Administration Focuses on STEM, Apprenticeship

December 12th, 2018

As the 115th Congress wraps up, the Administration has made a few announcements related to Career Technical Education (CTE). Read below to learn more about updates from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), the new strategy for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, a recently renewed commitment to apprenticeship and a new resource on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from from the School Superintendents Associations (AASA) and the College in High School Alliance (CHSA).   

New Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

Dr. Casey Sacks, who previously served as a Vice Chancellor at the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, has been named Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE).

Trump Administration Releases Strategy to Bolster STEM Education in the U.S.

On December 4, the Committee on STEM Education of the National Science and Technology Council released Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education, a report that outlines the Trump administration’s five-year strategy to increase access to high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and to ensure the United States is a global leader in STEM literacy, innovation and employment. Read more about the strategic goals and pathways in Advance CTE’s blog.

U.S. Signs Apprenticeship MOU with Switzerland

The U.S. Departments of Education, Labor and Commerce came together with the Swiss government to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that signals continued collaboration on apprenticeships. With this MOU, both governments renewed their commitment to apprenticeships. This includes spreading awareness of the importance of apprenticeship programs to those from the business, academic and policy communities.

New Fact Sheet: Using ESSA to Support and Expand College in High School Programs

Looking for information about how college in high school programs, including dual and concurrent enrollment programs, are covered in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)? Check out a new fact sheet, “Using ESSA to Support and Expand College in High School Programs,” and the blog post “Opportunities In ESSA For College In High School Programs” from the School Superintendents Associations (AASA) and the College in High School Alliance (CHSA).

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy and Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

2018 Election Wrap Up, ESSA in the Spotlight

November 29th, 2018

With the results of the 2018 election mostly finalized and Congress back in session, there’s news about both secondary and postsecondary education this week. Read below to find out more about how the elections impacted state leadership, updates on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Secretary DeVos’ recent remarks on postsecondary education.

How the 2018 Elections Impacted State Leadership 

Looking for a one-pager summarizing how the 2018 elections resulted in changes in Governors, Legislatures and other state leaders? Check out this infographic from the Education Commission of the States.

Will Newly Elected Governors and Chiefs Revise their State ESSA Plans? 

The U.S. Department of Education earlier this month released guidance for new state leaders who want to amend their state ESSA plans. According to the guidance, states will need to submit an update with redlined language and a cover letter summarizing any changes. New plans will need to be submitted by March 1, 2019 to be considered.

New Reports Look at Equity in ESSA Plans and Implementation

The U.S. Department of Education has approved plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for all states and territories and conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year marks the first full year that the law has been in effect. New reports have begun to look at how equity is addressed in state plans and how implementation is going. The Alliance for Excellent Education looked at how states factor subgroup performance into school ratings, as required by law, in their brief, “Too Many States Minimize Student Subgroup Performance in ESSA Accountability Systems.” In addition, America’s Promise Alliance released a report, Great American High School: Reforming the Nation’s Remaining Low-Performing High Schools” that “identifies the progress made and remaining challenges in enabling all students to graduate from high school ready for college or career” and looks at how ESSA can be leveraged to advance equity. The Collaborative for Student Success and HCM Strategists conducted an “independent review of the progress made to date on school improvement under each state’s renewed context for school accountability” in their report, “ESSA and School Improvement: Promise to Practice.” Seventeen states were reviewed and the report outlines the extent to which equity was prioritized and identifies promising practices from states reviewed.

Secretary DeVos Describes an Impending Crisis in Higher Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos provided remarks at the Federal Student Aid Training Conference on November 27 about an impending crisis in higher education. Secretary DeVos called for policy changes regarding student aid, and outlined the following four core principles as a guide:
  1. “Every person should have the opportunity to pursue the education that’s right for them. And so, supporting and encouraging a multitude of pathways makes common sense.”
  2. “Innovation must be unleashed.”
  3. “Better, more accessible information is necessary for policymakers, for students, for parents, and for taxpayers.”
  4. “Nothing is free. Someone, somewhere ultimately pays the bills.”

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

2018 Election Update

November 7th, 2018

Americans went to the polls on Tuesday, November 6 to cast ballots for Members of Congress, Governors and State Superintendents. Read below to learn more about the results thus far.

U.S. House of Representatives Flips to Democratic Majority 

Current projections indicate that Democrats will pick up at least 30 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (results are not yet final), gaining control of the chamber for the 116th Congress. As of this writing, 414 of 435 races have been called, with Democrats holding 220 seats and Republicans holding 194. Given this, current Minority Leader Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) is expected to become the Speaker of the House and the leadership for House committees will shift. The leadership for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will likely change from current Chairwoman Rep. Foxx (R-NC) to current Ranking Member Rep. Scott (D-VA). The leadership for the House Appropriations Committee will also likely shift from current Chairman Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) to current Ranking Member Rep. Lowey (D-NY). The Co-Chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus, Rep. Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Langevin (D-RI) were re-elected, as was Rep. Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) (who co-sponsored the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V)).

Republicans Retain Senate Majority

Current projections indicate that Republicans will pick up at least two seats in the U.S. Senate (results are not yet final) and maintain their majority heading into the 116th Congress. Given this, current Majority Leader Sen. McConnell (R-KY) is expected to retain his leadership role. As of this writing, 96 of 100 races have been called, with Republicans holding 51 seats, Democrats holding 43 seats and Independents holding two seats (Senators Sanders (I-VT) and King (I-ME) caucus with Democrats). The races in Montana, Florida and Arizona are too close to call and the special election for one of the Mississippi Senate seats is headed to a runoff election in December. Two of the four Senate CTE Caucus Co-Chairs, Sen. Kaine (D-VA) and Sen. Baldwin (D-WI), were up for reelection and both won their races.

Transitions in the States: Governors and State Superintendents

The dust is still settling in a few key gubernatorial races, but many competitive races have already closed. Of the 36 states that held races for governor this year, 16 are projected to be won by Democrats, 20 are projected to be won by Republicans and six flipped from Republican to Democratic control. Education was a top issue in several of these contests. In Wisconsin, State Superintendent Tony Evers defeated incumbent Governor Scott Walker.

Voters in seven states also selected new state superintendents: California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia, Idaho, South Carolina and Wyoming. Notably, a ballot initiative was defeated in South Carolina that would have given the governor the power to appoint the state superintendent of education.

What do these results mean for CTE? It may be too early to tell, but career readiness was a pillar for many candidates’ education platforms in the 2018 midterm election. In February, the American Enterprise Institute reported that CTE was the education issue that garnered the most support from candidates. Either way, states should start preparing for new leadership from the governor’s mansion down to local school boards. Advance CTE has developed a suite of resources and tools to educate new policymakers on the value and promise of CTE, including a PowerPoint template, tips for engaging policymakers and communications materials from states.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy and Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

U.S. Departments of Education Awards STEM Grants, Will Form Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

October 26th, 2018

With both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on recess until after the elections, the news from the Capitol in October is focused on the Administration’s activities related to Career Technical Education (CTE). Read below to learn more about updates from the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor and new Perkins V resources.

U.S. Department of Education Forms Higher Education Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

The Office of Postsecondary Education within the U.S. Department of Education established a negotiated rulemaking committee to create and propose higher education regulations related to Federal Student Aid programs within Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The committee will be named the “Accreditation and Innovation Committee,” and will have three subcommittees including the “Distance Learning and Educational Innovation Subcommittee.” Nominations for negotiators to be part of the committee must be submitted by November 15, 2018.

U.S. Departments of Education and Labor Award STEM, Apprenticeship Grants

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement awarded over $100 million in grants in the last month through the Education Innovation and Research grant program. Eleven of the 18 awards focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in some way.

In addition, over $1.5 million in grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to apprenticeship programs for women. The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grants are intended to help “recruit, train, and retain more American women in quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, and pursue careers in manufacturing, infrastructure, and cybersecurity, among other industries.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Visits Apprenticeship Program, Speaks at National FFA Convention and Exposition 

On October 18, Secretary DeVos visited Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. During her visit, she saw the school’s apprenticeship program and had the opportunity to hear about how the school partners with local employers. On October 26, Secretary DeVos provided remarks at the National FFA Convention and Exposition in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Advance CTE and National Skills Coalition Release New Brief

This week, Advance CTE and National Skills Coalition released a new resource, Coordinating Across Perkins V and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This guide looks at six opportunities to promote coordination across Perkins V and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as states develop and implement plans under Perkins V. Looking for additional resources on Perkins V? Check out Advance CTE’s Perkins V webpage.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

President Signs FY19 Appropriations Bill that Includes Increase for Perkins

October 2nd, 2018

Last week, Congress wrapped up its work on the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) Appropriations bill. Read below to learn more about what the bill included for key education and workforce programs and to find new resources from Advance CTE on Perkins V.

President Signs FY19 Appropriations Package that Includes $70 Million Increase for Perkins 

As we reported, the Senate voted 93-7 on September 18 to advance an FY19 appropriations package that includes the Labor-HHS-Ed appropriations bill (which includes key investments in education and workfo

rce programs). On September 26, the House voted to approve that package (361-61) and the President signed it on September 28. This bill includes a$70 million increase in the federal investment in Perkins Basic State Grants – check out the press statement from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) to learn more. You can also find the bill’s specific levels of investment in key U.S. Department of Education programs in  this table from the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and in key U.S. Department of Labor programs in this table from National Skills Coalition.

In addition, this legislation included language from the conferees (the Members of Congress who served on a c

ommittee determine the final Labor-HHS-Ed FY19 bill) about the use of Perkins for National Activities, the importance of computer science education and the role of the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE). First, it directs the U.S. Secretary of Education to award innovation and modernization grants through Perkins and notes that these funds could “support coding programs that can be particularly important in rural and underserved areas that do not have access to coding resources.” The legislation also discusses computer science education more broadly, noting that “computer science education programs, including coding academies, can provide important benefits to local industries and the economy and help meet in-demand workforce needs. Therefore, the Departments of Labor and Education should work together with industry to improve and expand computer science education programs and opportunities, including through apprenticeships.” Lastly, the legislation also affirms the value of OCTAE and notes the conferees’ concerns about its elimination or consolidation in terms of achieving OCTAE’s mission and implementation of programs. Importantly, it confirms that “OCTAE is authorized expressly in statute and cannot be consolidated or reorganized except by specific authority granted by Congress.”

Advance CTE Releases New Perkins V Resources

Advance CTE released two new resources on the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). The Perkins V Accountability Comparison examines the secondary and postsecondary indicators of performance in Perkins IV and Perkins V, as well as alignment with performance measures from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Advance CTE also released a side-by-side comparison of the text of Perkins IV and Perkins V that includes an analysis of the changes between the two laws. You can find all of Advance CTE’s Perkins V resources on our Perkins webpage.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

Senate Approves FY19 Appropriations Bill that Includes Key Education and Workforce Programs

September 19th, 2018

As Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) winds down for the government, Congress is working to advance FY19 appropriations bills. Read below to learn more about the path forward for the FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) appropriations bill and the U.S. Department of Education’s back to school tour.

Senate Votes 93-7 to Advance FY19 Appropriations Bill 

On September 13, the conference committee (comprised of members of both the House and Senate that was formed to negotiate the FY19 appropriations bill for Labor-HHS-Ed) released their agreement. The bill includes appropriations for education and workforce programs. On September 18, the Senate voted 93-7 to approve the bill, which is bundled with the Defense appropriations bill, as well as a continuing resolution that would run through December 7 to extend current funding levels for other government agencies without final appropriations bills in place by October 1. The bill heads to House for a vote next week and if passed, will go to the President for his signature.

We were excited to see that the bill passed by the Senate includes a $70 million increase in the federal investment in Perkins Basic State Grants. Other notable increases included additional support for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant authorized under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Apprenticeship grants and a $100 increase in the maximum award for Pell grants (but this draws down the Pell reserve, the unobligated funds for the program that have been previously appropriated by Congress). You can find the bill’s specific levels of investment in key U.S. Department of Education programs in this table from the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and in key U.S. Department of Labor programs in this table from National Skills Coalition.

The bill also contains that language about the proposed consolidation of the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) and the Office of Postsecondary Education into one Office of Postsecondary and Lifelong Learning, noting that, “In particular, the conferees recognize the value of the Office of English Language Acquisition and the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) and are concerned that the elimination or consolidation of either office will undermine the ability of the Department to fulfill not only its mission, but also congressional directives to implement relevant programs and purposes. Further, the conferees note that OCTAE is authorized expressly in statute and cannot be consolidated or reorganized except by specific authority granted by Congress.”

Assistant Secretary Stump Goes on Back to School Tour

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education began its back to school tour with travel across the country under the guiding theme of “Rethink School,” emphasizing innovative programs in education. On Tuesday, September 11, as part of this tour, Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education, traveled to the Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His tour featured the Center’s 40 CTE programs, small business incubator and college preparatory career academies. On Wednesday, September 12, Assistant Secretary Stump spent time in Wichita, Kansas at the National Center for Aviation Training, where high school students are able to achieve a technical certification in aviation production and maintenance that leads to a career in aviation.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

Contact Your Member of Congress Now to Support a $102 Million Increase for Perkins

September 10th, 2018

As we get closer to October 1, the start of the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) for the government, Congress is ramping up their activity on appropriations bills. Read below to find out more about the path forward for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 appropriations bill and how you can support an increase in the federal investment in Perkins Basic State Grants.

Appropriations Bill for Key Education and Workforce Programs Moves to Conference Committee

Last week, a conference committee comprised of members of both the House and Senate was formed to negotiate the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) final appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education). As we reported, the Senate passed their FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill on August 23. The Senate bill includes level funding at the amount provided in FY18 for the Perkins Basic State Grants (you can find additional details about funding levels for other key programs here). The House Appropriations Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies passed their FY19 appropriations bill out of Committee over the summer, which included a $102 million increase above the amount provided in FY18 for Perkins Basic State Grants. Now, the conference committee will determine whether or not to include this increase in the final FY19 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (along with resolving other differences between the two bills). Read below to learn more about how to contact your Member of Congress to support a $102 million increase for Perkins.

Contact Your Member of Congress Now to Support a $102 Million Increase for Perkins

With just a few days left in session before FY19 begins, now is the time to contact your Members of Congress using the CTE Action Center (provided by our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education) or by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Please let them know that a conference committee will soon consider the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill and be sure to ask them to support a $102 million increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant program in this bill bill, as proposed by the House! It is particularly important to contact Members of Congress on the conference committee, who are listed below:

House: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Senate: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

Senate Advances FY19 Appropriations Bill that Includes Key Education and Workforce Programs

August 24th, 2018

There were a number of key updates from the Capitol this week. Read below to find out more about a a new resource on Perkins V, the Senate’s work to advance the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Appropriations process and an announcement from the Administration about leadership for the Office of Postsecondary Education.

Advance CTE and ACTE Release New Perkins V One-Pager

Looking for a short resource about the major tenets of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (PerkinsV)? Check out a new one-pager from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) on our website here and find all of Advance CTE’s Perkins V resources on our webpage.

Senate Advances FY19 Appropriations Bill that Includes Key Education and Workforce Programs 

On August 23, the Senate voted 85-7 to pass their FY19 Defense and Labor, Health and human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bills together (often called a “minibus”). Prior to its passage, over 300 amendments to the bill were filed on a wide range of topics and more than 50 were incorporated into the final bill. Some of the education-related amendments included in the final bill were: an amendment by Senators Heller (R-NV) and Klobuchar (D-MN) to require the U.S. Secretary of Education to send Congress a report on the coordination across some agencies on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs for secondary students; an amendment by Senators Reed (D-RI) and Murkowski (R-AK) to require that the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report about the condition public schools in the U.S.; an amendment by Senators Wicker (R-MS) and Peters (D-MI) about the need to expand computer science education; and an amendment by Senators Cassidy (R-LA) and Cantwell (D-WA) about the need to make funding for coding courses a top priority for students in grades K-12.

Overall, the bill included a $541 million increase (over the FY18 level) for the U.S. Department of Education and level-funding (at the FY18 level) for the U.S. Department of Labor. The Senate bill includes level funding for the following programs at the FY18 level: Perkins Basic State Grants, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants authorized under Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Senate bill includes increases for the following programs: Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants authorized under Title IV-A of ESSA, Apprenticeship Grants and Adult Education and Family Literacy State Grants.

Differences between the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 appropriations bills will need to be resolved before FY19 allocations for education and workforce programs will be finalized. Advance CTE will continue to provide information about this process as it becomes available.

President Trump to Nominate Robert King for Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education

On August 21, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Robert King for Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. King formerly led the State University of New York (SUNY) System and was most recently the president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Diane Jones will continue to serve as acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education until King is confirmed by the Senate.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

U.S. Department of Education Plans to Rescind Gainful Employment Regulations, Senate Considers FY19 Appropriations Bills

August 15th, 2018

While the U.S. House of Representatives remains in recess until September 4, there’s still news from the Capitol this week. Read below to learn more about a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Education and the Senate’s plans to continue work on the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) appropriations process.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Plan to Rescind Gainful Employment Regulations 

On August 10, the U.S. Department of Education released details about a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that includes rescinding the federal gainful employment regulations. Developed in 2014, these regulations established criteria for eligibility for federal student aid based on the debt-to-earnings ratio for students who had received federal student aid for programs at for-profit colleges and certificate programs at non-profit community colleges and other postsecondary institutions. Additionally, the notice in the Federal Register states that, “The Department plans to update the College Scorecard, or a similar web-based tool, to provide program-level outcomes for all higher education programs, at all institutions that participate in the programs authorized by title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.” Comments on the proposal can be submitted through the Federal Register until September 13.

Senate to Consider Appropriations Bill on the Floor This Week

The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill this week, which covers a number of key education and workforce programs. The bill will be bundled with the Senate’s Defense appropriations bill into a “minibus.” The House has not yet considered its FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill on the floor. Given that October 1 marks the beginning of the government’s new fiscal year, Congress will need to take action before then to avoid a government shutdown. As we reported, any differences between the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 appropriations bills (e.g., the House bill proposes a $102 million increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant for FY19 and the Senate bill proposes funding at the FY18 level) would need to be worked out before allocations for education and workforce programs could be finalized.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

U.S. Department of Labor Releases Notice on Industry-Recognized Apprenticeships

August 7th, 2018

There’s news this week from the Administration, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor and Congress related to Career Technical Education (CTE). Read below to find out more about these updates and where to find recently released resources from Advance CTE.

Administration Releases Priorities for Research and Development 

On July 31, Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, sent a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies on the Administration’s Research and Development Budget Priorities for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020). The memorandum notes that it “provides guidance to agencies as they formulate their FY2020 budget submissions.” It includes eight research and development priority areas and five priority practices, one of which is “Educating and Training a Workforce for the 21st Century Economy.”

U.S. Department of Labor Posts Notice on Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs

As we reported, the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion (which was called for by President Trump’s June 2017 Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeships in America) wrapped up its work and submitted its final report in May, which included recommendations around industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. On July 27, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Training and Employment Notice that includes a framework for industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. The notice describes such programs and notes that they must be “certified as a high-quality program by a third-party certifier that has received a favorable determination from DOL.” The notice includes high-level descriptions of the “policies and procedures that certifiers will be expected to have in place to establish standards, establish certification intervals determined by those industries, evaluate and certify programs focused on outcomes and process, report results, and maintain records.”

U.S. Department of Education Intends to Create Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Regulations for Federal Student Aid

On July 30, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced its plans for establishing regulations for Federal Student Aid programs (which are authorized through Title IV of the Higher Education Act). The Federal Register Notice outlines USED’s intent to create a negotiated rulemaking committee to craft such regulations and that this committee would be divided into two subcommittees: one on “direct assessment programs/competency-based education” and another on: “the eligibility of faith-based entities to participate in the title IV, HEA programs.” The topics on which these committees could create regulations includes, accreditation of postsecondary institutions, definitions for job placement rates and credit hours, distance education requirements, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants and more. The notice also announced that USED will collect suggestions for other topics on which the negotiated rulemaking committee could take action through written comments and three public hearings.

Senator Kaine (D-VA) Introduces Legislation to Address Teacher Shortages 

On July 31, Senator Kaine (D-VA) introduced the Preparing and Retaining Education Professionals (PREP) Act (S. 3308) to help address teacher shortages facing the country. The bill would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) and the press release for the bill notes that it would:
  • “Expand the definition of “high need” districts under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to include those experiencing teacher shortages in rural communities and in areas such as special education, English language, science, technology, engineering, math, and CTE, to allow for access to additional support and improvement;
  • Encourage school districts to create partnerships, including Grow Your Own programs, with local community colleges and universities to ensure their programs are educating future teachers in areas where there is a shortage of educators;
  • Increase access to teacher and school leader residency programs and preparation training;
  • Require states to identify areas of teacher or school leader shortages by subject across public schools and use that data to target their efforts;
  • Increase support for teacher preparation programs at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to support a diverse and well-prepared educator workforce.”

You can find the text of the PREP Act and a section-by-section summary online. Advance CTE is proud to support this bill.

In Case You Missed It: Perkins V Resources from Advance CTE

Looking for resources related to the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) that was signed into law last week? Check out  Advance CTE’s Perkins webpage for a summary and analysis of the new law and more.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

 

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