Navigating CTE During COVID-19: Remote Learning-Delivering Postsecondary Education

June 1st, 2020

The spring of 2020 saw postsecondary institutions close out semesters remotely due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The transition to distance learning was quick, forcing postsecondary systems and colleges to shift lesson plans and instruction methods in real-time. As the spring semester comes to a close, many colleges are expecting that the summer and fall semesters (at a minimum) will be delivered remotely as well- either in entirety or in some kind of hybrid. 

An article by Inside Higher Ed explored methods and challenges for delivering culinary, arts and Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs remotely. One instructor shares that he is trying to make the most of the online instruction by teaching the fundamental skills that learners will need to master the hands-on elements later in the program. Colleges are experimenting with transitioning courses into research and reading-based rather than hands-on learning, to accommodate the switch to remote education. Others are recording videos of themselves doing the work that the students would have been replicating. Instead of requiring students to mimic a technique, they may be required to write about what they learned.  

Across the country, postsecondary systems are doing what they can to support colleges. The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has a publicly available webpage with links to online Career Technical Education (CTE) resources to use during Coronavirus. The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) has been cognizant of the full support services higher education students need during this time. One large component of this is ensuring all students have access to reliable internet. WTCS colleges are doing everything from providing free WiFi on campus, to extending WiFi access to parking lots so that students with cars can study from their vehicles. WTCS colleges are also striving to continue campus services remotely- such as counseling. Colleges are also making use of the campus food supply that is no longer needed. One institution donated all food, while another set up a food pantry.  

As colleges prepare for the summer and fall semesters, there are many considerations of how to deliver high-quality programs remotely. A survey of over 800 higher education administrators and faculty across 600 institutions by Bay View Analytics found that 97 percent of surveyed faculty had never taught online before, and 56 percent were using new instruction methods. This means that shared resources and professional development are needed now more than ever. Sharing out promising practices and strategies through publicly accessible websites is one way that the CTE postsecondary community can support each other.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

May 29th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

WEBINARS OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE kicked off the Summer Learning Series on Thursday, May 28th, 2020, with a webinar covering how state CTE leaders can ensure each learner has opportunities for career success and is supported in identifying and realizing their career goals. National experts shared how CTE systems should be constructed to close equity gaps during and after the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The webinar recording can be viewed here

In addition, NCLA co-hosted a webinar with the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Presenters discussed school re-entry in the fall,what can be done to compensate for class time that has been missed, and how the current pandemic will alter education in the near future and beyond. The webinar recording can be viewed here.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

The U.S. Department of Education announced the first round of approvals of Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) state plans. We congratulate the following six states: Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. View this Twitter feed for a key point from each state’s plan that will contribute to the local and national economic recovery. 

The U.S. Department of Education also announced the second round of approvals of Perkins V state plans. We congratulate the following nine states: Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming 

EDUCATION INNOVATION OF THE WEEK 

One CTE teacher in Colorado turned their backyard into a crime scene lab for criminal justice students. Another supplied lumber to students for at-home renovation projects. Boulder Valley School District teachers have demonstrated their creativity and are sharing how they have made their curriculums work in an online format. View the article here, published by Boulder Daily Camera. 

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

This resource is a comprehensive guide that builds on research from Advance CTE’s  “Connecting the Classrooms to Careers” series to help states develop and implement a statewide vision for work-based learning. The guide provides key considerations and guiding questions to walk states through the steps of building and scaling a high-quality work-based learning system, drawing on examples from states such as Tennessee and West Virginia to highlight innovative solutions to common challenges.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Navigating CTE During COVID-19: Principles for Supporting Work-Based Learning in COVID-19

May 27th, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has brought many challenges to Career Technical Education (CTE) over the past few months. One of the most persistent challenges has been providing work-based learning experiences – which offers an opportunity to reinforce and deepen classroom learning in a real-world setting – to learners amidst a health pandemic that has shut down much of the nation’s economy. With their doors closed, many businesses have had to cancel or indefinitely postpone any work-based learning programs. 

Amid these challenges, the response by schools, colleges, employers and work-based learning intermediaries has been largely ad-hoc. In some cases, employers have been able to maintain their summer internship commitments by onboarding and supporting interns remotely, just as if they were part of their staff who are already working from home. Certain industry engagement opportunities can be sustained virtually through video conferencing platforms. However, such piecemeal solutions can exacerbate inequities and further contribute to learning loss. 

As states address work to ramp up work-based learning and scale remote opportunities, they should consider the following principles:  Quality, Equity, Mentorship and Breadth. These principles should help establish a clear statewide vision for what work-based learning can look like in times of continuous disruption with a set of common expectations and resources for those managing work-based learning experiences on the ground. 

Reaffirm Quality: Learners should continue to be engaged in real work experiences that are aligned to their program of study and have opportunities to interact with colleagues and learn from professionals in the field. States can leverage intermediaries and build their capacity to support this principle. To ensure work-based learning experiences remain high-quality, states should maintain the high expectations they set for work-based learning experiences and:

  • Ensure that all work-based learning experiences require a strong training plan that focuses on technical and employability skill development. The learner, their instructor and employer should have clear expectations of what that training plan is. 
  • Encourage strategies for building relationships such as:
    • Assigning projects that can be completed remotely
    • Creating opportunities for regular check-in calls
    • Setting up opportunities for regular feedback. Feedback should not only support learner technical competency development but also employability skills- communication, teamwork, etc. 
    • Arranging virtual networking opportunities 
  • Develop and/or maintain a systems- and student-level approach to assessing equitable access, student participation and learning, and the overall quality of remote work-based learning programs. This includes assessing and disaggregating student and industry participation, student learning and attainment of knowledge and skills. Given the challenge of staying engaged in a distant environment, it may also be important to consider additional measurements such as tracking the number of engagements an employer has with the learner. 

Equity: Technology is the most obvious way to offer remote experiences along the work-based learning continuum. However, technology is not easily applicable to most career pathways and not all students have reliable access to broadband connections. Also, technology may not always be adaptable for students with special needs. States can promote equity by:

  • Examining demographic data to see which learners are getting access to remote internship and youth apprenticeship opportunities
  • Encouraging work that can be done remotely, without internet access.
  • Regularly checking in with local districts to help build capacity, if necessary (with an intentional focus on rural and urban districts)
  • Encouraging employers to continue offering paid internship and youth apprenticeship experiences or ensuring learners can earn academic credit as compensation for their work. To encourage compensation and relieve financial pressures put on employers to hire and compensate learners, states could:
    • Maintain employer incentives for offering work-based learning opportunities through tax credits or related policy levers.
    • Align existing summer youth employment programs with work-based learning activities.

Mentorship: Building relationships and networking is one of the most valuable experiences of any work-based learning opportunity. For economically disadvantaged learners, these relationships help build invaluable social capital that they can leverage throughout their careers.  As best as possible, states should promote these in-person networking experiences that a learner might receive in a traditional setting by:

  • Developing guidelines and templates for remote mentorship, including  mentor agreements that define the roles of the student, mentor and instructor
  • Identifying and making available technology that allows for virtual networking
  • Partnering with the state workforce agency, chambers of commerce and other industry associations to build remote micro-industry engagement opportunities such as virtual lunches and staff meet and greets at scale

Breadth: Some CTE programs of study, such as those in the Information Technology Career ClusterⓇ, are easier than others to transition to remote or virtual learning. While attending to all programs of study, states should address work-based learning experiences in the industry sectors that are more difficult to deliver in a remote or virtual environment. Intentional collaboration with industry experts, local businesses and chambers of commerce representing these priority CTE programs of study is one way to address this gap. Some approaches to expanding remote or virtual work-based learning opportunities to other Career Clusters include:

  • Investing in simulated work-based learning. West Virginia’s simulated workplace program has demonstrated strong outcomes, and many programs have weathered the transition to remote learning through creative solutions. 
  • Investing in virtual reality equipment or at-home laboratories to provide students with hands-on experiences.

These principles are intended to guide states in setting a vision for what work-based learning can look like in light of continuous economic and academic disruption. Given that these challenges are likely to persist for the foreseeable future, states have to rethink the way they deliver work-based learning. There must be intentionality behind providing remote work-based learning programs that maintain the same high standards as a traditional experience and extend opportunity to all students across geography or socioeconomic status. These principles are proposed to be the floor, not the ceiling, to what is possible during these novel times. States can build on these principles to create a policy environment that supports the needs of industry and puts learners to work. 

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

Check out this resource from Advance CTE, Connecting Classrooms to Careers: A Comprehensive Guide to the State’s Role in Work-Based Learning, to learn more about setting a statewide vision for work-based learning in your state!

This Week in CTE

May 22nd, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

States are increasingly innovative in their use of technology during the pandemic to deliver CTE to learners across the country. Here are two great stories of how CTE continues despite social distancing and stay-at-home orders. 

VIRTUAL FACILITIES TOUR OF THE WEEK

In North Carolina, the cosmetology program at Union County Public Schools created a virtual tour of their facilities for prospective students and their families. 

VIRTUAL CAREER EXPLORATION TOUR OF THE WEEK

Career counselors in Ohio have switched gears from in-person business tours for CTE concentrators to a virtual week-long career exploration tour with local businesses. Students were able to tour the facilities and speak with a professional in the industry where they were provided the opportunity to ask questions about education, skills and on-the-job activities. Read more in the article from The Business Journal of Youngstown, Ohio.

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

One factor contributing to the alignment of CTE programs to the workforce is the equipment made available to students. In California, new robotics equipment has arrived! The robotics program is open to students across the Shasta Union School District, making this new equipment accessible to all program concentrators. Learn more in this article by KRCR News.

PODCAST OF THE WEEK

CTE is going to be essential to the economic recovery of our nation. One school district in the state of Virginia is already getting a head start on framing the conversation of what high-quality CTE looks like and sharing its robust programs to students, families and the community. Listen to episode four of their podcast, HENRICO CTE NOW, as they discuss the energy career cluster. 

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

This study from the Online Learning Consortium examines six institutions in the United States that are experimenting with alternative credentialing strategies to provide flexible learning opportunities, including digital distance learning and prior learning assessments. View more resources such as this in our Learning that Works Resource Center

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

We encourage you to let your representative know that you support including CTE funding and flexibilities in the next stimulus bill by following the quick prompt here

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Legislative Update: First Perkins Plans Approved and Federal Response to COVID-19

May 22nd, 2020

The first round of approved state Perkins V plans were announced today. Read below to learn about which states were granted approvals, as well as the continuing federal response to COVID-19 and the 2020 Presidential Scholars. 

ED Approves First Round or Perkins State Plans

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that the first six state plans under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) have been approved. Perkins V was signed into law on July 31, 2018. Since then, states have submitted and implemented one-year transition plans. Now, states are awaiting approval of the full four-year state plan. The six approved states are Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. ED provides a few highlights from each plan here

Stimulus Package Passes in the House

Late May 15, the House passed a new stimulus bill in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800) is a $3 trillion relief package that includes measures such as funding for state and local governments, support for Coronavirus research, unemployment assistance, an additional round of individual direct payments and expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program. 

The HEROES Act also includes $100.15 billion for education, comprised of $90 billion in formula grants to states for K-12 education and $10.15 billion for higher education. It also provides $3.1 billion for the U.S. Department of Labor, with $2 billion allocated for worker training. 

This bill has some of the Career Technical Education (CTE) provisions that were in the previously introduced Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA), which Advance CTE supports. Specifically, the HEROES Act includes:

  • Flexibility at the state and local levels during the pandemic for retention of funds so that funds not used during the 2019-2020 school year because of Coronavirus can be retained; 
  • Flexibility for local Perkins recipients to pool funds for supporting secondary to postsecondary or employment transitions for CTE students whose academic year was changed because of Coronavirus; and 
  • Waives some of the professional development requirements during the pandemic. 

However, the HEROES Act does not include CTE-specific funding (which was also part of RAWA). All educational programs have been impacted by Coronavirus, and CTE programs are no exception. CTE programs are also expected to play an important role in economic recovery, especially to reskill and upskill individuals. It is imperative that secondary, postsecondary and adult CTE learners are able to access high-quality CTE programs during the pandemic.  

Next, the Senate will take up the HEROES Act. However, the Senate has conveyed that it will not happen until after the Memorial Day recess at the earliest. In the meantime, we encourage you to let your representative know that you support including the full RAWA CTE related pieces in the next Coronavirus relief bill by following the quick prompt here.

Senate Introduces Broadband Bill

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY, Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Emergency Educational Connections Act of 2020– which has 36 cosponsors. This bill would allocate $4 billion to ensuring that all K-12 students have internet access during Coronavirus through the E-Rate program. Advance CTE is pleased to support this bill.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

Navigating CTE During COVID-19: How New Hampshire is Addressing Access Gaps

May 19th, 2020

The homework gap refers to the potential inequality in access to broadband infrastructure and internet-accessible devices that can affect low-income and rural students disproportionately. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has highlighted and deepened the digital divide.

According to a report by the Pew Research Center, roughly 63 percent of Americans in rural settings have broadband internet access at home, 12 percent less than the national average. Rural learners are less likely to have internet-accessible devices besides a smartphone. The ability to provide equitable access and deliver content to all learners is an issue that if they weren’t already, rural schools and districts are grappling with now in light of all instruction taking place online. 

New Hampshire has created innovative approaches to address internet access and online instruction, with one of the greatest successes involving opening up lines of communication with new stakeholders. Early in the Coronavirus pandemic, a few large internet service providers, such as Xfinity, removed the subscriber requirement for access to their wifi hotspots. However, in rural northern New Hampshire, these hotspots didn’t exist and smaller local companies and local service providers filled this role with similar products. Direct outreach by the state’s Commissioner of Education to local companies and service providers resulted in a 95 percent success rate in either opening wifi access or lifting previous download limits. Additionally, through the Commissioner’s outreach, eligibility for Xfinity’s program for free or reduced-cost internet for low-income individuals was expanded, and users with previous outstanding bills that were formally ineligible for this program could now have access.

Having internet access alone isn’t helpful if learners and their families don’t have a device that can access content, so New Hampshire has been distributing Chromebooks to students throughout the state. Some charter schools had surplus computer equipment, and opening up a dialogue between education systems that might not normally take place resulted in additional devices available for the public school system. For some Career Technical Education (CTE) programs that required specialized hardware, desktop computers and monitors were distributed to students. 

A change in the successful delivery of educational content also relies on professional development for teachers to adapt to new pedagogical challenges. New Hampshire created professional development resources and instruction for teachers to assist in successfully transitioning to remote learning.

“With additional funding, we would be able to expand simulation technology for CTE, including virtual reality technologies,” says Eric Frauwirth, New Hampshire’s State CTE Director and State Administrator with the New Hampshire Department of Education. Students in programs that have hands-on requirements for clinical hours, like welding or nursing, could use this simulation technology to achieve program and licensure requirements. Rather than have these located at the scattered technical centers within the state, this new technology could be distributed to local sending high schools with reserved time for students to use these technologies.

States and local leaders have taken necessary steps to ensure each learner has access to virtual education, however, there needs to be much more support to scale innovative solutions. Advance CTE has called for a strong investment in CTE funding in order to lessen the digital divide, and the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act includes $1 billion for CTE funding, which could be used to expand the infrastructure necessary to support these programs. In addition, the Emergency Educational Connections Act of 2020, which Advance CTE supports, introduced by Senate Ed Markey (D-MA) would authorize $4 billion to help close the homework gap.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Legislative Update: New Stimulus Introduced and Grant Opportunity Announced

May 15th, 2020

This week, the House introduced a new COVID-19 (Coronavirus) stimulus package. Read below to learn more about what is in this bill, as well as a new grant opportunity. 

House Introduces New Stimulus Package in Response to the Coronavirus 

On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced a new stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus- the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800). The $3 trillion relief bill encompasses a large scope of activities, such as funding to state and local governments, small business assistance and funding for Coronavirus research. 

The HEROES Act also includes $90 billion for an education stabilization fund that would go to K-12 and public institutions of higher education. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) is one of the allowable uses of funds. Approximately $58 billion from the education stabilization fund would be allocated to K-12 education, with approximately $27 billion going to public postsecondary. An additional $10.15 billion is also in the HEROES Act for higher education- this funding can go to all institutions of higher education, and allocates $1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.   

This bill includes some of the Career Technical Education (CTE) provisions that were in the previously introduced Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA)- which Advance CTE supports. Specifically, the HEROES Act offers the flexibility at the state and local levels for retention of funds for the 2019-2020 academic year and the flexibility for local Perkins recipients to pool funds, as well as waives some of the professional development requirements during Coronavirus- that were all proposed in RAWA. 

However, Advance CTE was disappointed to find that the $1 billion for CTE-specific programs was left out of the HEROES Act. Advance CTE, in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee leadership detailing the importance of including CTE-specific funding and expressing concern that this was not included in the HEROES Act. We encourage you to let your representative know that you support including the full RAWA CTE related pieces in the next Coronavirus relief bill by following the quick prompt here

The House is expected to vote on the bill later this afternoon. The full bill text can be found here, a summary here and the manager’s amendment here

ED Announces New Grant Opportunity Through Student Support and Academic Enrichment

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) recently released a new opportunity to apply for the Expanding Course Access Demonstration Grants Program. This program will provide grants to state education agencies (SEAs) to provide models of well-rounded educational opportunities through course-access programs. The grant program is created with funding though the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)- specifically Title IV Part A that authorized the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants program (SSAE). The SSAE grant program is used to support well-rounded educational opportunities- which includes CTE. 

Grant applications must be submitted by June 26, 2020. OSSS, in collaboration with the Title IV, Part A Technical Assistance Center, will be holding a webinar on May 20, 2020 from 2:00-3:00pm ET for those considering applying. You can register for the webinar here. The webinar will be recorded and available for public view here

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Navigating CTE During COVID-19: How Are States Addressing Industry-recognized Credential Attainment?

May 14th, 2020

Industry-recognized credentials are an essential component of any high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program. They indicate the entry-level competencies learners need in a given career field and signal to employers that an individual is prepared for work. But in the midst of a global pandemic, with nearly every state issuing, to varying degrees, stay at home orders that have resulted in school closures and limited access to testing facilities, how can learners continue to earn industry-recognized credentials? 

Over the last decade, there has been a groundswell around industry-recognized credentials. Driven by the Lumina Foundation’s campaign to ensure that 60 percent of U.S. adults hold a credential beyond high school by 2025, nearly every state has set its own postsecondary credential attainment goal. What’s more, many states are also counting industry-recognized credential attainment in their high school accountability systems or are promoting credential attainment through programs such as Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program. 

Challenges for Industry-recognized Credential Attainment

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) threatens to stall many of these policies and initiatives. The requirements for earning an industry-recognized credential vary by type and by provider, but are hard to deliver remotely. Industry-recognized credentials commonly require one or a combination of the following:  

  • Contact hour requirements: Certain certifications and licenses require individuals to complete a course or training led by a qualified instructor before they are eligible to sit for the exam. 
  • Clinical or practical experience: Some credentials, primarily state-issued licenses, have clinical hour or work-based learning requirements. This is particularly true for health-related credentials such as the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Registered Nurse (RN) licenses.
  • Assessments: Virtually every industry certification or license requires an assessment of competency, and many of these assessments are only available through certified proctors or approved test providers. 

As states have shut down one by one, credentialing opportunities have slowed to a trickle. School districts, institutions of higher education and training providers have been challenged to offer the learning and practical experiences learners need to be eligible for credential exams. Further, testing providers have had to shut their doors or limit access in order to comply with stay at home orders. 

The State Policy Response

The implications of this credentialing slowdown are myriad. For one, many states have baked credential attainment into high school graduation requirements, accountability systems and postsecondary performance-based funding structures. These requirements will need to be waived or loosened in a way that limits harm to learners. In Ohio, the Department of Education has already amended high school graduation requirements for learners pursuing industry-recognized credentials and is allowing learners to earn credentials as soon as it is safe to do so – even if they already have been awarded a diploma. 

Other states are exploring remote proctoring so learners can sit for an industry-recognized credential exam at home. Florida issued guidance for at-home testing for industry certifications, which will allow learners to access exams for credentials on the state-approved Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) list as long as the credential providers meet certain conditions. However, while a number of credential providers are now offering online proctoring opportunities that are secure and monitored, the technology is expensive to scale and requires the learner to have access to a computer and reliable internet at home. 

The second implication is that credentialing is slowing down at a time when states hit hardest by the coronavirus are experiencing a critical shortage of licensed healthcare workers. In response, governors are issuing emergency licensing waivers in order to permit nursing and medical students as well as retired professionals or those with expired licenses to support the relief effort. In California, for example, the state Board of Registered Nursing has developed guidance on different roles nursing students can play in the field based on competencies developed through prior course taking. 

Finally, with economists already predicting a severe economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus, states will need to accelerate credentialing opportunities for learners transitioning back to work. Even as schools and testing facilities remain closed, states can start thinking now about their economic recovery plan and how to bolster industry-recognized credential attainment in the months and years ahead. 

Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research

This Week in CTE

May 8th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

This week we celebrate the expertise and skill of our educators nationwide. Follow @CTEWorks on Twitter and Follow us on Facebook for our messages of gratitude to all the CTE educators providing academic knowledge and real-world skills to learners, especially during this difficult time.

Students from the state of Utah have shared their words of appreciation for CTE educators. Read them here, in the latest CTE Directions Newsletter.

Twitter Chat of the Week

The ECMC Foundation hosted a Twitter chat on Thursday, to discuss with national partners what is needed to support students during COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Their conversation also covered what is needed to ensure the future of postsecondary is more equitable once we return from the current pandemic. If you missed the highlights, you can view the hashtag #ECMCFchat on Twitter.

Work-Based Learning Activity of the Week

Direct engagement with employers has presented its challenges during the current pandemic. However, the state of Wisconsin has partnered with organizations and local businesses to offer online job shadowing to CTE students. View the list of sessions they are offering in May!

Federal Policy of the Week

On Thursday, advocates took to Twitter to address the homework gap during the E-Rate Day of Action asking Congress to provide at least $4 billion in funding for home internet access through E-rate. This day of advocacy was led by the Alliance for Excellent Education. Follow these hashtags on Twitter to join the advocacy: #HomeworkGap and #Erate.

Resource of the Week

Advance CTE and Association for Career and Technical Education have released the Middle Grades CTE repository of resources. State and local leaders can leverage this repository as they begin to develop and expand high-quality CTE into the middle grades.

Happy Nurse Appreciation Week!

This week we celebrate all the nurses across our nation and shine the spotlight on our health occupations CTE programs. Recent and soon-to-be graduates are selflessly joining the workforce to serve the needs of their communities while earning credit toward completing their program of study. In the state of Massachusetts, 17 students from postsecondary institutions are now working, under guidance from the Governor, to fulfill their graduation requirements. Thank you, all!

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Legislative Update: CTE and Workforce Development in the Next Stimulus Bill and Reporting the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

May 8th, 2020

The federal government continues to work on the next COVID-19 (Coronavirus) stimulus bill and provide guidance on previous ones. Read below to learn more about how Career Technical Education (CTE) can be included in a future Coronavirus package and new information about reporting use of funds for the third stimulus. 

Analysis Continues of the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act

Last week, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA), which Advance CTE is in full support. This bill provides funding and flexibilities for CTE and workforce development programs during Coronavirus with a $15 billion investment that includes $1 billion for CTE programs and activities, as well as $2 billion to re-implement the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. Last week’s Legislative Update outlined many of the major provisions of RAWA, including the implications for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and some of the flexibilities for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

Some of the additional standout WIOA activities include: 

  • $2.5 billion for employers to provide incumbent worker training;
  • $500 million for states and intermediaries to support existing or expand registered apprenticeships; 
  • $500 million for National Dislocated Worker Grants, to go to training and temporary employment as a result of Coronavirus;
  • $2.5 billion for State Dislocated Worker Grants, to be used for necessary rapid response through Fiscal Year 2022; 
  • $2.5 billion for employers who are offering incumbent worker training; 
  • Increasing the percent of funds that local workforce boards can use for transitional jobs to 40 percent; and 
  • The Governor and local workforce boards can include Coronavirus as a consideration when deciding whether to allow 75 percent of wages to be reimbursed during participation in on-the-job training. 

The WIOA and Perkins V funds in RAWA must be used to supplement, and not supplant state or local funds. If this bill passes, it is imperative to carefully document that the use of funds is supplement and not supplant especially since it can be expected that Coronavrisu will change typical state and local funding structures.

The full programmatic funding breakdown included in RAWA is as follows: 

  • National Dislocated Worker Grants: $500 million;
  • State Dislocated Worker Grants: $2.5 billion;
  • Youth Workforce Investment Activities: $2.5 billion;
  • Adult Employment and Training Activities: $2.5 billion; 
  • Wagner-Peyser/Employment Service: $1 billion;
  • Job Corps: $500 million;
  • Native American Programs: $150 million;
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers: $150 million;
  • YouthBuild: $250 million;
  • Reentry and Employment Opportunities: $350 million;
  • Registered Apprenticeships: $500 million;
  • Adult Education and Literacy: $1 billion;
  • Community College and Industry Partnership Grants: $2 billion;
  • Department of Labor Administration: $90 million;
  • Career Technical Education: $1 billion; and
  • Department of Education Administration: $10 million.

You can view the press release highlighting our full support of RAWA from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) here. We encourage you to  let your representative know that you support including CTE in the next Coronavirus relief bill by following the quick prompt here. The full bill can be viewed here and a summary of each section here

Department Announces that Colleges Must Publicly Share Use of Stimulus Funds

The U.S. Department of Education announced that institutions receiving Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) – authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – must report information about the funds on a publicly accessible website. The public-facing report must include how much money the institution received, how many students are receiving Emergency Financial Aid grants, how the institution decided which students would receive these grants and any directives that were attached to the funding. 

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

 

Series

Archives

1