ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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The House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training held a hearing yesterday, February 26, to discuss the current state of the workforce system.
Testifying at the hearing yesterday was:
While the hearing was originally scheduled to discuss the current state of the workforce system, it evolved into a discussion of Rep. Virginia Foxx’s (R-NC) recently introduced Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization bill, the Strengthening Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act. The Act includes some controversial measures including consolidating 35 job training programs into a single fund controlled by state governors, allowing governors to determine local workforce areas and eliminating all required members of state and local workforce boards except for business and economic agency representatives.
While all of the witnesses that testified were in agreement that WIA and the workforce system is in desperate need of reform, their opinions on best practices for reauthorization differ. Dr. Holzer advocated for a greater emphasis on performance and adequate investment in the workforce system. On the other side, Mr. Hart and Mr. Gustafson both agreed that the SKILLS Act will produce greater outcomes for the workforce system.
Despite the disagreements among witnesses and members of the committee that were voiced throughout the hearing, Rep. Foxx will move the SKILLS Act forward to a full committee markup next week. The markup will allow committee members a chance to offer amendments to the bill.
Update 3/1/13:The markup will take place during ACTE's National Policy Seminar on Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 02/27/2013 at 05:03 PM in WIOA | Permalink
The legislative season in Washington is in full swing, and there has never been a better time to advocate for career and technical education. ACTE needs YOU to attend this year’s National Policy Seminar to ensure the CTE voice is heard!
Last week, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce announced its latest attempt to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. The committee is expected to hold a markup of the reauthorized bill, the SKILLS Act, during the week of NPS, March 4 – 6. Your voice on Capitol Hill during this important time will be a boon for CTE, youth, and community colleges in the future of the workforce system.
The timing of this year’s NPS is also opportune related to critical discussions about the federal budget. The President and Congress will be debuting their budgets shortly after NPS attendees visit Capitol Hill offices, so you will be able to make your views known concerning potential cuts that directly impact CTE funding for your classroom.
Worried that you don’t know enough about policy or advocacy?
Leave those worries at home because ACTE will make sure you are prepared for anything you might encounter on Capitol Hill. At NPS, you will participate in policy sessions to learn about the SKILLS Act, the federal budget and other CTE related legislation being considered in Congress. If you are new to advocacy or NPS, you will have access to our first-timers session where you will learn about the legislative process and how to advocate to your senators and representative.
Members of Congress need to hear from YOU, the career and technical education EXPERT. ACTE’s National Policy Seminar will ensure your voice and your students are heard! Register for NPS on ACTE’s new website, and climb the Hill with us for CTE and your students!
Download an updated draft of our National Policy Seminar with speakers and sessions.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 02/25/2013 at 05:04 PM in NPS, WIOA | Permalink
Last Friday, February 15, Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) introduced the House Democrat's Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization bill, H.R. 798. Following the Democratic bill, House Republicans released their version, Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, on February 21.
In the 112th Congress, the House Education and the Workforce Committee was able to pass a WIA reauthorization bill. The bill would have consolidated 27 different workforce programs into a single "workforce investment fund," which would be given to each state as a block grant. The fund would have been controlled by each state's governor, who could decide which workforce programs to fund based on state needs.
The Democratic bill supports several of ACTE's WIA reauthorization priorities set in December 2012, including:
The new Republican bill is very similar to their previous legislation. Specifically, the SKILLS Act hopes to improve the federal workforce system by:
With Republicans in the majority, the Education and Workforce Committee will use the SKILLS Act as the starting point for any discussion or amendments in a committee markup. ACTE has been working cosely with a number of offices on Capitol Hill discussing our priorities and will continue to do so as this legislation moves forward.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 02/22/2013 at 05:05 PM in WIOA | Permalink
We need you to Climb the Hill with us during next month’s National Policy Seminar (NPS) to tell legislators in Washington, D.C. that career and technical education (CTE) needs their support!
The knowledge you communicate about your local CTE programs and students will be the most important information that Members of Congress and staff receive. ACTE will provide the latest updates on what is happening in Washington, the background and information on CTE positions and the support needed to ensure your visits to Capitol Hill are a success!
Participate in our First-timers Pre-session, intended for attendees who have never met with a Member of Congress or their staff. Join the New Members of Congress Breakout if you have a newly elected Member of Congress or go to the Media Advocacy Breakout to determine the best strategies for promoting your message, program and institution.
Later in the conference, ACTE staff will provide an hour-long Issues Briefing focused on the topics that Congress and the Obama Administration are discussing right now, and the schedule also includes a State Roundtable planning session for you to discuss and plan any joint meetings with your state colleagues.
Learn from someone who has been to the Hill before or use the ACTE Legislative Handbook, the resource provided to all conference attendees, intended to aide in CTE advocacy while you are at the conference and when you return home!
You will receive all the support you need. NPS provides the best professional development opportunity regarding CTE policy, advocacy and networking with your colleagues and CTE leaders from around the nation. Don’t delay, register today!
NPS Confirmed Panelists and Speakers include:
Sarah Bolton, Senior Budget and Policy Advisor, Senate Budget Committee – Majority
Dr. Anthony Carnevale, Director and Research Professor of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
The Honorable Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary, Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Mark Edwards, Executive Director, Opportunity Nation
Jamie Fasteau, Deputy Director of Education Policy, House Committee on Education and the Workforce – Minority
Tina Grant, Director, National College Credit Recommendations Service
Kim Green, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
Kristin Hamilton; Director, Standards; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
Steve Klein, Principal Investigator, NCICTE
Laura Knapp, Center Director, NCICTE
Rosemary Lahasky, Professional Staff Member, House Committee on Education and the Workforce – Majority
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), Co-Chair, Congressional CTE Caucus
Robin McLean, ACTE Teacher of the Year
Margaret Reed Millar; Senior Program Associate, Standards, Assessment and Accountability; Council of Chief State School Officers
Patrick Murray, Education Policy Advisor, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee – Minority
Liz Ross, Project Director, National Association of State Boards of Education
Martha Ross, Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program
Tom Rudin;, Senior Vice President for Advocacy, Government Relations & Development; The College Board
Thomas Showalter, Education Policy Advisor, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee – Majority
James Stone, Professor and Director, National Research Center of Career & Technical Education, University of Louisville
Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Co-Chair, Congressional CTE Caucus
Erica Williams, Senior Policy Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
For more information or to check the latest updated agenda, please visit ACTE's National Policy Seminar Web site.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 02/18/2013 at 03:10 PM in NPS | Permalink
This week, Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), the co-chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus, took to the floor of the House of Representatives in recognition of CTE Month. The co-chairs spoke of the importance of CTE and its roll in American competitiveness. They also urged their colleagues to join the bipartisan caucus to support and promote CTE in Congress.
Rep. Thompson talked about the need for Congress to invest in CTE and recognized the work of CTE professionals. “Career and technical education, while historically undervalued, helps tackle critical workforce shortages and provides an opportunity for America to remain globally competitive while also engaging students in practical, real world applications of academics coupled with hands-on work experience,” said Thompson. “I join with a bipartisan group of my colleagues in not only recognizing the importance of maintaining these federal investments for our country's future but also saying thank you to the countless men and women who make these programs possible.” His full remarks are available here.
Rep. Langevin urged congressional reauthorization of the Perkins CTE Act and discussed the role of CTE in filling the skills gap. “The most important step I believe we can take this year to support CTE is to fully reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Currently, the Perkins Act is authorized at a level set in 2010, which does not reflect the reality of a modern economy” said Langevin. “Closing the skills gap is one important step we can take to ensure workers can fit and fill the needs of expanding industries both today and in the future.” His full remarks are available here.
ACTE would like to thank Reps. Thompson and Langevin for their continued leadership of the Congressional CTE Caucus and their kind recognition of CTE Month 2013! Please urge your Member of Congress to join the caucus today!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/14/2013 at 05:35 PM in Advocacy Resources, CTE Caucus | Permalink
We are now only weeks away from devastating, across-the-board cuts to essential education and workforce training programs. If Washington does not act soon, Perkins could be facing a huge cut under sequestration beginning on March 1, 2013! ACTE is working with a large coalition of organizations representing health care, education, job training, public safety and other vital programs which are urging Congress to prevent these drastic cuts. You can help to prevent these cuts too!
Thursday, February 14, please join us for a national day of action. Reach out to your Members of Congress and ask them to support a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to CTE! Take just five minutes to make your voice heard on this important issue!
Sample Tweets: (insert your legislator’s Twitter name)
Sample Talking Points: (For use on Facebook and calls to congressional offices)
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/13/2013 at 05:37 PM in Advocacy Resources | Permalink
In the first State of the Union address of his second term in office, President Obama put forward a sweeping policy agenda that touched on many issues of national importance, including immigration, economic recovery, gun control and CTE. Throughout the hour-long speech, the president frequently returned to the themes of supporting the expansion of the middle class and reviving economic growth. As part of his proposal to meet these goals, he argued for greater career preparation and skills training for high school students with an emphasis on integrating secondary and postsecondary education. “Let’s make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job” said Obama. “Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges.”
The president specifically cited Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech), a public CTE high school in Brooklyn that is a partnership between New York Public Schools, City University of New York and IBM. P-Tech offers a six-year program that culminates in an associate degree tailored for students interested in a career in the technology industry. The president announced a proposal to incentivize and expand programs like P-Tech nationally. “I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. And we’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math,” said Obama.
In the Republican response to the president’s address, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) also spoke about the importance of CTE and its role in building the middle class and improving the economy. He called for a proposal to incentivize school districts to offer more CTE programs and pushed for greater financial aid for non-traditional postsecondary CTE students. “Today’s students aren’t only 18 year olds. They’re returning veterans. They’re single parents who decide to get the education they need to earn a decent wage. And they’re workers who have lost jobs that are never coming back and need to be retrained” said Rubio. “We need student aid that does not discriminate against programs that non-traditional students rely on – like online courses, or degree programs that give you credit for work experience.”
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/13/2013 at 05:36 PM in Executive Branch | Permalink
In a press release today, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) announced a bill designed to improve school counseling resources across the country. The Counseling for Career Choice Act of 2013 provides increased support and professional development for school counselors to have the resources and materials to help students make educated decisions about their future, whether it is a four-year university, career and technical education program in high school or other option.
The bill is being introduced as part of the reauthorization process for the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act. Counseling and guidance is an integral part of the education process and in preparing students to be college and career ready. ACTE strongly supports career counseling as a top priority during the ESEA reauthorization and has worked closely with Senator Begich’s office in the development of this bill. For these reasons, ACTE is proud to support the Senator’s legislation, and we applaud him for efforts to support career and technical education.
Because the bill has not been introduced yet, its text is not publicly available. However, Senator Begich also released a fact sheet to provide a brief overview of the bill. The Senator will officially announce the bill during a video teleconference with the Juneau Economic Development Council on February 12, and will introduce the bill in the Senate in the following days.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 02/12/2013 at 05:07 PM in ESEA | Permalink
In addition to the focus on Congress and the Obama Administration, ACTE's upcoming National Policy Seminar (NPS) will includes sessions on broader policy topics affecting the CTE community. Our session “CTE in Focus: A Place at the Table” will spotlight a few of the growing number of national organizations which now recognize the value and potential of CTE.
This session will feature Opportunity Nation, which has launched a national campaign and a shared plan to expand economic opportunity and close the opportunity gap in the United States. Career and technical education is a key part of the shared plan, and Opportunity Nation has received significant attention and support from non-profits, businesses, education institutions and others.
Also featured will be the work of The College Board. You are undoubtedly familiar with the College Board’s work on SAT® and AP®, but did you know the organization recently announced a substantial commitment to delivering high quality career technical education? Earlier this year, ACTE participated on two panels hosting by The College Board focused on rigorous CTE.
ACTE has also worked with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program as the organization researched ingredients of effective, demand-driven workforce development and career and technical education (CTE) strategies. This work is helping states and the federal government to support effective and promising bottom-up, industry-driven skills strategies.
Hear from three experts in these organizations who have been leading these efforts. Learn what they are doing and how the work has potential to impact your programs and students!
Tom Rudin, Senior Vice President for Advocacy, Government Relations & Development, The College Board
Don’t miss this session and the other dynamic sessions and activities planned for this year’s NPS. Register now to Climb the Hill with us! For more information or to check the updated agenda, please visit ACTE's National Policy Seminar website.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 02/12/2013 at 02:57 PM in NPS | Permalink
At a press conference in the White House yesterday, President Obama called on Congress to act quickly to delay the automatic, across-the-board cuts through sequestration. If Congress and the Administration are unable to reach an agreement to fix the sequester before March 1, federal funding for Perkins—along with most other education and workforce training programs—will be drastically reduced; impacting the 2013-14 school year. The president put forward few specifics on what he would like to see included in a plan to avert the sequester, beyond echoing previous demands for a “balanced approach” that consists of both increased revenue and targeted cuts.
With the deadline for sequestration fast approaching, President Obama pushed for a short-term delay that might provide more time to create a permanent fix to the sequester. He argued that allowing sequestration to go into effect would cause greater economy instability and would devastate important domestic and national security programs. “Deep, indiscriminate cuts to things like education and training, energy and national security will cost us jobs, and it will slow down our recovery. It’s not the right thing to do for the economy,” said Obama.
Congressional Republicans have resisted the idea of using any new tax revenue and argued for greater cuts in discretionary and mandatory funding to reduce the debt. “We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). He added, “The president’s sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in 10 years.”
CTE continues to be under threat of drastic cuts. Tell Congress that we need action now! Tell them that Perkins can’t afford any more cuts!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/06/2013 at 05:41 PM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding | Permalink
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