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

New Report on States’ ESSA Report Cards, A Push for Colleges to Complete Equity Audits

April 26th, 2019

Even though Congress is in recess, new reports and recent events have kept the attention on Career Technical Education (CTE). Read below to learn more about a new analysis of state report cards required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), equity audits for postsecondary institutions, and two recent events in Washington, D.C. that featured CTE.

Data Quality Campaign Report Sheds Light on States’ ESSA Report Cards   

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has updated its annual review of state K-12 report cards, illuminating for the first time how states are reporting and communicating student progress in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) era. States made some bold commitments in their ESSA plans, but DQC’s analysis shows that there is still work to do. According to their analysis, 41 states do not include disaggregated achievement data for at least one federally required subgroup. Twenty seven states do not include data on postsecondary enrollment. These are challenges states will need to address as they prepare to meet the data collection and reporting requirements under Perkins V.

Center for American Progress Encourages Colleges to Conduct Equity Audits

One part of the Center for American Progress’s (CAP) Beyond Tuition initiative to improve affordability, quality and accountability in higher education is for colleges to carry out equity audits. CAP defines equity audits as “internal reviews of key policies and practices to identify those that fail to effectively serve underrepresented students.” Senator Schatz (D-HI) recently introduced the College Equity Act, which includes implementation of equity audits in colleges and corresponding grant funding based on the outcomes of the audit. Find more information in CAP’s article, Equity Audits: A Tool for Campus Improvement.

Convening on Rethinking Correctional and Reentry Education Includes CTE 

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Educated hosted a convening on Rethinking Correctional and Reentry Education: A Second Chance at Learning with the purpose of highlighting and advancing the “conversation around the administration-wide goal of rethinking education for incarcerated individuals.” The day included panels on state and local programs, student and educator perspectives, as well as remarks from the Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson. A common theme, especially when hearing from state and local leaders, was that CTE plays an important role in educational programming for those who are incarcerated. A breakout session in the afternoon on how Perkins V and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) can support education for incarcerated individuals highlighted that both laws provide opportunities to do so, but there is a lack of clarity on how this can be done. Looking for opportunities for how to promote collaboration across Perkins V and WIOA? Check out Coordinating Across Perkins V and WIOA, a brief from Advance CTE and the National Skills Coalition.

Workforce Preparation was a Resounding Theme at Reagan Institute Summit

The Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) – hosted by the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute, which aims to promote the former President’s legacy through policy and ideas – was held in Washington, DC on April 11. A major focus of this year’s summit was career readiness. Senator Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, made the case for expanding eligibility for Pell grants to both individuals who are incarcerated as well as learners in short-term credential programs. Representative Foxx (R-NC), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, also made the case for strengthening workforce preparation opportunities in order to ensure that learners do not accrue significant amounts of debt without a credential to show for it. Other policymakers suggested ideas such as using H-1B visa funds to support training in high-need industry areas or piloting risk sharing funding models to hold institutions of higher education accountable for the workforce outcomes of their graduates. Overall, the theme of the day was that support for career preparation in high school and college is widespread.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate & Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

New Perkins V Innovation and Modernization Grants, Congress & Administration Look at HEA

April 17th, 2019

Congress was busy last week heading into the two-week recess with activity on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and appropriations. Read below to learn more and find out about news from the Administration on the Innovation and Modernization grant program authorized under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and higher education.

41 Senators Sign CTE Funding Letter  

Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) was joined by 40 additional Senators who signed on to a “Dear Colleague” letter that encouraged robust funding for Perkins. The letter was sent to the Chairman, Senator Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member, Senator Murray (D-WA) of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies as they begin the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020). The widespread support for the letter is a testament to your advocacy efforts! You can see if your Senators signed on to the letter in this blog post from our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) – please be sure to send a thank you note to those who signed!

Looking to continue 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.

House Holds Hearing on U.S. Department of Education Priorities

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified before the House Committee on Education and Labor on “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Education.” In particular, the hearing focused on the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget. A variety of topics were covered, such as secondary and postsecondary CTE programs, expanding Pell grant eligibility to short-term programs, federal student aid delivery and support for Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A video of the hearing and statements from Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Secretary DeVos can be found here. The statement from Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) can be found here.

Perkins V Innovation and Modernization Grant Now Accepting Applications

On April 15, applications became available for the Perkins Innovation and Modernization Grant Program to “identify, support, and rigorously evaluate Evidence-Based and innovative strategies and activities to improve and modernize CTE and ensure workforce skills taught in CTE programs…align with labor market needs.” Over $2 million in total are available for this grant, and up to six grants will be awarded to scale evidence-based innovative programs that lead to better student outcomes and program effectiveness. Grantees will receive between $400,000 and $500,000 for a 36 month project. Each grantee must match awarded funds with non-Federal funding sources.

The one absolute priority for all applicants is to “submit a plan to create, develop, implement, replicate or take to scale Evidence-Based, field-initiatives innovations to modernize and to improve effectiveness and alignment of CTE with labor market needs and to improve student outcomes in CTE.” In addition, there are three Competitive Preference Priorities: programs that will improve STEM and computer science student outcomes; programs that serve the majority of students from low-income households and programs that serve students in Qualified Opportunity Zones. A webinar will be held by the U.S. Department of Education on April 25 to provide additional information.

Higher Education Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Reached Consensus

The negotiated rulemaking committee reached consensus on all three regulation packages proposed by the Education Department after months of hearings and rounds of edits to the originally proposed regulatory language. The panel of negotiators agreed to changes on issues such as accreditation, federal distance education rules, competency-based education, federal aid programs for religious institutions and a change to the TEACH grant program that would provide teachers whose grants were changed to loans an opportunity to appeal.

In order to reach consensus, the Administration removed some proposals, such as changing the scope of regional accreditors and giving colleges receiving federal aid permission to outsource over 50 percent of a program to an unaccredited external entity. Now, the Education Department will publish the agreed upon regulatory language in the Federal Register and allow for public comments. The new rules must be finalized before November in order to be enacted in the summer of 2020. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos put out a statement in support of the committee’s consensus.

Senate Holds Hearing on Higher Education Act Reauthorization

The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee held a hearing last week on “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Strengthening Accountability to Protect Students and Taxpayers.” This hearing explored topics such as the role the federal and institutional roles in ensuring accountability and how data can better support all students. A video of the hearing and all witness testimonies can be found here. HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) press release on the hearing can be found here, and the statement from Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) can be found here.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy & Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

155 Representatives Sign CTE Funding Letter, President Signs Executive Order on Higher Ed

March 28th, 2019

With two hearings this week on the President’s budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020), appropriations season is in full swing! Read below to learn more about the hearings, the Representatives who signed a letter to support funding for CTE, and updates on both higher education and K-12 education.

155 Representatives Sign CTE Funding Letter

Representatives Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus, were joined by 153 additional Representatives from both parties who signed on to a “Dear Colleague” letter that encouraged strong funding for Perkins. The letter was sent to the Chairwoman, Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member, Tom Cole (R-OK) of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies as they begin the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020). The widespread support for the letter is a testament to your advocacy efforts! You can check this spreadsheet to see if your Representative signed on to the letter – please don’t forget to send a thank you note to those who signed!

Looking to continue 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.

Secretary DeVos Testifies at House and Senate FY2020 Education Budget Hearings

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies held hearings on the President’s FY2020 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education on March 26 and March 28, respectively. Secretary DeVos testified before both committees and both hearings covered a wide variety of topics, from student loan debt to school discipline to school safety and more. In addition, there was much discussion around issues affecting CTE, such as teacher shortages, expanding Pell grant eligibility to high-quality, short-term programs, apprenticeship, and the proposed elimination of two programs that can support CTE and other efforts: the Supporting Effective Instruction grants authorized under Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants authorized under Title IV-A of ESSA. While the President’s budget proposed level-funding for CTE State Grants, multiple members of Congress expressed support for CTE and the need to change the perception of CTE.

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Higher Education

On March 21, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities. The executive order provides direction across three categories: Promoting First Amendment Rights, Improving Transparency and Addressing Student Loan Debt. First, the executive order reinforces existing requirements for colleges receiving federal funding for research to support free speech. Significantly, the order directs the U.S. Department of Education to add program level data on student outcomes for the first time to the College Scorecard, an online interactive tool that allows users to gather information on the cost and certain outcomes (e.g., median earnings, median loan debt, and loan default and repayment rates) of higher education institutions. The executive order also calls for the U.S. Secretary of Education to lead the research and reporting of policy options for risk sharing with student loan debt so that the federal government, institutions and other entities- not only the student- have a financial stake in students’ ability to repay loans. The research must address: state and institution transfer policies, how states and institutions can increase dual enrollment opportunities, and other ways to increase student success, particular in completing postsecondary programs of study. Secretary DeVos’s statement on the executive order can be found here and Senator Alexander’s (R-TN), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, statement can be found here.

More than Twice As Many States Counting Career Readiness than in 2014

A new report from Advance CTE, Achieve, Education Strategy Group and the Council of Chief State School Officers through the New Skills for Youth initiative examines state and federal accountability systems to see how states are measuring college and career readiness. The report, called Making Career Readiness Count 3.0, finds that the number of states with career readiness metrics in their systems has more than doubled from 17 in 2014 to 40 in 2019. The report breaks down common approaches to measuring college and career readiness and offers critical questions for states to consider as they implement new measures.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy, Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate & Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

Contact Your Representative to Support the Federal Investment in CTE

March 20th, 2019

The congressional appropriation process is now underway and there’s lots of news about  the Higher Education Act (HEA). Read below to learn more about how to support the federal investment in CTE by contacting your Representative about signing a “Dear Colleague” letter and how Congress and President Trump are focusing in on HEA .

Contact your Representative to Support the Federal Investment in CTE by March 22 

Representatives Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus, will be sending a “Dear Colleague” letter to the Chairwoman, Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member, Tom Cole (R-OK) of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies respectfully encouraging that they consider strong funding for Perkins. Please contact your Representative to encourage them to sign on to the letter by visiting ACTE’s Take Action page and scroll to “Ask Your Representative to Sign Perkins Funding Letter” and click “Take Action.” You can also find your representative, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to their office, and then ask about the Representative’s interest in signing on to a “Dear Colleague” letter to support strong funding for Perkins. Interested Representatives can contact the offices of Representatives Langevin (D-RI) or Thompson (R-PA) to sign on. The deadline to sign on is 5pm Eastern Time on Friday, March 22.

White House Releases Proposal for Higher Education Reform

On March 18, the Trump administration released its principles for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), led by Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President. The administration seeks to “increase access to affordable, flexible, and innovative postsecondary education and skills attainment.” The following goals were outlined:

  • Reorient the Accreditation Process to Focus on Student Outcomes;
  • Increase Innovation in the Education Marketplace;
  • Better Align Education to the Needs of Today’s Workforce;
  • Increase Institutional Accountability;
  • Accelerate Program Completion;
  • Support Historically Black Colleges and Universities;
  • Encourage Responsible Borrowing;
  • Simplify Student Aid;
  • Support Returning Students and
  • Give Prospective Students More Meaningful and Useful Information about Schools and Programs.

Advance CTE will continue to monitor efforts in Congress to reauthorize HEA and provide updates.

Congress Introduces Higher Education Legislation

On March 14, Senators Kaine (D-VA) and Portman (R-OH) reintroduced the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act. This legislation would expand Pell Grant eligibility to high-quality short-term postsecondary programs. Eligible short-term programs would have to be at least 150 clock hours over at least eight weeks, meet local or regional labor market needs, articulate to institutional credit and provide students with a recognized postsecondary license, certification or credential.

Also on March 14, Senators Cassidy (R-LA), Warren (D-MA), Scott (R-SC) and Whitehouse (D-RI) reintroduced the College Transparency Act. This legislation would create a student-level data network within the National Center for Education Statistics and promote transparency and accuracy in postsecondary student data.

On March 12, Senators Kaine and Collins (R-ME) reintroduced the Preparing and Retaining Education Professionals (PREP) Act. This legislation aims to help address teacher and principal shortages, particularly in rural areas.

Advance CTE is proud to support all three of these bills, and will continue to advocate for legislation that reflects our HEA recommendations.

Congress Holds First HEA Hearings of 2019

The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee held its first HEA hearing this year on “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Simplifying the FAFSA and Reducing the Burden of Verification.” Chairman Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Murray (D-WA) agreed that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be simplified to be more accessible.

The House Committee on Education and Labor also held its first of five announced HEA hearings on “The Cost of College: Student Centered Reforms to Bring Higher Education Within Reach.” In his opening remarks, Chairman Scott (D-VA) share that his goal is to pass comprehensive higher education reform, with a focus on access and affordability. Topics that came up throughout the hearing included improving the purchasing power of Pell Grants, simplifying FAFSA, responding to state disinvestment in higher education, making college more affordable and simplifying student loan repayment.

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

President’s Budget Proposal Released

March 14th, 2019

During the last week, the President released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board held a meeting and there’s news about the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Read below to learn more.

President’s Budget Proposes Significant Cuts for Education and Workforce Programs 

On March 11, President Trump released the budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), which begins October 1. The President’s budget proposal is typically released the first Monday in February, but this year’s partial government shutdown delayed the process. Importantly, the release of the President’s budget proposal formally begins the appropriations process, during which Congress will decide the extent to which they align their funding decisions with the priorities laid out in the President’s budget proposal.

Unfortunately, the proposal includes a 12.5 percent cut overall for the U.S. Department of Education and a  9.7 percent cut overall for the U.S. Department of Labor. Some key programs are highlighted below and the specific levels for each program can be found in the U.S. Department of Education budget summary and the U.S. Department of Labor budget in brief:

  • Investments in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V):
    • CTE State Grants: proposed level funding for the Perkins Basic State Grants at the amount provided by Congress in FY19. The President’s budget also includes the recommendation that Congress authorize changes to increase the fees collected for H-1B visas and redirect 15 percent of that revenue to provide an increase in funding for CTE State Grants. However, we are still examining this proposal and at this point, it is unclear if this would be a practical way to ensure more resources for CTE State Grants and how much funding could be realized.
    • National Programs: proposed increase of $12.58 million above the amount provided by Congress in FY19 to support the new Innovation and Modernization grants authorized under Perkins V.
  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, authorized under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which can support CTE as part of a well-rounded education: proposed for elimination.
  • Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, authorized under Title II of ESSA, which can support CTE professional development: proposed for elimination.
  • Pell Grants: proposed to keep the maximum Pell grant frozen at its current level, rescind $2 billion from the the Pell reserve (the unobligated funds for the program that have been previously appropriated), and expand the access to the Pell grant to short-term programs. Advance CTE is supportive of expanding Pell grants to shorter-term programs as outlined in the JOBS Act, which has bipartisan support.
  • State formula grants provided through Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): proposed level funding at the amount provided by Congress in FY19.
  • Adult Education and Family Literacy State Grants: proposed decrease of $156.2 million below the level provided by Congress in FY19.
  • Apprenticeship grants: proposed level funding at the amount provided by Congress in FY19, noting that these funds should be directed to Industry-Recognized Apprenticeships.

Advance CTE will continue to monitor the appropriations process and will let you know when it is time to contact your members of Congress.

American Workforce Policy Advisory Board Meets 

On March 6, the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board held a meeting. As we reported, the board is comprised of 25 members representing the education, business, nonprofit and government fields. During the meeting, Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President, shared four goals that were discussed during the meeting:

  • “First is to develop a robust campaign to promote multiple pathways to good-paying jobs, dispelling the myth that there is only one path to a successful career.
  • Second, improving the availability of high-quality, transparent, and timely data to better inform students and educators, as well as match American workers to American jobs.
  • Third, modernizing candidate recruitment and training practices to expand the pool of job applicants employers are looking to hire.
  • And finally, measuring and encouraging employer-led training and investments. We are championing and seeking to further private-sector leadership and investment in workforce development.”

Additional remarks from the meeting are now available. Advance CTE will continue to provide updates on the advisory board.

Fourteen States Now Publishing Spending Data per ESSA Requirements

For the first time, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to publish school-by-school spending data to illuminate where and how taxpayer dollars are being spent on education. According to an analysis from Georgetown University14 states have now made this information public. Many states are still working through the process of collecting and publishing their spending data.

States Mulling Revisions to ESSA Plans

According to EdWeek, five states – New Mexico, Indiana, Michigan, South Carolina, and Wyoming – are considering revisions to their ESSA state plans. Most of the proposed changes involve restructuring the school rating system without significantly altering the accountability indicators.

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

Ask Your Representative to Co-Sponsor CTE Month Resolution by 2/8

February 4th, 2019

Career Technical Education (CTE) Month is now underway and there’s lots of attention on CTE in Washington, DC. Read below to learn more about how to contact your Representative to support the resolution recognizing CTE Month, an update on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, how to promote equity in college in high school programs and the Administration’s recent mention of CTE.

Contact your Representative to Co-Sponsor the CTE Month Resolution by 2/8

Representatives Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus, recently introduced a resolution to recognize CTE month (last year’s resolution had 47 co-sponsors)! Please contact your Representative to encourage them to co-sponsor the CTE Month resolution by visiting the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) CTE Action Center here. You can also find your representative, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to their office and then ask about the Representative’s interest in co-sponsoring the Resolution. Interested Representatives can contact the offices of Representatives Langevin (D-RI) or Thompson (R-PA) to co-sponsor the resolution. The deadline for additional co-sponsors is 5pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 8.

Senator Alexander’s Vision for Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

On Monday, February 4, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), spoke about reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) at the American Enterprise Institute. He announced three key concepts for updating HEA in a way that responds to some of the pressing challenges facing prospective, current and former college students: 1) Simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), 2) Streamline the options to repay student loans and 3) Create a new accountability system for colleges to report whether borrowers are able to repay loans. There have been multiple proposals in the Senate that touch upon these three ideas and Senator Alexander plans to work with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate HELP Committee, to introduce one piece of legislation this spring that encompasses each.You can find Senator Alexander’s remarks here and be sure to keep an eye on Advance CTE’s blog for additional updates on HEA reauthorization.

How Can ESSA be Used to Advance Equity in College in High School Programs?

The Education Trust and the College in High School Alliance recently released a fact sheet, Advancing Equity in College in High School Programs: Opportunities Under ESSA, that includes key questions and considerations for those thinking about how to advance equity in college in high school access and success, and how the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) can be leveraged to accomplish it. Related videos on dual-enrollment can be found here.

Administration Releases Fact Sheet on Revitalizing American Manufacturing, Includes Perkins Reauthorization

On January 31, the Administration released a fact sheet, President Donald J. Trump is Following Through on His Promise to Revitalize American Manufacturing, which included the passage of the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) as an example of how President Trump is investing in workforce development. Advance CTE will continue to provide updates on the Administration’s coverage of CTE, including if it is mentioned during the State of the Union address on February 5 at 9:00pm Eastern Time.

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

 

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