ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« June 2013 |
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After a short markup lasting just 25 minutes, with only one amendment offered, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved of the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) by a bipartisan vote of 18-3. The Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356) makes a much needed overhaul of the WIA federal job training system which has not been reauthorized since its original implementation in 1998.
The bill includes positive priorities for programs to culminate in recognized postsecondary credentials and that program offerings are aligned with in-demand careers in local areas and regions. Additionally, the bill eliminates the “sequence of services” provision that requires trainees to progress through a series of job search assistance before becoming eligible for actual skill training services.
ACTE and NASDCTEc submitted a joint letter to the HELP committee recommending additional updates to the WIA system that would better align it with CTE programs at postsecondary institutions and reduce burdens on training providers, such as:
ACTE’s biggest concern with the approved bill though is the inclusion of a one-stop center infrastructure funding mechanism, which would require one-stop center partners , including Perkins funded CTE programs, to surrender 1.5 percent of their funds to WIA infrastructure. This mechanism would result in a $17 million loss to Perkins funds.
The next step for this bill is to move to the full Senate for another round of debate and amendments before a final vote to approve. ACTE will continue to press the Senate to remove the infrastructure funding mechanism from any final bill, but we need your help as well.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 07/31/2013 at 05:23 PM in WIOA | Permalink
Early Wednesday the House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed the Supporting Academic Freedom Through Regulatory Relief Act, H.R. 2637, by a somewhat bi-partisan vote of 22-13. The bill repeals several recent higher-education-related regulations and implements a provision which allows schools to use third-parties for student recruitment services.
The first repeal is of the state authorization regulation, which requires institutions to be authorized by each state in which they operate. Portions of this rule related to distance education had already been vacated by the court system.
The second repeal is of the credit-hour definition, a regulation that included a standard measurement of a unit which students are enrolled in. A credit hour is typically measured as one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester, with equivalents for clock-hour and alternative programs.
The third repeal was that of the gainful employment regulation, requiring specific performance data to be collected by institutions and then used to determine institutional eligibility for federal aid. The gainful employment data tracks information such as the amount of debt incurred, the on-time graduation rates, the cost of each program, and the placement rate of each student. Portions of this regulation have also been struck down by the court system.
Additionally, the bill allows for an institution to hire a third-party for student recruitment services as well as other services.
The advocates for the bill, including the American Council on Education, argued that these regulations are burdensome, inflexible and are driving up the cost of tuition. Opponents argued that the bill opens up loopholes for institutions to abuse taxpayer dollars and opens up the system to waste, fraud, and abuse. They believe that the regulations are necessary to protect students.
While the bill may be considered by the full House, it is unlikely the Senate will take up the legislation, and even more unlikely that it will ever pass. However, it does provide important insight into discussions that will likely occur during the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 07/26/2013 at 02:04 PM in HEA, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Yesterday, Sen. Patty Murray and Ranking Member Johnny Isakson of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety introduced the bipartisan Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 2013 (S. 1356).
Originally authorized in 1998, the WIA program set up a nationwide job training system for unemployed and underemployed people to find job training programs and other job-search assistance. The program has been up for reauthorization since 2003, but Congress has not been able to come up with a solution to update the program for today’s global, ever-changing economy.
The bipartisan bill introduced yesterday makes a variety of updates to the 1998 law including:
Despite these positive changes, ACTE has concerns over several aspects of the bill, most notably the one-stop center infrastructure funding mechanism. The mechanism would allow states to use 1.5 percent of funds from the required one-stop partners, including postsecondary Perkins programs, to fund the cost of a one-stop center. This would equate to approximately $17 million in Perkins administrative funds being made unavailable.
Additionally, ACTE would like to see accredited education providers automatically approved as a WIA training providers and state CTE directors included as mandatory members of the state workforce boards.
The bill is currently scheduled for a markup in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Wednesday, July 31 at 10am. ACTE will continue to make these comments to the HELP committee, and the CTE Action Center has been updated with an email for CTE stakeholders to send to their Senators to protect CTE funds from the infrastructure mechanism.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 07/25/2013 at 05:24 PM in Perkins, WIOA | Permalink
The House Appropriations Committee has announced that they will postpone the markup—the committee hearing where a bill is debated and amended—of the House Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, which includes funding for Perkins. We reported earlier this week that the committee markup is one step in the long path toward a final FY 2014 funding amount for Perkins. The committee has not announced Information on the rescheduling of the markup and has not released the text of Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, which was reportedly almost complete.
Earlier this month, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill that funds Perkins at $1.1 billion for FY 2014—equivalent to the pre-sequestration level! Unfortunately, the House overall FY 2014 funding level for Labor-HHS-Education programs of $121 billion is $28 billion, or almost 19 percent, below the current level. This is going to make it extremely difficult for any programs to receive adequate funding.
Congress will have to pass some kind of funding measure before the end of September, so it’s very important that your Members of Congress continue to hear from you on the importance of investing in CTE. Federal support for CTE is already far below what is necessary to meet the needs of local CTE programs and the students they serve. Since 2010, Perkins funding has been reduced by over $100 million, with an additional $58 million cut through sequestration for the 2013-14 school year. With the threat of deeper cuts still to come, we need your help to ensure the best funding allocation possible for Perkins. Let Congress know that it is time to make investing in CTE a priority!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 07/25/2013 at 04:30 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
Update: The Committee Markup of the House 2014 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill has been Postponed indefinitely. Please Check the CTE Policy Watch Blog for Additional Updates.
This week, the House Appropriations Committee will begin consideration of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, which will include funding for Perkins! Federal support for CTE is far below what is necessary to meet the needs of local CTE programs and the students they serve. Since 2010, Perkins funding has been reduced by over $100 million, with the threat of further cuts through sequestration for the 2013-14 school year.
This markup is a critical step in the long path toward a final FY 2014 funding amount for Perkins. Unfortunately, the House overall FY 2014 funding level for programs of $121 billion is $28 billion, or almost 19 percent, below the current funding level. This is going to make it extremely difficult for any programs to receive adequate funding.
Earlier this month, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill that funds Perkins at 1.1 billion for FY 2014—equivalent to the pre-sequestration level! To ensure that the House appropriators provide the best funding allocation possible for Perkins, they need to hear from you again! Please take a few minutes to let them know:
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 07/23/2013 at 12:10 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding, Perkins, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Today, the House of Representatives finished debate and held a final vote on the Student Success Act (HR 5). The bill is the latest attempt to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA is the overarching federal policy on K-12 education and provides funding for low-income and rural students as well as teacher preparation.
The Student Success Act dramatically overhauls ESEA by striking several of its key provisions, including Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In addition, it eliminates the Race to the Top program, one of the Obama Administration’s signature education programs, and would prevent the Department of Education from encouraging states to adopt the Common Core State Standards.
The bill did make several positive changes for CTE, such as including CTE teachers on state Title I implementation committees, allowing cross subject professional development opportunities and repealing the Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT) provision, which made it difficult for mid-career professionals to move into the teaching profession.
In addition to those changes, Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) offered an amendment during the floor debate to encourage states to include data on career and technical skill proficiencies of students in the state report cards currently required by law. This amendment was based on a similar measure introduced by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) during the Senate ESEA markup last month, and would help students, parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers understand the connection between CTE, graduation rates and postsecondary success.
ACTE worked closely with Rep. Benishek in introducing the amendment, which was adopted without objection on a bipartisan basis. The Student Success Act passed the whole House on a party-line vote (221-207). It was the first time a full ESEA reauthorization advanced to the floor in either the House or Senate in over a decade.
Lastly, we want to give a big thank you to all of the ACTE members who wrote to their representative using the CTE Action Center. Your efforts helped make the Benishek amendment a success.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 07/19/2013 at 05:25 PM in ESEA | Permalink
Yesterday, the Senate approved, on a party-line vote of 54-46, the confirmation of Thomas Perez as the next secretary of labor. Prior to being nominated by President Obama for the top job at the Department Labor, Perez served as assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice. He will fill the vacancy left by former-Secretary Hilda Solis who announced her departure in January after four years in the Obama Cabinet.
The Department of Labor is responsible for overseeing many federal employment and training initiatives, including programs authorized under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Additionally, the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, Registered Apprenticeship system, Job Corps and Employment Service Grant program fall under the department’s jurisdiction.
President Obama heralded Perez’s confirmation on Thursday after the vote to approve the nominee was held up in the Senate for several months. "Tom has lived the American dream himself, and has dedicated his career to keeping it within reach for hardworking families across the country,” said Obama. “At the Department of Labor, Tom will help us continue to grow our economy, help businesses create jobs, make sure workers have the skills those jobs require, and ensure safe workplaces and economic opportunity for all.”
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 07/19/2013 at 04:38 PM in Executive Branch, In the News | Permalink
Over the last year, ACTE has been in conversation with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) as the organization begins the process of revising its national CTE Standards. ACTE featured the work during our National Policy Seminar and are pleased to announce NBPTS will be hosting a breakout session during CareerTech VISION 2013. This is an important process which has great implications for the CTE profession.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is accepting applications for the committee responsible for reviewing and revising Career and Technical Education Standards. To access the online application go to http://www.nbpts.org/standards-revision. The application will be available starting July 15 through August 9, 2013.
Please visit the NBPTS website for information about the duties and responsibilities of standards committee members. ACTE encourages all interested individuals to apply. For assistance or additional information please contact the National Board at email@example.com.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 07/19/2013 at 03:06 PM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
Today the House of Representatives will be voting on amendments to the Student Success Act reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI), in conjunction with ACTE, is introducing an amendment requesting schools report on the career readiness of its students.
Already collected under the Perkins Act, Rep. Benishek’s amendment would make these career readiness measures, such as credential and skill attainment, available on school report cards in addition to graduation rates required under current law.
To ensure this important amendment is adopted, we need you to reach out to your Representative and tell him or her to vote for Rep. Benishek’s career readiness amendment.
Phone Talking Points:
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 07/18/2013 at 05:28 PM in Career Readiness, ESEA | Permalink
Earlier today, Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) introduced a CTE amendment to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), the House bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The amendment encourages states to include information on student achievement of career and technical proficiencies on their state and school report cards. Thanks to the efforts of advocates around the country that have worked to show Congress the importance of CTE student achievement, it was adopted on a bipartisan basis!
Modeled after a similar amendment offered by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to the Senate's ESEA reauthorization bill, the amendment makes data currently collected under the Carl D. Perkins CTE Act more accessible and decipherable by students, parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers. These measures will help those stakeholders better understand the connection between CTE, graduation rates and postsecondary and workforce success, and help us promote our programs' achievements.
ACTE worked closely with Rep. Benishek in introducing the amendment, and is supportive of his efforts to better align CTE programs under the Perkins Act with the ESEA. We appreciate the grassroots action of everyone who contacted their Members of Congress today in support of this amendment!
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 07/18/2013 at 05:27 PM in ESEA | Permalink
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