ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced $50.5 million in federal discretionary grant funding to expand the availability of registered apprenticeship programs. The ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants will award 33 grants ranging from $700,000 to $3.2 million to states in order to help expand and integrate apprenticeship opportunities, including through connections with education and workforce systems. The grants will enable states to increase their efforts to market apprenticeship programs to new sectors and populations, increase their outreach to business and industry partners and innovate new approaches to the model.
“The Obama Administration is ‘all in’ on apprenticeship for a simple reason: it works,” said DOL Secretary Thomas Perez in a release on the announcement.
States applying for consideration must submit their applications by September 7, 2016, and can access additional information here. The funds are a part of DOL’s broader $90 million funding strategy announced in April to strengthen the apprenticeship system nationwide, and build on the Obama Administration’s previous investment of $175 million in 2015.
ACTE values the contributions of apprenticeship programs in preparing more students for college- and career-success, and will continue to monitor federal grant opportunities to expand both these and other promising models of CTE.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 06/27/2016 at 04:19 PM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding, In the News | Permalink
On Friday, June 17, Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, announced the 10 recipients of the CTE Makeover Challenge, which awarded $20,000 to 10 high schools nationwide to create “makerspaces,” dedicated, formalized facilities for making things that can range from classrooms to libraries. As we previously reported on the Policy Watch Blog, the grants presented an opportunity for CTE programs to upgrade their labs and equipment within the grant opportunity’s defined parameters. More than 640 schools from across the country entered the competition, and the winning 10 programs will be featured during the World Maker Faire in New York City in October, 2016.
The winning programs are:
Funding for the grants was made possible through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act’s National Programs initiative.
Of the more than 640 schools from across the country that entered the competition, 10 high schools were awarded a $20,000 grant to create “makerspaces” to enhance their CTE programs.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 06/17/2016 at 03:15 PM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, following on the heels of the subcommittee that passed the bill earlier in the week. The bill proposes level funding for both the Perkins Basic State Grant at $1.118 billion and Perkins National Programs at $7.4 million. Thanks to the efforts of CTE advocates nationwide, the committee chose to maintain state grant funding for CTE in the bill, despite tight budget caps for domestic programs and a $220 million cut in education funding overall!
The bill also proposes a restoration of year-round Pell grants, which would allow students who have exhausted their award for an academic year to receive aid for an additional term (the Pell maximum award would also be increased from $5,815 to $5,935). Restoring year-round Pell is a major higher education policy priority for ACTE as it will help students at community colleges and tech centers to more quickly complete their postsecondary education. Additionally, the committee approved $100 million to continue a grant program, first funded in the FY 2016 appropriations bill, intended to accelerate and expand state apprenticeship strategies and grow the use of apprenticeships in new industries.
Unfortunately, one of the largest federal workforce training programs did not fare so well. The formula grant programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for youth, adults and dislocated workers were all slated for cuts, a nearly 3 percent reduction overall, in the bill. It’s unclear if or when the bill will be taken up by the full Senate, and the House has not yet unveiled its FY 2017 education funding bill for FY 2017, so CTE advocates should continue to contact their lawmakers to urge a strong investment in Perkins!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/10/2016 at 01:08 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
Next week, the Senate Appropriations Committee will begin consideration of its FY 2017 funding bill for education and workforce training. This committee will be making initial decisions about how much funding Perkins and other programs will receive next year. The Perkins Basic State Grant program is currently funded at $1.118 billion, but tight budgetary caps for the coming fiscal year may result in many education programs being cut or frozen at current levels in the bill!
Thanks to the efforts of CTE advocates nationwide, 150 Members of Congress, including 32 Senators, signed letters in support of increased funding for Perkins earlier this spring. Now take a few minutes to contact your Senators (particularly those listed below who are members of the committee) and let them know it’s time to realize the goal of increasing our investment in CTE!
Senate Appropriations Committee Members
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Steve Daines (R-MT)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Christopher Coons (D-DE)
Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
William Cassidy (R-LA)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
James Lankford (R-OK)
Christopher Murphy (D-CT)
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/03/2016 at 01:44 PM in Action Alerts, Federal Funding | Permalink
The House Education and the Workforce Committee today held a hearing to discuss strategies for Perkins reauthorization that will lift up promising models to serve all students with high-quality CTE. Witnesses included Dr. Monty Sullivan of the Louisiana Community Technical College System (an ACTE Educational Institution Member), Mr. Paul Tse of Shapiro and Duncan, Mr. Jason Bates of Toyota Bodine and its Advanced Maintenance Technician Co-op) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA).
Sen. Kaine, a co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus, spoke at length about his passion for CTE before his colleagues in the House, and highlighted several pieces of legislation that he and his fellow co-chairs have introduced to support CTE students. Specific pieces Sen. Kaine referenced included the Middle STEP Act, Educating Tomorrow's Workforce Act, Creating Quality Technical Educators Act and JOBS Act, which would connect CTE students at all levels with additional federal resources and support. Kaine also highlighted the importance of including CTE in the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and alignment with other federal education and workforce preparation policies.
Other themes that emerged during the hearing included career guidance support, dual and concurrent enrollment opportunities, industry partnerships and career exploration activities in middle grades. In addition, some members pointed to the critical need for greater federal investment in Perkins to further strengthen our national CTE system. Overall, members of the committee emphasized the important bipartisan nature of Perkins and these reauthorization principles, and expressed optimism that there may be a path forward for a reauthorization bill before the end of this Congress. Check back soon for additional photos from the hearing!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 05/17/2016 at 05:06 PM in CTE Caucus, Federal Funding, In the News, Perkins, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced the second round of the of the Performance Pilot Partnership (P3) program. P3 enables pilot sites to test innovative strategies to achieve significant improvements in educational and employment outcomes for disconnected youth. A joint effort among seven federal agencies, P3 allows these agencies to enter into partnership agreements with states, local or tribal governments that provide for additional flexibility in using discretionary funds across multiple federal programs. Interested applicants can submit a notice of intent to apply by May 26, with applications due on June 27. Federal agency representatives will host an informational webinar on May 9, and the full notice is now available online.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 04/29/2016 at 04:24 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
The U.S. Department of Education announced the start of the latest and final round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition. This 2016 i3 competition will provide a total of $103 million to partnerships of schools districts and nonprofit organizations to develop and implement innovative educational strategies. The announcement included new funding priorities and a pre-application for the competition’s “development” grant category, which supports promising proposals. This year's project funding priorities include promoting diversity, implementing college- and career-ready standards and assessments, improving school climate, improving students' mastery of non-cognitive skills and behaviors, and serving rural communities. Pre-applications for the development grant competition must be submitted by May 25.
Additionally, the department will begin competitions for the i3 “validation” and “scale-up” grant categories later this spring. More information on the i3 program is available on the department’s website.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 04/26/2016 at 01:50 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
On Monday, April 25, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, announced the White House's new investment of $100 million to power the America's Promise Job-Driven Training grants (America's Promise Grants). This new competitive grant program will provide funds to create and expand partnerships between employers and community colleges or other community-based job training organizations, in hopes of providing more unemployed or underemployed Americans tuition-free education that will prepare them for high-skill, high-demand careers. The initiative is slated to begin this summer, and will be administered by the U.S. Department of Labor using funds from the H-1B visa program.
The grants, according the White House's press release on the initiative, are intended to assist employers and job training programs to create work-based learning, internship and paid work experience programs. They will be available to begin new partnerships as well as to bring existing ones to greater scale.
This new program joins several others in the White House's portfolio on "upskilling," its effort to prepare more low-skilled or underemployed individuals for career success, including efforts around registered apprenticeship and higher education affordability. The America's Promise Grant program is an extension of the America's College Promise initiative that President Obama announced during his 2015 State of the Union address (often referred to as free community college), which has spurred more than $70 million in new investments to cover the cost of tuition for students through public private partnerships.
ACTE will monitor and share additional details on the program as they become available, including the grant’s application timeline and process.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 04/26/2016 at 10:30 AM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding, In the News | Permalink
Late last year, the FY 2016 federal appropriations bill provided $90 million to expand apprenticeship programs through the ApprenticeshipUSA program. The Department of Labor is working to implement this new investment, and last week announced its initial plans for investing in state apprenticeship strategies. Through this new announcement, $9.5 million is being made available for AprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grants, which can be used by states to “develop strategic plans and build partnerships for apprenticeship expansion and diversification.”
A range of activities can be supported, including the following (summarized by our partners at National Skills Coalition):
Up to $250,000 will be available per state for a two-year time period. Governors are instructed to identify the appropriate state agency for application, and those applications from states are due on May 15, with awards expected to be made later that month. Later this year, an additional $50 million State Expansion Grants Competition will be announced to help states scale-up their efforts to expand apprenticeship.
For more information, including investment timelines and future activities under the ApprenticeshipUSA initiative, please visit http://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 04/25/2016 at 05:00 PM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Recently, the U.S. Department of Education provided guidance to states and school districts on available federal funding that can support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs. The letter issued by the department outlines opportunities within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Perkins Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to use federal funds to supplement STEM education efforts. Specifically, the letter addresses ways to:
For example, the department notes that Perkins funds can be used to support collaborations with business and industry to offer work-based learning opportunities for careers in STEM fields. Additionally, funds provided through Title II of ESSA can be used for educator professional development on incorporating technology into STEM instruction. The full letter is available here.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 04/14/2016 at 11:36 AM in ESEA, Executive Branch, Federal Funding, Perkins, STEM | Permalink
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