ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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Congress adjourned for its annual summer recess last week, but before leaving, there was a whirlwind of activity of interest to CTE stakeholders. Most notable was action to reauthorize the Perkins Act in the House Education and the Workforce Committee, which we’ve reported on in recent weeks. Over recess, please reach out to House members to encourage them to continue moving forward on Perkins reauthorization, as the committee activity was only the first step in the process. You can find more details about action needed in our recent legislative alert.
As the House was busy working on its comprehensive Perkins reauthorization, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee also continues behind-the-scenes negotiations on its bipartisan Perkins reauthorization bill, and still hopes to be able to introduce that bill later this summer. In the meantime, several smaller bills have been introduced by individual senators in an effort to influence that more comprehensive process.
Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Workforce Advance Act, S. 3271, which would increase the emphasis on dual and concurrent enrollment programs within Perkins through new definitions, plan requirements and uses of funds language. Sen. Hirono (D-HI) also introduced the Patsy T. Mink Gender Equity in Education Act of 2016, S .3147 (with a companion in the House, H.R. 5682), to increase the focus on equity gaps within the legislation. While ACTE has not endorsed either of these bills, we continue to work with Senate offices on how to promote these key ideas within reauthorization.
On the funding side of legislative activity, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the labor, health and human services, and education appropriations bill on July 14 on a party-line vote, right before adjourning for the summer. As we previously reported, this bill contains level funding for Perkins despite overall cuts to education programs. While both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have now approved their education funding bills, future activity is very uncertain due to the overall political climate and funding debate. It is extremely likely that Congress will approve a continuing resolution when they return in September, which could last well into 2017 and leave funding levels for the 2017-18 school year uncertain. Stay tuned for more information as discussions continue!
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 07/18/2016 at 03:56 PM in Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
I have a question about this section:
"As the House was busy working on its comprehensive Perkins reauthorization, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee also continues behind-the-scenes negotiations on its bipartisan Perkins reauthorization bill, and still hopes to be able to introduce that bill later this summer"
How will the HELP Committee introduce the bill this summer? Will they release the bill when they are on recess? Are the behind-the-scenes negotiations happening during recess?
Thank you and hope to hear back!
07/20/2016 at 03:02 PM
Thanks for your question Jan! Generally, the Senate HELP Committee releases legislation initially in a "discussion draft" format, without formally introducing it, so they could still do that this summer even though Congress is officially on recess. The staff are definitely still working toward that over the recess.
Alisha Hyslop |
07/20/2016 at 03:10 PM
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