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 

Legislative Update: Perkins Reauthorization Signed into Law

July 31st, 2018

Today, the President signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).

As we reported, the House and Senate voted to pass this bill last week. President Trump will travel to Tampa Bay Technical High School this evening to provide remarks about the bill and host a roundtable on workforce development. Watch it live at 6:10 p.m. Eastern Time.

Advance CTE and ACTE released a joint press statement after the President signed H.R. 2353 into law. Check out additional resources on our webpage. To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that impacts Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Manager

Perkins Reauthorization Bill Heads to President’s Desk

July 25th, 2018

With one day before the House goes into recess, Members of Congress were busy this week passing and introducing legislation! Read below for a Perkins reauthorization update and news about a proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that impacts Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!

Perkins Reauthorization Heads to the President’s Desk

Today, the House passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, H.R. 2353, as amended by the Senate, on an unanimous voice vote. This is the bill that will reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). A total of 16 Members of Congress from both parties spoke in favor of the bill, many noting the importance of Career Technical Education (CTE) in helping to close the skills gap and the significant role CTE plays for employers in their districts.

Advance CTE and ACTE released a joint press statement on the bill’s passage. We anticipate that the President will sign the bill into law in the near future. Advance CTE and ACTE will be updating the summary and analysis of the bill to reflect changes that have been made to the bill between the Senate markup of the bill on June 26 and the bill’s passage. Find all of Advance CTE’s Perkins resources on our website.

House Democrats Release Details on the Aim Higher Act to Reauthorize HEA

On July 24, the 17 Democrats on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce released details on the the Aim Higher Act, which would reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The summary, fact sheet, and additional materials from Committee Democrats can be found here. According to the summary, the bill:
  • “Makes college more affordable today – by investing in federal student aid –  and helps states make public college tuition more affordable in the future – by incentivizing states to reinvest in higher education,
  • Cracks down on predatory for-profit institutions that target students and veterans with expensive, low-quality programs,
  • Protects and expands the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which is eliminated in the GOP PROSPER Act, and makes student loans simpler and easier to repay,
  • Provides students the tools they need to graduate on time with a quality degree,
  • Invests in teachers and strengthens training for teachers and school leaders to improve the quality of our schools.”
This proposal comes as a response to the H.R. 4508, the PROSPER Act, which was the Republican HEA reauthorization proposal that passed out of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on a party-line vote on December 12, 2017, as we reported. Advance CTE will provide additional analysis as soon as possible and you can find resources and Advance CTE’s recommendations for the reauthorization of HEA on our website.
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

Senate Passes Perkins Reauthorization

July 24th, 2018

On Monday, July 23, 2018 on a voice vote, the Senate approved a bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins) by taking up H.R. 2353, the House-passed Perkins reauthorization bill and then adopting a substitute amendment offered by Senator Alexander (R-TN). The substitute amendment contains the text of S. 3217, which was the Senate’s bill to reauthorize Perkins. As we reported, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee had marked up the Senate bill to reauthorize Perkins on June 26. Since that time, Advance CTE and ACTE have worked closely with congressional staff to improve the bill and clarify key provisions. Advance CTE and ACTE released a joint press statement on the bill’s passage and also sent a letter to the Senate that outlined our thoughts on the bill.

Now, H.R. 2353, as amended by S. 3217 will head to the House floor for a vote. We anticipate that this vote will occur before the House goes into recess on July 26 and that the President will sign it into law shortly thereafter. Advance CTE and ACTE will be updating the summary and analysis of the bill to reflect changes that have been made to the bill between the markup on June 26 and the bill’s passage. Sign up for our Legislative Updates to ensure you receive the most up-to-date information and resources on Perkins reauthorization.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

House Appropriations Committee Passes FY19 Funding Bill, Senate Perkins Bill Summary Available

July 16th, 2018

Congress returned from recess last week and is back to work on the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). Read below to find out more about the House Appropriations Committee markup of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 spending bill and a new resource from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

House Appropriations Committee Passes FY19 Funding Bill that Includes Key Education Programs 

On July 11, the House Appropriations Committee marked up and voted to pass the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 appropriations bill. The bill largely retained the funding levels for education and workforce programs included in the bill that was passed by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies and added $73 million for four education programs. As we reported, that bill included a $102 million increase for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) Basic State Grant Program, a $13 million increase for National Activities under Perkins and increases for a couple of other key programs as well. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed their Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 Appropriations bill on June 28. This bill included level funding for Perkins at the amount provided in FY18. The FY19 appropriations process is still underway and differences between the two bills will need to be resolved to determine final allocations for Perkins for FY19.

Advance CTE and ACTE Release Summary and Analysis of Senate Perkins Reauthorization Bill

In Case You Missed It: Advance CTE and ACTE released an updated summary and analysis of the Senate Perkins Reauthorization bill last week, which outlines the changes that the Senate bill makes to current law. As we reported, this bill was marked up and passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on June 26. Looking for more information and resources on Perkins? Check out Advance CTE’s Perkins webpage.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

 

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