ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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With only days to go before the country reaches the end-of-the-year fiscal cliff, there are some signs of hope that a deal might be within reach. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced that the House of Representatives will be called back into session on Sunday—both President Obama and the Senate have already returned to Washington—for a last ditch effort to reach a deal in the final hours of 2012. Additionally, President Obama will meet with Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress on Friday to try to further the negotiations with congressional Republicans that have started and stalled in recent weeks.
While we do not know how this urgent situation will be resolved, it is important to know what is at stake for CTE. The looming “fiscal cliff” is comprised of both automatic tax increases and automatic, across-the-board cuts in federal funding, known as sequestration. Both the tax hikes and sequestration are scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of January if Congress and the White House do nothing.
The sequestration portion of the fiscal cliff will have the most direct impact on CTE. Under sequestration, $109 billion would be cut from both defense and non-defense discretionary funding—the part of the budget that includes Perkins funding—in 2013 alone. Because the cut would be applied across the board, it is estimated that almost every domestic program could be subject to an 8.2 percent cut. This means that CTE stands to lose $92 million in Perkins funding!
How exactly would this work for CTE? The federal government distributes Perkins funds to states (who then allocate funds to local CTE programs) twice a year in July and October. The White House Office of Management and Budget has said that Perkins, and most other education programs, would see the cut applied to the July allocation. While CTE programs may not feel an immediate impact on January 2, the cut would create a $92 million shortfall in funding for the 2013-14 school year!
Though the situation is certainly dire; it does not have to be inevitable. Tell Congress that there is still time to find a balanced approach to prevent a devastating cut to Perkins!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 12/21/2012 at 12:26 PM in Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
On Friday, the Office of Management and Budget at the White House released a new report that examines how federal funding might be impacted by sequestration. As required by the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, the Administration was tasked with providing greater detail on how the across-the-board cuts will affect federal programs. Without congressional intervention, sequestration is scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2013. According to the report, all non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs that are not exempt from sequestration will be cut 8.2 percent. This means that the Perkins stands to lose approximately $92 million in Fiscal Year 2013 alone! This is a potentially devastating cut to an important education and workforce training program that has already seen large reductions in funding in recent years. Total funding for the Department of Education will be reduced by over $4 billion, with $142 million coming from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (the agency that oversees Perkins and Adult Education programs).
ACTE is working with a large coalition of organizations representing health care, education, transportation, law enforcement and other NDD programs who are urging Congress to prevent these drastic cuts. This coalition has fought to bring education to the forefront of the discussion over sequestration, but we can’t do it alone. Let your Senators and Representative know how important Perkins funding is to your school. Tell them to stop sequestration now!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 12/17/2012 at 12:49 PM in Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
In the closing days of the 112th Congress, President Obama and congressional Republicans have reached a stalemate over the looming fiscal cliff. The lame duck session—the period between the end of the election season and the beginning of the new Congress in January—was supposed to be a time when lawmakers and the White House were to come to an agreement on pending tax issues and the automatic, across-the-board cuts in federal programs, including Perkins, that are scheduled to go into effect on January 2. For CTE specifically, this 8.2 percent cut, known in budgetary terms as sequestration, will result in a $92 million reduction in Perkins funding for the 2013-2014 school year if Washington cannot find a balanced agreement to fix the problem.
While there is general consensus among policymakers and the public that such arbitrary cuts to important domestic programs must be prevented, the major stumbling blocks to a deal have been over taxes and the amount of other spending cuts. Both sides agree that tax cuts enacted under the Bush Administration should be extended for the middle class; however, President Obama has insisted on raising the tax rate for those with household incomes over $250,000. Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner (OH), have pushed to maintain tax rates for higher earners, but are willing to limit tax deductions as a means to increase revenues. Sharp disagreements also exist over which spending cuts, particularly to entitlement programs like Medicare, should also be included in any deal.
As a result of the deadlock in negotiations, the lame duck session has already been extended—originally scheduled to end on December 14— until at least Friday, December 21. Speaker Boehner has indicated that he will cut short the holiday break and bring the House back into session before the new year if a deal is not reached before then.
The partisan wrangling over the fiscal cliff has left little time or incentive to address other pending pieces of congressional business. The short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) that provides level-funding for Perkins through March 27 will remain in effect for now. There was some speculation that Congress might consider a full-year funding measure before the end of the 112th Congress, but that will be pushed off into 2013. Additionally, the reauthorization of major pieces of education and workforce training legislation that began in this Congress, including ESEA and WIA, will go back to the drawing board in January.
As the country waits for Washington to act, both sides seem unwilling or unable to pull us back from the fiscal brink. Tell Congress that they need to find a balanced approach to fix sequestration. Tell them that cutting Perkins is not the pathway to a better economy!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 12/14/2012 at 12:27 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) have produced a joint statement to provide clarity regarding the meaning of College and Career Ready Determinations (CCRD) that were produced by PARCC in early November.
Agreement on the CCRD policy is a significant milestone in the development of the next generation assessments which PARCC is developing to align with the Common Core State Standards. PARCC is currently working with 22 states and the District of Columbia (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee).
The PARCC-adopted College- and Career-Ready Determination (CCRD) policy defines the level of academic preparation in English language arts/literacy and mathematics needed for students to be successful in entry-level, credit-bearing courses in two- and four-year public institutions of higher education. Even though the CCRD measures a level of academic preparedness that students will need for entry into postsecondary education in two core academic areas, the CCRD policy does not make claims about academic preparedness for any specific career. It also does not encompass the full range of knowledge, skills and characteristics that students need for ultimate career success—which includes an array of academic and technical knowledge and skills, and employability knowledge, skills and dispositions.
Please view the joint statement on CCRD for additional information.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 12/12/2012 at 12:30 PM in Career Readiness | Permalink
With only three weeks left in the 112th Congress and less than a month to go before the deadline for the “fiscal cliff,” the White House and congressional leaders have made little progress in addressing the expiring tax cuts and automatic, across-the-board spending cuts to discretionary programs known as sequestration. While sequestration is only a part of the larger fiscal cliff, it will have the greatest impact on funding for CTE. If Congress does not act by January 2, sequestration will result in an 8.2 percent reduction in funding for most federal discretionary programs. This means that Perkins stands to lose approximately $92 million in July 2013 alone!
Last week, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner met with congressional leaders to present the White House’s proposal for averting the fiscal cliff. The plan includes $1.6 trillion in new revenue generated by allowing income tax rates on those who earn over $250,000 to go up, along with increases in the estate tax and capital gains tax. It still calls for $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts, but would replace the automatic, across-the-board sequestration cuts. The plan would also extend the Social Security payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits.
Congressional Republicans have rejected the plan, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) countering that the White House had not put forward a serious offer and is not negotiating in good faith. Republicans continue to resist increasing tax rates and argue that the spending reductions in the proposal utilize too many budgetary gimmicks that will not reduce deficits. President Obama has also requested unilateral power to increase the federal debt ceiling, which currently requires congressional approval. He also wants an additional $50 billion for a multiyear stimulus program—a nonstarter for Republicans who have consistently criticized his earlier stimulus package for being ineffective in boosting the economy.
We will continue to keep you updated with new developments from Washington. You can find more information on our sequestration web page.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 12/03/2012 at 12:31 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
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