This Week in CTE

October 23rd, 2020

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

CAREERS IN CONSTRUCTION MONTH

Build Your Future is hosting a construction video contest, I BUILT THIS, and giving away more than $20,000 in prizes. Learn more and submit a video here.

During Careers in Construction month, utilize these classroom resources to engage with students about the opportunities in the construction industry.

TWEET OF THE THE WEEK

Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School in Massachusetts has relied on their mobile classroom to ensure learners across the district have access to hands-on learning and career training. 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced this week that the Federal Work Study (FWS) Experimental Sites will receive additional funding. This initiative seeks to increase earn-and-learn opportunities by removing barriers to off-campus jobs, allowing increased work hours and allowing institutions to pay students for work-based learning. The increased funds will be used for FWS salaries and to develop Job Location and Development (JLD) programs. Further information can be found here.   

INITIATIVE OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE is honored and excited to co-lead the New Skills ready network

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Youth apprenticeship programs can give students access to valuable work-based learning experiences that provide insights into how their interest can connect to education and the workforce. Although these programs are often beneficial for participants, there is little data to show the programmatic landscape and impact.

The Role of Data and Accountability in Growing Youth Apprenticeship Programs highlights current practices from states who are collecting data on youth apprenticeship programs, and what steps have been taken to collect high quality enrollment and outcomes data. 

View The Role of Data and Accountability in Growing Youth Apprenticeship Programs in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

This Week in CTE

September 19th, 2020

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

TWEET OF THE WEEK

STATE DIRECTOR OF THE WEEK

The Wyoming Department of Education State CTE Director, Michelle Aldrich, announced support in funding for the Natrona County School District (NCSD). Funding will allow for a mobile STEM lab to travel across the school district, sharing equipment and providing career exploration opportunities to middle and elementary school students. Aldrich noted that it is important to, “recognize people who go above and beyond the norm.” Read more in this article published by Oil City News. 

GRANT APPLICATION OF THE WEEK

Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program (CRY-ROP), in partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE), is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 CTE TEACH Mentor Grant. One grant per local education agency (LEA) will be awarded. Mentoring teachers will be provided resources and supports as they help to transition new CTE teachers from industry to the classroom. Read more about CTE TEACH’s objectives, requirements and application here

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

ApprenticeshipNC shares how these five steps can lead to the start of a registered apprenticeship program for your business. 

CAREER PATHWAY OF THE WEEK

The partnership between the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), the University System of Georgia (USG) and the American Transaction Processors Coalition (ATPC) has brought new opportunities to secondary learners in the state of Georgia. Since 2018, the Georgia FinTech Academy (GFTA) has provided over 1,900 learners with courses that lead to a career in financial technology (fintech). Aligned with the growing market demand for talent in fintech careers and with the help of an innovative virtual platform, GFTA now reaches every high school in Georgia that chooses to offer the pathway. Fintech college courses are also available for dual enrollment. Read more in this article published by the Atlanta Business Journal.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

On Thursday, the Democrats of the House Committee on Education and Labor released a proposal to reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act. The new bill, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, would invest $3.5 billion in Registered Apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships over five years, and develop approximately 1 million new apprenticeships.

A fact sheet on the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 can be found here, a section-by-section summary here and the full bill text here.

Follow Advance CTE’s legislative updates for more up-to-date information. 

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE, with support from the Siemens Foundation, commissioned focus groups and a national survey to explore the attitudes of parents and students currently involved in CTE, as well as prospective CTE parents and students, to better understand the promise and opportunity of CTE. Making a Winning Case for CTE: How Local Leaders Can Communicate the Value of CTE provides ideas for how local leaders can use the messages and research from the Value and Promise of Career Technical Education report to effectively communicate the importance of CTE, especially to the most important audiences- students and parents.

View Making a Winning Case for CTE: How Local Leaders Can Communicate the Value of CTE in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media 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

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

COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Education: Part Three

April 14th, 2020

dThe U.S. Department of Education added a page to its website with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources and updates for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. You can access this information at www.ed.gov/coronavirus. The page will be continuously updated by the Department. Below are brief overviews of what can be found in some of the newest materials. Advance CTE will continue to share posts with a breakdown of the resources, so keep checking the blog!

Education Stabilization Fund Implementation

The recent stimulus legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)  included more than $30 billion in funding to support K-12 and postsecondary programs and learners affected by Coronavirus. On Monday, the Department released a centralized page of resources related to administering these funds. 

Last week, the Department unveiled guidance on disbursement of the first set of funds to help support postsecondary learners that have been affected by Coronavirus. It is expected that in the coming days and weeks, guidance on other funding provisions of the CARES Act will become available.

Updated Guidance for Interruption of Postsecondary Programs of Study 

The Office of Postsecondary Education updated its COVID-19 FAQ and Guidance for interruption of study related to Coronavirus. This guidance, currently remaining in effect until June 30, 2020 “unless otherwise specified,” includes changes that are being implemented based on provisions in the CARES Act. Some of the new guidance includes:

  • Accommodating students whose enrollment is disrupted by Coronavirus;
  • Distance education – including broad approval and flexibility on implementing new programs, but requiring that instructions and materials meet the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (IDEA); and
  • Flexibility given in the CARES act for funds and provisions provided by Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

Guidance on Donation or Loan of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Medical Supplies

On Tuesday, the Department released a memo that gives guidance on loaning or donating certain medical supplies or equipment, if that equipment was originally purchased using funds from a Department grant program. The memo indicates that donating PPE or medical supplies to health providers that have been purchased with funds provided by the Department are allowed. Some of the guidance also includes:

  • Direction that grantees can loan or donate PPE (e.g. masks, face shields, gloves), other medical supplies or equipment (e.g, ventilators) or even equipment that can be used to produce these medical supplies, such as 3D printers;
  • The Department will provide grantees and subgrantees a class exception for uses of grant funds, authorized by OMB Memo M-20-20;
  • Requirement that grantees and subgrantees must keep detailed records on donating or loan items and maintain these records for at least three years (page 2);
  • Indication that the Department intends to follow-up with grantees in the future regarding the donations or loans of equipment (page 2); and 
  • Direction that additional questions can be sent to COVID-19@ed.gov.

Samuel Dunietz, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Education: Part Two

March 31st, 2020

dThe U.S. Department of Education added a page to its website with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources and updates for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. You can access this information at  www.ed.gov/coronavirus. The page will be continuously updated by the Department. Below are brief overviews of what can be found in some of the materials on issues with civil rights and students with disabilities. Advance CTE will continue to share posts with a breakdown of the resources, so keep checking the blog!

  • Addressing COVID-19 Risk in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students
    The Department issued a fact sheet discussing the importance of maintaining federal civil rights requirements during the Coronavirus pandemic. This fact sheet, located here, includes information on:

    • Denial of Access on the Basis of Race, Color, or National Origin – reminding school officials that they may not stereotype or make assumptions about a protected class in determining risk factors for school closures (page 2).
    • Obligations for schools under the Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to maintain education services for students with disabilities (page 2-3). 
  • Q/A On Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During Coronavirus Outbreak
    The Department issued a broad but informal guide on how local educational agencies (LEAs) and early intervention services can collaborate with state educational agencies (SEAs) to provide and ensure continued services for children with disabilities and their families. That document, located here, includes many questions that the Department has received and aims to provide guidance based on those questions. This includes:

    • Situations in which LEAs are required to continue to provide free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities (page 1);
    • Services that LEAs must provide when schools for children with disabilities are selectively closed (page 3);
    • Activities that IDEA Part B funds (page 5) and Part C funds (page 8) may and may not be used for during Coronavirus outbreak; and
    • When a state lead agency must continue to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities if offices are closed (page 7).
  • Webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility
    The Office of Civil Rights released a short webinar on ensuring accessibility of online education and websites for everyone – with a focus on ensuring that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in services, programs and activities. This webinar:

    • Urges that online education and websites should be accessible to those using assistive technology, such as speech recognition or eye-tracking software;
    • Recommends both automated and manual routine testing of websites to ensure that individuals are able to fully access the websites’ content using assistive technology; and
    • Directs any questions or technical assistance requests to be emailed to the OCR Web Access Team at OCRWebAccessTA@ed.gov.

      Samuel Dunietz, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

College Affordability Act Released

October 16th, 2019

On October 15, the House Committee on Education and Labor introduced the College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674), the House Democrats’ long-awaited legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA).

Some of the major initiatives of the bill include:

  • Creating a federal-state funding partnership to incentivize states to make community college tuition-free;
  • Increasing the value and funding of Pell Grants;
  • Simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); 
  • Repealing the ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students;
  • Codifying restrictions on federal funds used for for-profit institutions that had been put in place by the Obama Administration;
  • Repealing the student unit record data ban and creating a new postsecondary student data system;
  • Expanding Pell Grant eligibility to certain short-term credential programs; and
  • Creating additional funds for postsecondary Perkins CTE programs, including tribally controlled postsecondary CTE institutions.

Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) intends this to be a comprehensive reauthorization, in contrast to the recent “mini” HEA reauthorization proposal, The Student Aid Improvement Act, introduced by Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

Advance CTE staff will continue to monitor changing developments with this proposal and related legislation. Advance CTE’s full recommendations for HEA reauthorization can be found here

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate and Sam Dunietz, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Student Leaders On Capitol Hill, Calls for Doubling the Investment in CTE

October 10th, 2019

This past month, hundreds of student leaders came to Washington D.C. for SkillsUSA’s Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s (FCCLA) Capitol Leadership training. Both programs offer training and leadership development activities for youth Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) leaders.

SkillsUSA hosted over 550 students and advisors from 29 states at the WLTI. This year’s conference included training on personal and workplace skills, a panel discussion about effective legislative visits with experts from Capitol Hill, and a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. FCCLA’s annual Capitol Leadership training also provided students an opportunity to share their Career Technical Education (CTE) experiences with elected officials, while also developing their communication and collaborative skills.

Advance CTE’s Policy Fellow, Jade Richards, spoke with both groups of students and provided an overview of CTE funding at the national level. Students later went to Capitol Hill and passionately communicated to their representatives the impact of CTE in their communities, as well as the need to double the federal investment in CTE.

As a long-standing advocate for policies and legislation that enhance high-quality CTE programs across the country, Advance CTE is committed to empowering students leaders in America. Join us and the CTE community as we continue the campaign to create a brighter future for learners, businesses and communities everywhere.

Visit Isupportcte.org to learn more about the importance of doubling the federal investment in CTE. Email IsupportCTE@careertech.org for questions and updates on the campaign. 

SkillsUSA 2019 WLTI U.S. Capitol Photo

Tennessee, New Jersey Focus on Expanding Access to CTE Opportunities; Montana Expands Funding to CTSOs

May 20th, 2019

As the legislative session moves forward, states have passed laws to increase awareness of and expand access to Career Technical Education (CTE) opportunities for each learner.

With the reauthorization of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which allows states to use Perkins funding as early as the fifth grade, many states are expanding CTE opportunities to the middle grades, including Tennessee. On May 5, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed SB0063 into law to expand CTE programs in the state to middle grades. Under the law, CTE programs must be accessible to all middle school learners in grades six through eight and serve at least 50 percent of this population. Additionally, the law requires the Board of Career and Technical Education to plan facilities for CTE training for middle school learners.

In New Jersey the legislature passed S372, which was signed into law on May 10, to help expand access to apprenticeships for learners in the state. The law requires the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commision of Labor and Workforce Development, to develop publicly available guidelines for high school counselors to use to coordinate services with the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council with the intent of encouraging student participation in and awareness of apprenticeship opportunities.

Meanwhile, in Montana, on May 8 Governor Steve Bullock signed HB0662 into law. The law permits the Superintendent of Public Instruction to distribute secondary CTE funds to Career Technical Education Student Organizations (CTSOs) for grants.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

House Appropriations Subcommittee Marks Up Spending Bill for Education, Labor Programs

May 1st, 2019

The big news this week related to Career Technical Education (CTE) was that the House Appropriations Committee released their draft spending bill for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on Monday, April 29. Read below to learn more about what bill includes, yesterday’s mark up, and how you can get involved in a campaign to double the federal investment in CTE.

House Appropriations Subcommittee Marks Up Spending Bill for Education, Labor Programs 

On Tuesday, April 30, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up their appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), which begins October 1, 2019. The bill passed out of the subcommittee on a voice vote.

Overall, the bill included a six percent increase for federal education programs and a 10 percent increase for labor programs above the amounts Congress allocated in Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). The bill proposed a disappointing increase of $37 million, or less than three percent, for CTE State Grants, also known as Perkins Basic State Grants. Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released a joint statement in response.

The bill includes some notable increases for key education and workforce programs:
  • 13 percent increase for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants authorized under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA);
  • 24 percent increase for Title II Supporting Effective Instruction Grants authorized under ESSA;
  • 27 percent increase for Federal Work Study;
  • 9 percent increase for Federal TRIO programs;
  • $150 increase in the maximum award for Pell grants; and
  • 56 percent increase for Apprenticeship grants

It is important to note that this markup is an early step in the process to determine the amount of funding Congress will allocate to education and labor programs for FY20. While it is expected that the proposal will go before the full House Appropriations Committee in early May, the Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released their draft FY20 funding bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. In addition, Congress must agree on the overall levels for defense and non-defense discretionary spending before determining final allocations for the programs contained within the FY20 appropriations bills. Advance CTE will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

Get Involved in the Campaign to Double the Investment in CTE

Looking to support efforts to increase the federal investment in CTE? Check out www.ISupportCTE.org, the website for the campaign to double the investment in CTE. In February, the CTE community launched this shared campaign and we invite everyone to join us in asking employers to sign onto a statement that supports doubling the investment in CTE. The signatures collected from employers will be a critical component to building visibility and support for CTE with members of Congress. Check out the share page to find a one-pager, PowerPoint, social media toolkit, and more that you can use and modify to spread the word about the campaign.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

 

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