put colleges and universities “on notice,” threatening to reduce federal funding to institutions that do not find ways to bring down costs and reduce tuitions. At the hearing, Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter discussed some of the Administration’s proposals to address college affordability, including a Race to the Top style program that would create a $1 billion grant competition for states that keep costs under control. Kanter noted that this proposed program would provide incentives for states to enact policies that would restructure their financing systems for higher education to reward institutions for quality and student success, reform acceptance and graduation standards to facilitate on-time completion and provide consistent state funding for higher education. Charlie Earl, Executive Director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, touted the success of community and technical colleges in his state as providers of affordable higher education. He noted that community and technical colleges in Washington have kept tuition costs down, averaging $3,542 per year for full time students. He also pointed to a strong network of financial aid and efforts to reduce student expenses through technology as additional ways to make college more affordable.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/07/2012 at 11:40 AM in Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
By: Chris Hemmelman
The Office of Vocational and Adult that come as a follow-up to the Regional Community that come as a follow-up to the Regional Community College Summits and Virtual Symposium held by the U.S. Department of Education. We wanted to make you aware of these reports as they provide some helpful information.
Scaling the Summits is a summary of the four Regional Community College Summits convened last winter and spring at community colleges across the country. The Regional Summits brought together over 800 attendees from 45 states. The reports provide useful insights and ideas from those attending the summits, and discuss transition and transfer practices, business and industry involvement, developmental education, college affordability, and serving veterans and their families. The strength of these reports comes in the form of practitioner driven recommendations.
A second series of reports come out of the Community College Virtual Symposium, held last April. The Symposium was a forum for discussing the perspectives of researchers who prepared draft issue briefs on strategies to increase student retention and college completion. These reports reflect the refinement and revision to the drafts that resulted from discussion with community college stakeholders. Topics include college-and-career-readiness, integrating secondary and postsecondary programs, developmental education, and industry driven competencies. The usefulness of these reports comes from the helpful feedback of those practitioners in the community college field.
The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) also plans to host a series of webinars in the upcoming months to highlight each report in greater detail.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 02/02/2012 at 11:42 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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