ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« August 2013 |
| October 2013 »
Today, the Senate voted to approve the House-passed Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 continuing resolution (CR) in an effort to avert a government shutdown on October 1. As we reported earlier this week, the CR will temporarily fund federal programs, including Perkins, at the current, FY 2013 level. For Perkins specifically, federal funding was cut by 5.2 percent in FY 2013 due to sequestration. This resulted in a $58 million reduction in the federal support for CTE in the 2013-14 school year.
The Senate approved the stopgap funding measure on a party-line vote of 54 to 44. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was successful in removing a controversial provision that would eliminate all funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The Senate also moved up the expiration date for the CR to November 15.
The CR must now go back to the House where it will have to be approved before midnight on Monday in order to prevent a government shutdown. The pressure is now on House Republicans who will decide if they can accept the Senate’s changes when the bill returns to the chamber for a rare Saturday vote. If the House makes any changes of its own to the CR, including reinserting the language to defund Obamacare, it will bounce back to the Senate for another round of votes there. The clock is ticking and any delay in the process will increase the likelihood that the federal government will have to close its doors on Tuesday. Check back to the CTE Policy Watch Blog for more updates!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/27/2013 at 06:48 PM in Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
On Friday, the House of Representatives approved a Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 continuing resolution (CR) that will temporarily fund federal programs, including Perkins, through December 15. The stopgap funding bill, which passed on a mostly party-line vote of 230-189, is necessary to prevent a government-wide shutdown when the current fiscal year ends on September 30. The CR will continue funding the federal government at the current, FY 2013 funding levels. For Perkins, federal funding was cut by 5.2 percent in FY 2013 due to sequestration. This resulted in a $58 million reduction in the federal support for CTE in the 2013-14 school year.
The House-passed CR includes a controversial provision that would eliminate all funding for implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already announced that he will not go along with any effort to delay or defund heath care reform. Reid plans to use a procedural maneuver to remove the contentious language from the CR when the Senate takes up the bill later this week. If the Senate is able to pass a “clean CR” without the defunding of Obamacare, the bill will then return to the House. If the House Republicans insist on reinserting the defunding language into the CR (or any other controversial language)—despite its rejection in the Senate and a veto threat by the White House—the whole process will being all over again. With only a week to go before the fiscal-year deadline, any delay in passing a CR could result in the shutdown of the federal government on October 1. Be sure to check the CTE Policy Watch Blog for updates on the shutdown showdown and what it could mean for Perkins funding.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/24/2013 at 12:05 PM in Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
The House officially kicked off its Perkins reauthorization process today with a hearing in the House Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. The hearing was titled, “Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's Jobs: A Discussion on Career and Technical Education and Training Programs,” and focused on how effective CTE programs are meeting the needs of students and the economy.
In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chair Todd Rokita (R-IN) mentioned programs in his state at Ivy Tech’s Ivy Institute of Technology that prepare students for careers in areas such as automotives, manufacturing and welding through short-term, specialized training, but also highlighted the number of unemployed young adults. “By strengthening the career and technical education programs funded under the Perkins Act, we can help more of these young people gain an edge in the workforce,” he said
Witnesses testifying at the hearing included:
A wide range of successful programs were highlighted by the witnesses, including such elements as digital learning, apprenticeships, dual enrollment, business and industry partnerships, industry certifications, internships and other work-based learning, and programs of study. Members of Congress also asked a range of questions, with several expressing further interest in how the federal government can help to ensure all students have access to programs like the ones highlighted. Chariman Rokita also asked witnesses to respond in writing after the hearing to a question about how we ensure more consistency in CTE program quality across the country without unduly increasing the burden of the federal legislation.
Check out the twitter feed of ACTE Legislative Liaison Brendan Desetti for interesting quotes from the hearing, and read the testimony or view archived video on the committee’s website at http://edworkforce.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=349698. ACTE also asked that our recommendations for Perkins reauthorization be included in the official hearing record.
We expect that at least one more hearing will be held in the House later this fall, so stay tuned!
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 09/20/2013 at 10:29 AM in Perkins | Permalink
On September 17, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (formerly known as the Institute for a Competitive Workforce) held a conference titled "Connecting the Dots: Education, Policy, Workforce." The event focused on how to better address education and workforce issues such as the skills gap. There were many good panelists and sessions but a keynote address provided by Kimberly Hauer, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Caterpillar, really resonated with me.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in a visit to Caterpillar during the ACTE Region III meeting in Peoria where Kimberly and her colleagues hosted a terrific tour for Region III meeting attendees followed by a conversation about the worker pipeline and education-workforce connections. The Region III folks must have made an impression because Kimberly referenced them during her remarks, noting that she was humbled to meet these passionate CTE professionals and felt she "learned more from them about the state of CTE than they learned about the state of Caterpillar." She left the tour with a number of action items, and it was evident in her speech that Caterpillar, like many employers, is grappling with the challenge of finding qualified workers.
Kimberly's speech underscored the need to produce significant and sustainable change to address shortages in fields such as manufacturing and the skilled trades. She advocated that the focus on four-year degrees needs to be expanded to include multiple options for students as opposed to the "one size fits all" model that exists today, and she specifically encouraged development of programs focused on vocational skills. In addition, she made the point that the increasing emphasis on test scores is undermining the emphasis on CTE.
The message is not new to the CTE community and reflects the mission of the Industry Workforce Needs Council (IWNC) which ACTE helped to establish (Caterpillar is a member of the IWNC, by the way.). However, the public commentary from Kimberly as a lead HR professional for a large and important employer is the type of a advocacy that can help improve the issues she referenced in her speech. Kimberly said that Caterpillar advocates nationally and then works locally to improve training programs in the communities where their businesses exist. We need more employers doing the same!
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 09/18/2013 at 03:04 PM | Permalink
The Perkins reauthorization process is about to officially begin on Capitol Hill! The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education has scheduled a Perkins hearing this Friday, September 20, at 9:00 a.m. (EDIT: the hearing is now starting at 10:00 a.m.) The hearing is titled, "Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's Jobs: A Discussion on Career and Technical Education and Training Programs."
While a full list of witnesses has not been announced, two individuals that ACTE has learned will be testifying include:
The hearing is expected to focus on innovation and best practices within CTE, including elements such as dual enrollment, programs of study, and connections with business and industry. While this is just the very first official step in what is likely to be a very long reauthorization process, it does provide an opportunity for CTE leaders to share about the great strides our programs have made since Perkins was last enacted in 2006.
If you are interested, you can access a live webcast of the hearing at http://edworkforce.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=348912. ACTE will be providing live tweeting during the event using the hastags #CareerTechEd and #PerkinsCTE, and will provide detailed information on the CTE Policy Watch blog after the hearing.
Additional hearings are expected in the House in October, so stay tuned for more info!
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 09/16/2013 at 10:30 AM in Perkins | Permalink
A recent report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities highlights reductions in state funding for education since the beginning of the economic recession in 2008. As we approach the five-year anniversary of the financial meltdown that helped to spur this recession, the report shows that many states are still dealing with the lingering effects and have not yet returned to pre-recession funding levels for education.
Budget austerity in many states has resulted in deep cuts to education since 2008 and these cuts have largely persisted into the 2013-14 school year. The report finds that 34 states are providing less funding for K-12 education in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 than was available in FY 2008, based on per-student expenditures and adjusted for inflation. Among the states that have seen the deepest cuts, Alabama and Oklahoma have reduced per-student funding by over 20 percent since FY 2008. The loss of state-level support is impacting local school districts that must make up for the shortfall, often through reductions in personnel and student services.
The report also points out that reductions in federal support for education, including the across-the-board sequester cut, have worsened the budget gaps faced by local school districts. Federal funding for CTE was reduced by over $140 million between 2010 and 2012. As a result of sequestration, Perkins funds have been cut by $58 million for the 2013-14 school year. Compounding federal and state cuts in education funding puts a greater burden on schools and students. Tell Congress we can’t afford more cuts to CTE!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/13/2013 at 01:00 PM in Action Alerts, Data and Research, In the News, State and Local Issues | Permalink
On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee released the text of a Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 continuing resolution (CR) that will temporarily fund federal programs, including Perkins, through December 15. Congress has yet to approve any of the 12 full-year appropriations bills for FY 2014. A stopgap funding bill is necessary to prevent a government shutdown when the current fiscal year ends on September 30. The CR will essentially put the federal budget on autopilot for a few months, continuing funding levels from FY 2013. For Perkins, FY 2013 funding was cut by 5.2 percent below the previous year, incorporating the across-the-board sequester cut, which has resulted in $58 million reduction in the federal investment in CTE for the 2013-14 school year.
Though the House had initially scheduled a vote on the CR this week, the Republican leadership announced on Wednesday that a vote on the House floor would have to be delayed until next week. Conservative Republicans have been pushing to include a provision in the CR that would cut off funding for implementation of the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) put forward a plan to vote on a separate bill that would defund Obamacare, which would allow the CR to proceed without opposition from Democrats in Congress and the White House. House conservatives balked at Speaker Boehner’s plan, arguing that they would have greater leverage to force the defunding of health care reform as part of the must-pass CR. The Republican leadership made the decision to delay consideration of the CR until they can gain enough support to pass the bill and avert a government shutdown. Tell Congress that it is time to stop the cuts and invest in CTE! We will continue to provide updates on the CTE Policy Watch Blog as new information becomes available.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/12/2013 at 03:44 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
Lessons from College Measures, based on tracking return on investment data for postsecondary education from five states, won't be a surprise to CTE advocates: the value of short-term credentials; the importance of field of study to later earnings; and the wage potential of the T and E in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math].
According to author Mark Schneider, factors that influence earnings include degree level, degree field and from which school the degree was awarded:
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/09/2013 at 12:03 PM in Data and Research | Permalink
ACTE has been asked to share the following message about the release and feedback period for Version 4 of the Common Education Data Standards. These standards will play an important role in the incorporation of CTE and workforce development data elements in state longitudinal data systems, so we encourage you to review!
Your feedback on CEDS Version 4 CTE elements is needed! Public review comments are due 9/20.
The draft of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) version 4 has been released for public comment. CEDS 4.0 includes over 40 new and revised elements related to CTE teachers, students and programs, including professional/technical credentials, teacher certification, and work-based learning.A work group of CTE state data administrators and program specialists contributed to the element development and revision process.
To view these elements, visit https://ceds.ed.gov/elementsCEDS.aspx and select "Career and Technical" under "Filter by Domain." You can then choose to view all CTE-related elements, or just those that were new or updated for version 4. Each element shown is followed by a "Comment on this element button" that you can use to give feedback.
About CEDS 4.0
There are over 200 proposed new V4 elements, as well as some updated elements from the previous version of CEDS. In total, the proposed CEDS Version 4 includes over 1,300 unduplicated elements. The Version 4 draft spans P-20W (early learning through workforce), including additions to:
The draft elements are NOT included in the data model (DES or NDS) or the CEDS Tools (Align and Connect). Once the elements have gone through the review process and been revised as final they will be included in the models and tools with the V4 release in January, 2014.
CEDS supports the development of a common vocabulary for P-20W. It is a collection of definitions and formats for the most commonly used P-20W education data elements but does not dictate how individual data systems collect, store, and report data. CEDS is developed each year by a group of stakeholders but is also equally shaped by those that provide feedback during this public comment period.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/07/2013 at 10:33 AM in Action Alerts, Educator Development, Standards and Assessments, State and Local Issues | Permalink
With the 2013-14 school year upon us, the U.S. Department of Education announced today that states who have received a waiver from requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) may submit a renewal application to extend their waiver through 2016. Currently, waivers issued during the 2012-13 school year are set to expire at the end of this school year.
Because congressional leaders have not been able to come to any agreement on how to update ESEA since 2007, waivers were implemented by the department as way for states to find relief from certain requirements of the law, such as adequate yearly progress (AYP). In exchange for a waiver, states had to submit plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and school leadership.
To receive a waiver renewal, states will need to be able to demonstrate that they are:
Additionally, the renewal process will require states to make any needed modifications to their originally approved plans to improve student learning or quality of instruction. For instance, the department will be placing a heavy emphasis on states implementing new teacher evaluation systems to ensure low-income and minority students are not taught at higher rates by ineffective teachers than their peers.
If your state has previously been issued a waiver, you can find more information on the renewal process on the department’s website. In the coming month, the department will release additional guidance and provide technical assistance for states seeking a renewal.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 09/03/2013 at 05:25 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner