ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
Since the House Education and the Workforce Committee passed its version of Perkins back on July 7, support has grown for that bill and the reauthorization process generally. Many industry groups, as well as educators, are interested in seeing a new Perkins signed into law.
In an Op-ed in The Hill, Mac MacCarthy, senior vice president for the Software & Information Industry Association, voices support for many areas of the bill, including programs of study, work-based learning, the new local needs assessment and business and industry connections. He also emphasizes the importance of funding the law adequately to meet business and industry needs:
These reforms are vital if we are to adequately prepare students for the realities of the workforce today and tomorrow. But at the same time, a serious policy for providing students with skills and employers with a pipeline of qualified employees must include serious funding levels. Despite the fact that our workforce challenges have gotten more complex – and will continue to do so – the legislation calls for a CTE funding level that is more than $5 million below FY2007. While it does increase funding over current levels, there can be no doubt that a greater commitment will be needed.
The American Farm Bureau Federation got in on the action as well, sending a letter encouraging the law’s swift passage. In a post on Morning Ag Clips, AFPF President Zippy Duvall emphasized “A skilled workforce is needed in rural America, just as it is in urban and suburban communities.”
As we at ACTE prepare for Congress to return later this fall and move forward on Perkins, we worked with our partners at Advance CTE to prepare a comprehensive summary of the House bill. Please take some time this summer to review the summary and let us know if you have any questions or concerns!
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 07/25/2016 at 04:16 PM in Perkins | Permalink
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
On July 7, the House Education and the Workforce Committee voted unanimously to approve a Perkins reauthorization bill, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587), sponsored by Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), co-chair of the House CTE Caucus, and Katherine Clark (D-MA). The bipartisan committee bill is the first comprehensive reauthorization of Perkins to be considered by Congress in a decade.
“Today, we’ve taken another important step to ensure every American has access to the skills and education they need to compete in the workforce,” said committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN). “Career and technical education has placed countless individuals on the path to success, and this bipartisan legislation will empower more individuals to follow that same path.”
ACTE has endorsed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, and we are pleased that the bill includes many of our policy priorities and legislative recommendations to strengthen the CTE system around the country. Our letter of support can be accessed on ACTE’s website.
Please take a few minutes to send your thanks the members of the committee for their support, and urge the rest of House of Representatives to act on the bill without delay!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 07/08/2016 at 04:21 PM in Perkins | Permalink
House Committee on Education and the Workforce leaders announced today that they will consider their Perkins reauthorization bill on Thursday, July 7th, at 10:00 am. The committee markup is the next step in the legislative process for the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, introduced last week. The markup will be webcast at http://edworkforce.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=400898.
We have been working very closely with the Committee and are pleased that the bill includes many of ACTE’s recommendations for Perkins, which we believe will strengthen the CTE system around the country. While we are still working through some key technical concerns, this bill is a strong step in the reauthorization process and we are urging the committee to approve it and continue working toward a full reauthorization. Our formal letter to the committee regarding the bill can be accessed on ACTE’s website.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 07/05/2016 at 09:26 PM in Perkins | Permalink
On Tuesday, June 28, the House Education and the Workforce Committee released the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The legislation, sponsored by House CTE Caucus co-chair Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA), marks the first step in the Perkins reauthorization process.
ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson and Advance CTE Executive Director Kimberly Green released a joint statement Tuesday applauding the bipartisan approach taken in drafting the legislation, as well as the progress to reauthorize this critical law.
Several other education and workforce stakeholder organizations responded to the bill’s introduction as well:
In addition to published statements, several policy-focused media outlets have carried the story forward. POLITICO included a summary of the action in its daily rundown, Morning Education, and Education Week published a full story on the new bill on its Politics K-12 blog.
To learn more about the bill’s text and major changes, click here to read our previous coverage. ACTE will remain engaged on this important issue and continue to report on the process on the Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 06/30/2016 at 02:50 PM in In the News, Perkins | Permalink
On June 28, the House Education and the Workforce Committee announced its much-anticipated bill to reauthorize the Perkins Act, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, sponsored by Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), co-chair of the House CTE Caucus, and Katherine Clark (D-MA). The bipartisan committee bill is the first comprehensive reauthorization of Perkins to be considered by Congress in a decade.
“The importance of career and technical education has grown exponentially across the country since the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act was passed unanimously by Congress in 2006,” said Thompson. This well-engineered and robust reauthorization aims to close our nation’s skills gap by creating clear pathways to education and training for students eager to pursue careers in vital technical fields.” ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson applauded “our partners in Congress for their work to begin the Perkins reauthorization process in releasing this bill, as well as the spirit of bipartisanship that has made that work possible.”
The bill text, detailed summary and fact sheet are available online.
The bill seeks to streamline Perkins and better align it with other education and workforce development laws, including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and Every Student Succeeds Act. It incorporates many of ACTE’s Perkins reauthorization priorities. ACTE is still reviewing the full text of the bill and will be providing more information in the coming days, but highlights from the bill include:
The committee is expected to take up the bill in the coming weeks. Check back to the CTE Policy Watch Blog for more analysis and updates.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 06/28/2016 at 06:37 PM in Perkins | Permalink
On June 15, the Department of Education released new guidance in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter on gender equity in CTE, particularly focused on both Perkins and Title IX requirements. The letter was written jointly by the Department’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR), “to make clear to recipients that all students, regardless of their sex or gender, must have equal access to the full range of CTE programs offered…This letter serves to support and inform recipients by clarifying the legal obligations to ensure equitable access to CTE programs, and by providing examples of issues that may raise concerns regarding compliance with these obligations.”
The requirements in the letter are not new, as it goes on to state, “This guidance does not add requirements to applicable law, but provides information and examples to inform recipients about how the Department evaluates whether covered entities are complying with their legal obligations.” Topics covered in the letter are comprised of federal funding Recipients’ obligations to prevent and remedy sex discrimination in CTE programs, including:
In addition, a set of examples is included around recruitment and promotional activities, admissions, access to classes and schools, counseling, pregnant or parenting students, and sex-based harassment. Additional technical assistance resources and information on promising practices is expected to be released soon.
If you have any questions or concerns about how this guidance might affect your programs, please let us know!
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 06/24/2016 at 04:57 PM in Executive Branch, Perkins | 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
On Monday, June 6, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and ACTE Educational Institution Member Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) held a briefing on Capitol Hill on the importance of community colleges in preparing students for success. SLCC President Deneece Huftalin joined a panel of experts to share with congressional staff the need for federal policies, including the Higher Education Act (HEA) and Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, to support postsecondary students in pursuing their education.
During the event, panelists emphasized the particular considerations and circumstances that affect community college students but are often overlooked in federal policy discussions. Community college students tend to be older than their counterparts at four-year universities, are often balancing their studies with full- or part-time work, and are often first-generation college attendees. These different circumstances necessitate different policy prescriptions to support community college students, such as reforming financial aid policies (particularly those related to Pell Grants) to support short-term job training programs and improving federal data collection systems to reflect the accomplishments of individuals who are not first-time, full-time students.
ACTE echoes the need for increased recognition of the importance of community colleges in providing postsecondary education to millions of students nationwide. To learn more about ACTE’s recommendations for HEA reauthorization, click here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 06/07/2016 at 01:43 PM in HEA, Perkins, Postsecondary Issues | 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
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