ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« February 2012 |
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Education Secretary Arne Duncan appeared before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on Wednesday. As he did in his previous appearance before the appropriations subcommittee, Duncan cited the Administration’s proposals for community colleges and career academies. He also received some additional push back on the issue of funding for new competitive grant programs instead of the long-standing formula programs. Specifically, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) asked a question about Perkins funding in which he noted that Perkins is a proven program to address the skills gap.
“I truly believe that career and technical education is a cost effective way to get people these skills,” said Rep. Thompson. He goes on to say, “My concern is that the president’s budget is trying to reinvent the wheel at the expense of proven and critically needed Perkins programs. I believe that that a good indicator of future performance is past performance in terms of meeting these workforce needs and delivering education and providing great pathways to success.”
Secretary Duncan indicated his support for Perkins but reiterate a message of “mixed results” in some programs stating that some programs are “training folks for jobs that were available 30 years ago.”
We know that this is not the norm in CTE, and that instead the CTE community is providing students with 21st-century skills that meet the needs of business and industry. We must do more to convince policymakers like Secretary Duncan that our programs are the answer to addressing the skills gap, and that this requires a robust federal investment in Perkins.
We want to thank Representative Thompson for his continued leadership on Perkins and CTE issues in Congress!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/30/2012 at 09:50 AM in Perkins | Permalink
On March 29, Republicans in the House introduced The Workforce Investment Improvement Act (H.R. 4297). The bill consolidates three previously introduced pieces of legislation sponsored by Reps. Foxx (R-NC), Heck (R-NV) and McKeon (R-CA). As reported by ACTE earlier this year, the bill introduced by Rep. Foxx in December allowed each state’s governor to include Perkins in a broad workforce plan that would consolidate many workforce programs. The Foxx bill also allowed Perkins to be spent on any activity that was included in that plan—even if the activities were not authorized under Perkins. Although H.R.4297 retains a provision requiring Perkins to be included in a unified state plan, it also states that Perkins funds cannot be consolidated with other funds. This is good news and a victory for the CTE community! ACTE advocated to remove the Perkins consolidation from the legislation and many CTE advocates contacted Members of Congress to request the change.Unfortunately, H.R.4297 continues to consolidate over 20 workforce programs.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 03/29/2012 at 09:51 AM in Perkins, WIOA | Permalink
On March 20, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chair of the House Budget Committee, introduced a budget resolution for 2013. The budget resolution sets overall spending levels for Members of Congress on the Appropriations Committees. The Ryan budget caps overall discretionary spending at $1.028 trillion, $19 billion less than the amount that had already been agreed to in last summer's debt reduction deal. Within the budget, the function for discretionary and mandatory education, training, employment, and social services programs is reduced by $9.5 billion below the current baseline. The resolution is being discussed today in the House Budget Committee and ACTE is following the progress. Although it will likely pass out of Committee, it is extremely unlikely that the proposal will pass the Senate and thus is not expected to be the final position on spending caps.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/21/2012 at 09:58 AM in Federal Funding | Permalink
On March 20, Reps. John Tierney (D-MA), Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and George Miller (D-CA) introduced legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act. These Democratic leaders on the House Education and Workforce Committee were following the lead of House Republicans, who introduced their own partisan legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act in December.
The Democratic bill, the Workforce Investment Act of 2012, contains a number of changes ACTE requested in our WIA reauthorization priorities, including eliminating the sequence of services provision, allowing direct contracting between WIA boards and community colleges, utilizing career pathways, establishing common performance measures, and adding a separate infrastructure funding steam. The bill also authorizes the Administration’s Community College to Career Fund to expand capacity to train workers in high-growth industries, such as health care, transportation and advanced manufacturing.
According to the bill’s sponsors, it will:
A summary of the bill is available on the Committee’s Web site. ACTE will be examining the text of the proposed legislation carefully and providing comments to the Committee. Since the Democrats are in the minority in the House, it is unlikely this bill will move through the legislative process in its current form, but some of the ideas included could influence the legislation that is ultimately marked up by the House Education and the Workforce Committee later this spring.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 03/21/2012 at 09:57 AM in WIOA | Permalink
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) held a PARCC Progress Briefing on March 12 for leaders from national membership and advocacy organizations. The event provided an update on activities and sparked lively discussion about PARCC’s progress towards development of a common K-12 assessment system and broader efforts in states and districts to implement the Common Core State Standards and transition to the PARCC assessments.
There were a few comments of specific interest to CTE. For instance, Laura McGiffert Slover, Senior Vice President at Achieve, which is leading the PARCC effort, said that PARCC is working closely with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium on issues such as a common definition of college and career readiness. She noted that the focus on PARCC in “round one” of the assessments is on college credit-bearing courses but that doing some additional work on CTE is worthwhile.
Identifying ways to effectively incorporate CTE in the PARCC assessments work is clearly of interest to PARCC. Ms. Slover mentioned that PARCC’s Technical Working Groups (TWGs; pronounced “twigs”) include CTE representatives. Those TWGs are small groups of national experts focused on addressing specific issues related to assessments development, and their work begins this week.
Sue Cain with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, said that her state includes two-year community colleges on their planning teams, and PARCC representatives noted that Georgia’s PARCC leadership includes a representative of CTE. Most of the participants are not-for-profit institutions.
In a conversation after the meeting, PARCC representatives noted that some states are leading CTE-inclusive efforts, such as Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey and Oregon. PARCC is expected to soon release a report detailing more information about these states’ CTE efforts.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 03/15/2012 at 09:59 AM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
By: Jamie Baxter
Congress is now starting the budget and appropriations process for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. The House and Senate are both circulating "dear colleague" sign-on letters which ask other Members of Congress to add their signatures to support an investment in Perkins funding. The House letter is led by the Congressional CTE Caucus co-chairs, Reps. Thompson (R-PA) and Langevin (D-RI), and the Senate letter is led by Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT). Once signatures are collected, the letters will be sent to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees in the House and Senate.
The more signatures the letters have, the more likely that the Appropriations Committee will consider restoring Perkins funds back to FY 2010 levels. Please contact your representatives and senators and ask that they sign the letters to support CTE funding.
It is crucial that we get as many Members of Congress as possible to show wide support for CTE. Please pass this alert on to others, including businesses, alumni, teachers and local policymakers, and encourage them to call Members of Congress. The House letter will continue to collect signatures until Friday, March 16 and the Senate letter will collect signatures until March 23.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/10/2012 at 11:31 AM in Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
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