ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« May 2013 |
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STEM is portrayed as the arena of the highly educated-bachelor's and advanced degree holders-but a recent Brookings report shares that half of STEM jobs are for workers with less than a four-year degree. CTE educates youth and adults for many of the occupations described in The Hidden STEM Economy.
Here are a few key findings:
The report also summarizes federal, state and local initiatives that focus on STEM education:
The authors note that STEM investment has been focused on higher levels of education and training, and urge stakeholders to make STEM education spending more equitable by increasing investments in secondary-level and community college STEM education.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/28/2013 at 12:01 PM in Data and Research, STEM | Permalink
Recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 funding level, known as a 302(b) allocation, for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. From the $165 billion total, the committee will now divide up funding for individual programs like Perkins.
House appropriators approved their allocation in late May, which is 26 percent below the Senate at only $121 billion. The level is so low because the House set an overall discretionary funding total that is $91 billion below the Senate— an $18 billion reduction from the current FY 2013 level. The House budget also shifts all the burden of the sequester cuts from defense programs to non-defense programs, including funding for education and workforce development.
As a result of the large difference between the House and Senate funding allocations, the two chambers will likely produce radically different appropriations bills. The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to begin consideration of the FY 2014 Perkins funding bill the week of July 8. Tell your Senators and Representative that it’s time to make investing in CTE a priority!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/27/2013 at 04:53 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
Throughout the spring, Congress has been involved in numerous discussions about a comprehensive immigration bill. The Senate is current debating its bill, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. While the majority of this bill has no direct impact on CTE, there are a few elements with key implications.
First, ACTE is working with Sen. Wyden to on an amendment he is offering to the bill related to occupational data. To capture a better understanding of the modern workforce and how to improve the education to workforce pipeline, Sen. Wyden is proposing that occupation data be added to the wage records provided by employers in order to administer the unemployment insurance (UI) program. If this amendment were to be approved and ultimately enacted, CTE programs would have access to administrative data about whether or not their students were placed in employment opportunities related to their training. Currently, the only way to get this information in most of the country is through surveys. Adding an occupational code to UI wage records would be a much more efficient and effective way to collect such data. Read the letter we signed in support of the amendment here.
Second, the bill provides new resources for STEM education by establishing a STEM Education and Training Account funded by fees related to immigrant employment visas. The new account would provide funding to STEM-related education programs, including in the CTE areas of engineering and IT. A large portion of the available funding (70%) would be directed to general activities in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary STEM programs, with an additional 5% for statewide workforce development programs in STEM areas.
Finally, there are new reports of the possible inclusion of a summer jobs program in one of the amendments currently being negotiated. The new program, designed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is modeled after the American Jobs Act, and titled "Jobs for Youth." It would provide $1.5 billion from guest worker and green card fees to states to develop summer jobs programs for individuals age 16-24. The goal of the program is to offset any potential negative repercussions of the overall bill on youth employment opportunities.
ACTE will be following the bill closely as debate wraps up in the Senate, and also weighing in on related activities in the House as they develop.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 06/24/2013 at 11:30 AM | Permalink
On June 20, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee held it first hearing on reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in the 113th Congress. Authorized in 1998, WIA authorizes the overarching federal workforce development system, which is comprised of programs such as adult and youth job training and adult education. The Act was due for reauthorization in 2003, but Congress has not been able to come to an agreement on a new bill.
While yesterday's hearing had a heavy focus on vocational rehabilitation services and English language proficiency courses provided through adult education, several Senators, including Franken (D-MN), Enzi (R-WY) and Sanders (D-VT), provided support for industry-recognized credentials. The Senators all spoke about the importance of training job seekers for in-demand careers and ensuring trainees are earning credentials to verify their skills. They also emphasized the importance of the nation's community and technical colleges in providing job training services for the workforce investment system.
Witnesses for the hearing also highlighted the importance of trainees earning credentials and programs leading to in-demand careers. Witnesses included:
Video of yesterday's hearing is available on the committee's website.
The HELP Committee is poised to introduce a bipartisan reauthorization bill in the coming weeks, which will be followed shortly thereafter by a markup. Previously, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed a reauthorization bill, the SKILLS Act, in March. The SKILLS Act narrowly passed the full House 215-202.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 06/23/2013 at 05:35 PM in WIOA | Permalink
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan announced two new flexibility waivers for states under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A letter was sent to all Chief State School Offices with details on the waivers.
The first new waiver applies to states that already have ESEA waivers (a waiver to a waiver!) and have pledged to link teacher and principal evaluation systems to the new common core assessments. The waiver would allow states one additional year, until the 2016-17 school year, to apply consequences to personnel as a result of student performance on the new assessments. States would have to request the extra year individually, and the Department of Education would accept requests on a state-by-state basis. Only states with waivers granted before the summer of 2012 are eligible, since states with later waivers (Alaska, Hawaii, West Virginia) already have the extra time built in to their plans.
The second waiver relates to states that are piloting the new common core assessments with some students this school year. Those states would be able to avoid "double-testing" students who are involved in the pilot by only administering one assessment-the old one or new one. Since the new assessments are not ready for use in accountability systems yet, schools in the pilot would continue under their current accountability designation with appropriate requirements/interventions.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 06/20/2013 at 05:37 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
Education Secretary Arne Duncan appeared before the Senate Budget Committee to talk about the Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request for education. As we previously reported in April, the Administration requested funding Perkins at $1.1 billion, equal to the pre-sequestration level from FY 2012. Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) used the hearing to highlight her efforts to replace sequestration and hammered House Republicans on their FY 2014 budget for its deep cuts in education.
Murray and Duncan were in agreement on the need to replace the across-the-board sequester cuts with a balanced solution, as proposed in the White House and Senate Democrat FY 2014 budget plans. Sequestration will result in a $58 million reduction in Perkins funding, impacting the 2013-14 school year. “Sequestration, which was never intended to take effect and was written into the bipartisan Budget Control Act to bring both sides to the table ready to compromise, is starting to hit children and students hardest in communities across the country,” said Murray. “These children and students did not cause the debt and deficit challenges we are focused on addressing, but under sequestration they bear one of the largest impacts of the cuts.”
Regarding the House FY 2014 budget, Duncan indicated that the plan would reduce federal education funding by 18 percent on top of the sequester cut. The House budget disproportionately shifts the burden of those cuts to domestic discretionary programs, including education and workforce development. Sen. Murray argued that the House funding levels are “unworkable” and “would mean we couldn’t even consider new investments in our students to make sure they can compete in the global economy.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) turned the discussion to college completion and the lack of emphasis on non-degree CTE programs at the postsecondary level, which offer certifications, certificates and licenses. “We have too narrow a view of higher education” said Kaine. “I don’t think we are yet doing a good enough job of really explaining, incentivizing, funding and planning the right way for post high school education to include career and technical offerings.” Duncan responded that his goal is to ensure that everyone graduates from high school prepared for some form of postsecondary education, which includes non-degree CTE programs.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/19/2013 at 05:13 PM in Federal Funding, Perkins, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
Last week, Chairman John Kline (R-MN) of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Committee released legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and announced a full committee markup of the proposed bill, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5).
The Student Success Act is a combination of three bills passed by the committee in the previous Congress, the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act, the Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools Act, and the Student Success Act, with a few changes.
The new bill includes some positive changes for CTE including the repeal of NCLB’s “High Quality Teacher” provisions, inclusion of CTE teachers in the planning and implementation of Title I and allowing occupational skill development and work-based learning as acceptable uses of Title I funds. Despite these good provisions, the bill still does not fully support the “career-ready” aspect of learning.
ACTE would like to see the following changes in Chairman Kline’s bill:
ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) circulated a letter yesterday to the chairman and other members of the committee to highlight our areas of support and concerns.
The committee markup will be held tomorrow, June 18. ACTE will be monitoring amendments offered, and will report the outcome when the markup concludes. Brendan Desetti, ACTE’s legislative liaison, will also be live tweeting the event for members, @CTEchief.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 06/18/2013 at 05:38 PM in ESEA | Permalink
This week, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) announced that he would reintroduce the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act (H.R. 2368). ACTE helped to develop this legislation and we are proud to endorse the newest version of the bill!
The GREEN Act provides for a new $100 million competitive grant to develop CTE programs of study curriculum focused on emerging careers and jobs in renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change mitigation. Additionally, the bill encourages the development of career and technical education facilities that are energy efficient and promotes the use of renewable energy practices.
“These new and exciting clean energy technologies have enormous potential to grow our economy and move us towards a sustainable energy future,” said Congressman McNerney. “it’s more important than ever that we take steps to create these new clean energy jobs and provide training for American workers to compete in this field.” Career and technical education programs offer flexibility and responsiveness to economic and workforce needs, placing CTE in a prime position to serve the growing and evolving green energy industry. Please contact your Representative and ask them to become a cosponsor of the GREEN Act!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/14/2013 at 05:14 PM | Permalink
Earlier this week, the Department of Labor announced the grant winners in the latest round of its Workforce Data Quality Initiative. This is the third round of grants, designed to help states build or expand their longitudinal data systems to better link workforce and education data and enhance the effectiveness of employment and training programs. The six states that were awarded grants in this round include:
Ohio and Virginia will be expanding on work already begun, while the other four states will use the grants to develop their workforce longitudinal databases. Overall, grantees will focus on the following goals:
All of these goals will benefit CTE as we work to better provide evidence of our programs’ success. To learn more about the Workforce Data Quality Initiative and prior grantees, visit http://www.doleta.gov/Performance/workforcedatagrant09.cfm.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 06/14/2013 at 11:36 AM in Data and Research, Executive Branch, Federal Funding | Permalink
In blog posts this week on the Department of Education’s Homeroom blog, career and technical education took a front and center role as a great example of initiatives by high schools to improve student performance. These blogs are part of a series pushing President Obama’s high school redesign initiative, a proposal for a new competitive program to “encourage school districts to… focus on providing rigorous real-world experiences to students that will put them on a path for succes in both college and careers.”
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Aviation High School in Long Island City, New York, where students prepare for careers in the aviation maintenance and aerospace industries. The CTE programs at Aviation have strong business and industry ties, offer experential learning and are highly integrated with core academic courses. All of these factors help students continually outperform on academics, according to United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.
Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, visited Cleveland High School in Seattle, Washington, where CTE curriculum focuses on project-based learning and connecting students with mentors around the community. Cleveland High School also prides itself on graduating its students truly college and career ready with the academic, employability and technical skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education and a career.
It is important to note that the President’s high school redesign initiative is just a proposal. It is not authorized by law and is highly unlikely to receive funding from Congress in today’s fiscal “belt tightening.” Many of these ideas could be incorporated into other legislation though, and ACTE is working to include more focus on career readiness and academic/CTE integration in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and to restore funding for Perkins to a level that could support more high-quality CTE programs.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 06/13/2013 at 05:40 PM in Career Readiness, Executive Branch, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
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