ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
This week, the Senate continues to debate and amend the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177)—a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). As we previously reported, the House approved its ESEA reauthorization bill, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), by a razor thin 218-213 vote last week. While the Senate is expected to complete its work later this week, here is an update on some of the important CTE provisions that have been considered so far.
When the Every Child Achieves Act was brought to the Senate floor last week, it included new provisions on promoting integrated academic and CTE content in the classroom and expanding college and career guidance programs--ACTE has been promoting these provisions and working with Members of Congress to ensure their inclusion in the bill. In Title I of the bill, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) championed the inclusion of language that allows local educational agencies to support programs that promote integrated academic and CTE content through coordinated instructional practices, including opportunities for experiential learning. Additionally, his language highlights the need for dual or concurrent enrollment opportunities that enable students to earn postsecondary credit or a credential and access comprehensive career counseling to facilitate their transition from secondary to postsecondary education, and ultimately into the workforce.
The Title II educator professional development section of the bill features a new section that encourages states and school districts to support specialized professional development opportunities focused on integrating academics and CTE. It will allow school districts to offer professional development that helps teachers to identify linkages across subjects, while providing common planning time to coordinate lesson plans and pedagogy. A new section of Title IV of the bill allows school districts to offer college and career guidance programs, which may include career awareness and exploration activities. It also provides schools with the opportunity to develop personalized learning plans and train counselors on how to best utilize labor market information in counseling students. Both provisions were added with the support of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
In addition, we have been working on several other amendments. The Senate adopted an amendment offered by Sens. Kaine, Merkley, Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Tim Scott (R-SC) to recognize CTE as a core academic subject. Along with English, science, math, foreign languages, art, history, music and others, CTE will be counted among the critical subjects that contribute to the college and career success of all students. The chamber also approved an amendment sponsored by Sens. Kaine, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, to allow states to include career readiness indicators in state accountability systems that will give schools recognition for preparing students for postsecondary education and the workforce. Both amendments were approved with unanimous support and are key portions of ACTE's efforts to better incorporate CTE into ESEA. We will continue to provide updates on ESEA reauthorization on the CTE Policy Watch blog. Contact your Senators to urge support for CTE in ESEA!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 07/14/2015 at 05:41 PM in Action Alerts, ESEA | Permalink
House and Senate appropriators will continue consideration of their respective Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 education funding bills this week.
The House Appropriations Committee will hold a markup of its Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations bill on Wednesday—it was passed on a party-line vote in subcommittee last week. We have recently learned that the bill proposes level funding for the Perkins Basics State Grant at $1.118 billion, which is a major achievement considering that education funding overall is reduced by $2.8 billion. Perkins National Programs would be funded at $3.8 million, which is $3.6 million below the current level. There will be no funding for the Administration’s proposed American Technical Training Fund in the bill—an amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to fund this program was defeated in subcommittee. Though overall funding for the Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor is cut by $196 million, formula grant programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for youth, adults and dislocated workers are level funded in the bill. It also includes several policy provisions to prohibit the Department of Education from moving forward with regulations to establish a college ratings system, place new requirements on teacher preparation programs or implement its gainful employment rule.
In addition, today, the Senate Labor-HHS-ED Appropriations Subcommittee will begin work on its funding bill, to be followed by full committee consideration later this week. Though it is not yet known how much the Senate bill will provide for Perkins, tight budgetary caps for FY 2016 make it likely that many education and workforce training programs will be cut or frozen at current funding levels as they were in the House bill.
With such an important week for FY 2016 Perkins funding ahead, please take a few minutes to contact your Members of Congress and let them know that funding CTE is a top priority!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/23/2015 at 04:10 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding | Permalink
Happy CTE Month! Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, have invited their colleagues to sign a resolution officially recognizing February as CTE Month in the United States. We need your help to encourage your Senators to sign the resolution, so our leaders in Congress will be aware of CTE Month and the many benefits that CTE programs bring to America’s students!
Take action by contacting your Members of Congress using the CTE Action Center or by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and tell them to add their name to the resolution to officially recognize February as CTE Month!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 02/17/2015 at 10:28 AM in Action Alerts, CTE Caucus | Permalink
While the 113th Congress will officially draw to a close early next year, the actual legislative calendar leaves little time to address a mounting list of important issues. The Independence Day recess, month-long August recess and the midterm elections have whittled away the days that the House and Senate will technically be in session in the coming months, and lawmakers have little more than a month of working days in Washington from now until Election Day in November. Members of Congress will be spending a lot of time in their states and districts, which will provide great opportunities for CTE advocates to connect directly with policymakers. For ideas and tips on connecting with legislators, please consult our Advocacy Toolkit. Here is a summary of the upcoming recess schedule:
House on Recess
Senate on Recess
June 27-July 7
June 30-July 4
August Work Period/Labor Day
August 1-September 5
August 4-September 5
October 3-November 11
What’s left on Congress’ plate? The 12 annual appropriations bills must be approved to keep the federal government up and running. This issue is a particularly pressing concern because the fiscal year ends on September 30. As we reported last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee has indefinitely postponed work on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, which includes funding for Perkins. Moreover, House appropriators have not even set a date to begin consideration on their bill. While it’s unlikely that we will see another government shutdown in the fall, a stopgap Continuing Resolution may be necessary to extend current funding levels several weeks or months past the fiscal year deadline.
The reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) appears to be nearing the finish line very soon. The House and Senate may hold votes on final passage of the bipartisan bill in June and July. The reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the Perkins CTE Act are unlikely to be completed in the 113th Congress, but expect more hearings and proposed legislation on these issues before the end of the year.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/23/2014 at 04:32 PM in Action Alerts, Advocacy Resources | Permalink
This week, senators who support CTE will have the opportunity to sign a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging a strong federal investment in Perkins for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. This effort is being led by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), who are asking their colleagues to join them in supporting federal funding for CTE in the FY 2015 appropriations bill.
We recently reported on a similar appropriations letter effort in the House of Representatives. With the help of CTE advocates nationwide, there was strong, bipartisan support from 87 members of the House! We need to keep up the momentum and make sure that the Senate also recognizes the importance of funding CTE. Please take a few minutes to contact your senators and urge them to sign today! Quick action is critical—the deadline for senators to sign the letter is Thursday, April 3!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 04/01/2014 at 02:56 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding | Permalink
This week, lawmakers who support CTE will have the opportunity to sign on to a letter to the House Appropriations Committees urging a strong federal investment in Perkins for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. This effort is being led by Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), the co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional CTE Caucus, who are asking their House colleagues to join them in supporting federal funding for CTE in FY 2015 appropriations bill.
Federal Perkins funding is currently more than $140 million lower than in FY 2010. Over 20 states are receiving funding allocations at or below the levels they received in 1998. Perkins as the principal source of federal funding for CTE is working to build the capacity of secondary and postsecondary institutions to offer CTE programs that are academically rigorous and aligned to the needs of business and industry. However, funding has not kept pace with growing demand.
Congress has acted to reverse most of the harmful, across-the-board sequester cut to CTE in FY 2014, but more needs to be done to support high schools, tech centers, community colleges, employers and CTE students nationwide. Federal resources that support career education and workforce training should be directed to established and proven programs, like Perkins, that increase access to high-quality CTE for all students.
We need as many members of the House as possible to sign this letter to help ensure that the appropriations committee recognizes the importance of funding CTE. Please take a few minutes to help us in this effort. The deadline for your Member of Congress to sign on is March 31. Contact your representative and urge them to sign today!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/19/2014 at 02:51 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding | Permalink
Following the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, which will restore most of the sequestration cuts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, Congress has now turned its attention to creating an appropriations bill that will set funding levels for individual programs like Perkins. The House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations subcommittees, which have jurisdiction over funding for education and workforce development programs, will determine which individual programs get funding restored within the overall total increase available.
Last week, ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the appropriations subcommittees, urging them to restore funding for Perkins to the pre-sequestration level as part of the FY 2014 appropriations bill. ACTE will continue to work with the committees to ensure that Perkins funding is restored, but they need to hear from you too!
Connecting with lawmakers through Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets is a quick and easy way to spread the message of restoring Perkins funding! Click on the names of the members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees to find information on contacting them through social media. Take just a few minutes to send a tweet, post on Facebook or share our funding infographic.
Jack Kingston (R-GA) – chairman
Tom Harkin (D-IA) – chairman
Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) – ranking member
Jerry Moran (R-KS) – ranking member
Hal Rogers (R-KY)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Mike Simpson (R-ID)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-NY)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Steve Womack (R-AR)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Mike Honda (D-CA)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
David Joyce (R-OH)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Andy Harris (R-MD)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sample Facebook Posts:
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 01/02/2014 at 05:12 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding | Permalink
As we reported last week, Congress approved a budget agreement, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, that will restore most of the sequestration cuts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. Congress must now begin the task of setting funding levels for individual programs like Perkins before the current funding bill expires on January 15. It will be up to the appropriations committees in the House and Senate to determine which individual programs get funding restored within the overall total increase available. The Bipartisan Budget Act has helped to alleviate some of the harmful sequester cuts, but there is still more work to be done to ensure that Congress acts to restore funding for CTE specifically.
Today, ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations subcommittee, which have jurisdiction over funding for education and workforce development programs, urging them to restore funding for Perkins to the pre-sequestration level as part of the FY 2014 appropriations bill.
“The erosion of Perkins has hurt high schools, CTE centers, community and technical colleges, employers and millions of CTE students nationwide,” wrote ACTE Deputy Executive Director Steve DeWitt and NASDCTEc Executive Director Kim Green. “We cannot cut our way to a 21st century workforce! Instead, Perkins funding must be restored to meet the needs of CTE programs around the country and ensure students are fully prepared for their future academic and career goals.” The full text of the letter is available here.
ACTE and NASDCTEc will continue to work closely with congressional appropriators to ensure that Perkins funding is restored. Please help us in our efforts by taking a few minutes to contact your Members of Congress and let them know that it is time to make investing in CTE a top priority!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 12/23/2013 at 05:48 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
Yesterday, the Senate approved a budget agreement, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, by a vote of 64-36. The budget deal will replace a total of $63 billion of sequester cuts over two years. For FY 2014, this will effectively restore an estimated 87 percent of the cuts that were put into place through sequestration last year. The overall discretionary funding cap for FY 2014 is $1.012 trillion, with $492 billion for funding non-defense programs that include education, workforce training and CTE, an increase of $24 billion over current levels.
Congress must now begin the task of setting funding levels for individual programs like Perkins before the current funding bill expires on January 15. It will be up to appropriators in Congress to determine which individual programs get funding restored within the overall total increase available. The Bipartisan Budget Act has helped to alleviate some of the harmful sequester cuts, but there is still more work to be done to ensure that Congress acts to restore funding for CTE specifically. Sequestration resulted in a $58 million cut in the federal support for Perkins in the 2013-14 school year, and our goal is to get those cuts restored!
Contact your Members of Congress and tell them to restore Perkins funding to $1.1 billion, equivalent to the pre-sequester level, as part of the FY 2014 appropriations bill. Tell them that it is time to make investing in CTE a top priority!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 12/19/2013 at 01:18 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
Today, the Senate approved a procedural measure to advance the budget agreement, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The procedural vote will allow the bill to proceed to a vote on final passage this week. As we previously reported, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget agreement was reached by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) after weeks of negotiations in the budget conference committee. The House passed the Bipartisan Budget Act by an overwhelming vote of 332-94 on December 12, before the chamber adjourned for the holiday recess. The Senate is expected to vote on final passage of the bill as early as Wednesday.
The agreement would replace a total of $63 billion of sequester cuts over two years. For FY 2014, this will effectively restore an estimated 87 percent of the cuts that were put into place through sequestration last year. The overall discretionary funding cap for FY 2014 would be $1.012 trillion, with $492 billion for funding non-defense programs that include education, workforce training and CTE. Please take a few minutes to contact your Senators and urge them to support the Ryan-Murray Bipartisan Budget Act!
If the budget agreement is approved in the Senate, the appropriations committees will begin the task of setting funding levels for individual programs like Perkins before the current funding bill expires on January 15. ACTE, with the support of CTE advocates nationwide, will continue to push Congress to restore funding for Perkins!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 12/17/2013 at 06:00 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding | Permalink
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