ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« February 2017 |
Members of Congress have reintroduced a bipartisan bill that aims to improve access to higher education for secondary students through dual and concurrent enrollment programs. The Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act (MEAA) was re-introduced in the 115th Congress by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Boozman (R-AR) and Al Franken (D-MN) in the Senate (S. 718), and by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Tom Reed (R-NY) in the House (H.R. 1710).
Career and technical education is an important component to dual and concurrent enrollment programs. A report by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics on the 2010-11 school year showed that 82 percent of the nation’s public high schools had students taking dual credit courses, and in 59 percent of those schools, students participated in dual credit courses with a CTE focus.
According to a press release from Senator Peters’ office, the bill would use funds provided under the Higher Education Act to provide grants to postsecondary institutions to:
ACTE has endorsed the bill, and Executive Director LeAnn Wilson issued the following statement upon the bill’s introduction:
“Rigorous, high-quality career and technical education provides millions of students with opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials through concurrent and dual enrollment programs. The Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act (MEAA) will strengthen the secondary-postsecondary transition for high school CTE students pursuing college credit and will support professional development activities for CTE teachers. ACTE is pleased to endorse MEAA and thanks the bill’s sponsors for their leadership.”
Similar bills were introduced in the House and Senate last year. ACTE continues to work closely with policymakers on Capitol Hill to enhance access to high-quality career and technical education.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 03/24/2017 at 03:55 PM in Advocacy Resources, HEA, In the News, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), the co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional CTE Caucus, are asking their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to join them in supporting strong federal funding for CTE in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations bill. Lawmakers who support CTE should sign this letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging a strong federal investment in Perkins.
Perkins funding serves millions of secondary, postsecondary and adult CTE students nationwide, but it has not kept pace with the growing demand for high-quality programs. Over the past decade, total Perkins grant funding to states declined by 13 percent--nearly $170 million less in funding to support CTE. More needs to be done to support our high schools, tech centers and community colleges.
As we recently reported, President Trump’s FY 2018 budget request would cut billions in federal support for K-12 education, higher education and job training. We need as many members of the House as possible to sign this letter to help ensure that Congress recognizes the importance of funding CTE. Please take a few minutes to help us in this effort. Contact your representative using the CTE Action Center and urge him or her to sign on today!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/21/2017 at 04:51 PM in CTE Caucus, Federal Funding | Permalink
On March 9, the Senate followed the House by voting to overturn regulations issued by the Obama Administration to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Using the Congressional Review Act, Senators voted to repeal the regulations relating to accountability and state plans, which had been issued last November, by a vote of 50-49.
With the submission of state plans looming, this repeal left uncertainty among education leaders as to next steps in ESSA implementation. To fill the void, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a scaled-down state plan template on March 13. Other materials, including a set of frequently asked questions, a letter to Chief State School Officers and a crosswalk to the previous state plan template, are included in the guidance package as well.
The documents state that “The revised template includes only those descriptions and information that the Secretary has determined are absolutely necessary for the Department’s full consideration of each State’s consolidated plan.” However, many education stakeholders have expressed concern about elements no longer included in the plan requirements, particularly the elimination of requirements to describe stakeholder involvement.
The deadlines for state plan submission—either April 3 or September 18, remain the same. However, states that choose the April 3 deadline may have until May 3 to allow the state’s governor time to review the plan submitted under the new template, as required by the statute. States may also choose to submit their plan using an alternative template, developed in conjunction with the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 03/20/2017 at 02:40 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
Recently, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Todd Young (R-IN), co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, reintroduced the Educating Tomorrow's Workforce Act (S. 628). The announcement came during a reception and CTE student fair hosted by the Caucus, ACTE and Project Lead the Way as part of our National Policy Seminar 2017.
The legislation builds on the effectiveness of the programs of study model in Perkins by establishing a rigorous definition for CTE programs of study. The bill would also introduce a comprehensive needs assessment and key program quality element, including professional development for CTE educators, work-based learning opportunities, up-to-date equipment and technology, and opportunities for students to earn postsecondary credit in high school. ACTE proudly endorses the Educating Tomorrow's Workforce Act and applauds the Senate CTE Caucus co-chairs for their continued leadership.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/20/2017 at 02:14 PM in CTE Caucus, Perkins | Permalink
Forty-two governors have delivered their 2017 State of the State addresses, and CTE has emerged as a principal issue. CTE was the second most popular education topic mentioned in governor’s State of the State addresses, according to the Education Commission of the States, after school financing.
CTE and workforce development was addressed by 24 governors in their addresses between the first of the year and early March, including the following:
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/20/2017 at 08:52 AM in State and Local Issues | Permalink
As part of ACTE’s National Policy Seminar, on March 14th attendees spent the day meeting with their Members of Congress to share ACTE's legislative priorities and to underscore the importance of federal funding for CTE. That evening, the Senate CTE Caucus hosted a reception, co-sponsored by ACTE and Project Lead The Way (PLTW), that highlighted student projects. PLTW schools from Wisconsin, Ohio and Virginia all attended. Unfortunately, four other schools were unable to attend due to inclement weather. However, talented CTSO students from Indiana, Iowa and Georgia who were in Washington for NPS attended in their place.
For the first time in memory, all four Senate CTE Caucus co-chairs attended the reception and gave remarks that highlighted CTE’s role in bolstering American competitiveness and strengthening the 21st century economy. The caucus co-chairs; Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN); also announced the introduction of the Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act which would raise the quality of CTE programs.
ACTE President Lorri Carlile and PLTW’s Government Relations Director Ed Dennis also spoke at the event.
Click below to scroll through the entire photo album from the reception below. Learn about NPS 2018 or find information from NPS 2017 here.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 03/17/2017 at 09:50 AM in CTE Caucus, In the News | Permalink
ACTE, NPS, PLTW, Rob Portman, Tammy Baldwin, Tim Kaine, Todd Young
Today, the White House released President Trump’s initial budget framework (known as a “skinny budget”) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. While it does not include the Administration’s requested funding levels for Perkins (a more detailed plan is expected in late spring), it does provide a troubling preview of the president’s funding priorities for the coming fiscal year.
Though the proposal is touted as a “blueprint to make America great again,” it is anything but when it comes to supporting education and job training. As we previously reported, the president will request a $54 billion increase in defense spending to be offset largely with cuts to domestic programs. Specifically, the budget would cut $9 billion (13 percent) in total from the Department of Education. The Administration boasts of eliminating or reducing over 20 federal education programs, including 21st Century Community Learning Centers after-school programs, Teacher Quality Partnership Grants for teacher education, Federal Work Study student aid, and ESSA Title II funds to support effective educators. The plan includes some targeted increases focusing heavily on the Administration’s “school choice” initiatives. Though the document is scarce on policy details, it proposes $250 million for a new private school voucher program and an additional $1 billion for ESSA Title I for the purpose of incentivizing states to adopt “portability” in school funding.
Workforce development programs at the Department of Labor would also be on the chopping block. The department would be cut by $2.5 billion (21 percent) overall. The budget suggests unspecified cuts to WIOA state grants and argues for shifting more of the burden for funding job training services to states, localities and employers.
Again, while no information on proposed Perkins funding was included in this outline, the overall reduction in funding and lack of details is not promising. The president has pledged to expand “vocational and technical education” in his first 100 days in office. Cutting funding will only reduce access to opportunities for young people and displaced adult workers who want to develop their skills, grow their knowledge and pursue a rewarding career. Moreover, the budget is the first test of this Administration’s commitment to supporting high-quality CTE. Take a few minutes to tell President Trump about the importance of investing in CTE through Perkins. Remind him that we cannot cut our way to a 21st century workforce!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/16/2017 at 02:41 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
How can short-term programs be evaluated to ensure they provide a quality experience and positive outcomes for students? A recent paper from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) describes the existing processes for evaluating quality for postsecondary education and workforce training, and analyzes how well these quality assurance processes apply to short-term programs.
The paper assesses how well quality assurance mechanisms such as accreditation, gainful employment regulations, Registered Apprenticeship requirements, eligible training provider (ETP) lists and state-developed industry credential lists work when applied to short-term programs, based on seven criteria:
The paper concludes that no current quality assurance processes are ideal for short-term occupational programs, and recommends that federal financial aid policies support short-term programs that:
In addition, WDQC recommends that federal Pell Grants be expanded to short-term programs that meet the criteria above and include 150 to 600 clock hours of instruction over a period of at least eight weeks. The U.S. Department of Education should certify eligibility every three years.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/12/2017 at 01:06 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
The president’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget request to Congress could include significant cuts to federal funding for education. The annual request serves to outline of the Administration’s funding priorities for the coming fiscal year and could be used by Congress as a blueprint in crafting its appropriations bills. While funding FY 2017 remains unfinished, the Trump Administration initial FY 2018 budget framework (known as a “skinny budget”) is expected next week—with a more detailed plan to come in late spring.
The White House has indicated that it will request a $54 billion increase in defense spending for FY 2018. This increase would have to be offset with cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending, which comprises the funding for all domestic programs, including Perkins, HEA, WIOA and ESSA. That cut would amount to approximately 10 percent of all NDD spending, which would likely result in cuts to many domestic programs and cause a major setback in federal funding of education and job training. ACTE has joined with the NDD United coalition to urge greater funding for critical programs like Perkins. You can send a message to your Members of Congress in support of Perkins funding here.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/06/2017 at 01:44 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
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