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

Perkins Reauthorization Update and FY19 Appropriations Process Continues

June 26th, 2018

Career Technical Education (CTE) was in the spotlight this week. Read below for an update on the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) and on the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) appropriations process.

Senate Committee Marks Up Perkins, Favorably Reports Nomination of Scott Stump for Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education 

Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to mark up the Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act for the 21st Century Act, which would reauthorize Perkins. The four Senators who were lead negotiators on the bipartisan bill, Senators Alexander (R-TN), Murray (D-WA), Enzi (R-WY) and Casey (D-PA) all spoke favorably of the bill, noting the importance of CTE in their states. Senators Bennet (D-CO), Young (R-IN), Smith (D-MN), Murkowski (R-AK), Baldwin (D-WI) and Kaine (D-VA) also spoke about the bill, noting provisions they saw as particularly important. Amendments to the bill were not offered and the bill passed out of committee on a unanimous voice vote. You can find the joint Advance CTE-ACTE statement on the mark up here. Advance CTE and ACTE will provide a summary and analysis of the bill as soon as possible. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its Perkins reauthorization bill, H.R. 2353, on June 22, 2017 on a voice vote without any objections (you can find the joint Advance CTE-ACTE statement on H.R. 2353 here and you can find all of Advance CTE’s Perkins resources on our website).

During the same hearing today, the Committee also considered the nomination of Scott Stump to be Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education (you can find our statement of support for Scott Stump’s nomination here). Also on a unanimous voice vote, the Committee agreed to favorably report his nomination.

House Appropriations Subcommittee Proposes $115 Million Increase for the Federal Investment in CTE, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Proposes Level Funding 

Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies marked up its FY19 spending bill. This bill proposes a $102 million increase (above the level Congress provided in FY18) for the Perkins Basic State Grants for FY19 and an additional $13 million for National Programs. During the markup, the Subcommittee’s Chairman, Representative Cole (R-OK) noted in his opening statement that, “For the first time in many years, we’ve increased funding for Career and Technical Education programs by $115 million in response to Member interest.” The bill also proposed increases for some other key programs like Student Support and Academic Enrichment state grants authorized under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and apprenticeship opportunities. The bill proposed maintaining FY18 funding levels for Title II of ESSA, state formula grants provided through Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Adult Education State Grants. The Full Appropriations Committee markup of the bill has been postponed.

Today, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies marked up their Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) spending bill. The bill proposed maintaining the FY18 funding level for the Perkins Basic State Grants and proposed increases for Support and Academic Enrichment state grants authorized under Title IV-A of ESSA, Adult Education State Grants and apprenticeship opportunities. Advance CTE will provide additional details on the bill as they become available. The bill is scheduled to be marked up by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on June 28. The FY19 Appropriations process is in the early stages and differences between FY19 spending bills in the House and Senate will be reconciled as the process moves forward.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

Legislative Update: Perkins Markup Tuesday

June 26th, 2018

Today, Tuesday June 26 at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Senate will mark up the Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act for the 21st Century Act, which would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). The livestream is available online here. Follow our coverage of markup on Twitter @CTEWorks.  

Yesterday, we released a joint statement with the Association for Career and Technical Education. Read the full statement here.

Following markup, we will have an updated summary and analysis of the bill to share.  Sign up for our Legislative Updates to ensure you receive this timely information.  

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

Secretary DeVos Testifies at Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing, New Advance CTE Resource

June 8th, 2018

Congress is back in session this week and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies started off the week with a hearing on the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Budget for the U.S. Department of Education. Read below to find out more about hearing, Advance CTE’s advocacy on the federal investment in Career Technical Education (CTE), remarks Secretary DeVos gave this week and a new fact sheet on the role of a State CTE Director.

Secretary DeVos Testifies Before Senate Appropriations Subcommittee 

On June 5, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies held a hearing ,”Review of the FY2019 Budget Request for the Department of Education,” during which U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified. Members’ questions and comments focused on the level of investment for many federal grant programs and they discussed a number of topics including school safety, accountability, school choice and more. Several members asked about topics related to CTE, including how the Department’s FY19 Budget addresses the skills gap, supports apprenticeship and the need to expand eligibility for Pell Grants to short-term programs. Senator Baldwin (D-WI), co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus, asked Secretary DeVos about the President’s FY19 Budget Request including flat-funding (at the level Congress provided for FY17) for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). When Secretary DeVos emphasized that level-funding for programs means they are a “top priority” for the Administration, Senator Baldwin (D-WI) noted that this was “disappointing.”

Advance CTE Participates in Committee for Education Funding Advocacy Event

On June 5, the Committee for Education Funding hosted an event for Congressional staff to learn about and discuss the federal investment in the full continuum of education programs. Advance CTE participated in the event and shared resources on the need to increase the federal investment in Perkins with attendees. Looking for resources to share about the federal investment in CTE? Check them out on our website.

Secretary DeVos Speaks at International Congress on Vocational & Professional Training

On June 7, Secretary DeVos provided remarks at the International Congress on Vocational & Professional Training in Zurich, Switzerland. Secretary DeVos discussed the connection between education and the economy and the need to adapt over time, apprenticeships and more. She noted that, “students must be prepared to anticipate and adapt. They need to acquire and master broadly transferrable and versatile educational competencies like critical thinking. Collaboration. Communication. Creativity. Cultural intelligence.” You can find Secretary DeVos’ prepared remarks here.

New Resource: Getting to Know the State CTE Director Role

Advance CTE released a new fact sheet that highlights the responsibilities of the State CTE Director, what factors might impact this role and how this can promote cross-system collaboration.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

Secretary DeVos Testifies in House Hearing, OCTAE Announces New Grant

May 25th, 2018

Career Technical Education (CTE) has been getting a lot of attention in Washington, D.C., with news about CTE from Congress, the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the Department of Education and the Administration. Read below to learn more about these items and check out a new video from Advance CTE.

Secretary DeVos Testifies Before House Committee on Education and the Workforce

On May 22, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing, “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Education,” during which U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified. Members’ questions and comments focused on a variety of topics including school safety, accountability, school choice and more. Several members discussed CTE and asked Secretary DeVos about the need to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). Secretary DeVos emphasized the need for the Senate to take up reauthorization quickly and to keep the law flexible.

OCTAE Announces New Grant Focused on STEM Apprenticeship 

On May 18, a notice in the Federal Register announced a new grant program to be administered by OCTAE, “Pathways to STEM Apprenticeships for High School CTE Students.” The notice notes that the grants “will fund State-level efforts that support local or regional approaches to establishing Apprenticeship programs for high school CTE Students or that support efforts to implement or expand coordinated Apprenticeship programming for high school CTE Students.” OCTAE expects to award approximately five three-year grants ranging from $500,000-$750,000 each. Find more information about the grants, including a webinar for prospective applicants and deadlines for submissions on the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network website.

In Case You Missed It: President Trump Nominates Scott Stump for Assistant Secretary for OCTAE 

On May, 14, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Scott Stump to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Stump boasts a long and distinguished career in education. He served as a national CTE leader, serving as President on the Advance CTE Board of Directors in 2014-15. Advance CTE is proud to fully endorse his nomination.

Advance CTE Releases New Video 

Advance CTE just released a new video that provides an overview of how CTE prepares learners for their futures while closing the skills gap for employers across the country. Use this video to help you make the case for CTE and demonstrate the benefits of today’s CTE!

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

Presidential Scholars Named, Hearing on the Skills Gap, Apprenticeship Task Force Completes Report

May 11th, 2018

Career Technical Education (CTE) was in the spotlight this week with the announcement of the 2018 Presidential Scholars and a congressional hearing on closing the skills gap. Read below to learn more about these items and an update on the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.

2018 CTE Presidential Scholars Announced

On May 8, 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars were named by U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. This includes 20 students who are U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE. On June 24these students will be recognized at a ceremony, during which they will receive their Presidential Scholar Medallions. Check out this blog post to learn more about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Closing the Skills Gap

On May 9, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing, “Closing the Skills Gap: Private sector solutions for America’s workforce.” The witnesses who provided testimony during the hearing were Ryan Costella, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Click Bond, Inc., Tamar Jacoby, President of Opportunity America, Steve Partridge, Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development at Northern Virginia Community College and Traci Tapani, Co-President and Owner of Wyoming Machine, Inc. Members of the Subcommittee focused their questions on a variety of factors that influence the skills gap and how programs and partnerships between business and education can work together to overcome it. Witnesses discussed the role CTE can play in connecting education to business and industry and examples of programs that have seen promising results. In addition, they discussed the importance of investing in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Additional topics were also discussed, including the need to both strengthen career guidance and advisement and change the perception of CTE.

Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion Completes Final Report

The Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, which was called for by President Trump’s June 2017 Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeships in America held its final meeting on May 10. The Task Force was chaired by Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta and vice-chaired by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and comprised of 20 members representing business and industry, education, state and local government and more. As part of the Executive Order, the Task Force was “charged with the mission of identifying strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships, especially in sectors where apprenticeship programs are insufficient” and submit a final report to the President with their findings. The final report includes 26 recommendations from the Task Force’s four subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Education and Credentialing, the Subcommittee on Attracting Business to Apprenticeship, the Subcommittee on Expanding Access, Equity, and Career Awareness and the Subcommittee on Administrative and Regulatory Strategies to Expand Apprenticeship. You can find the final report along with materials from the Task Force’s previous meetings on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion webpage.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

Congress Turns to FY19 Appropriations

April 26th, 2018

Congress is now turning its attention to the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Appropriations process. In the last two weeks, a letter requesting a stronger federal investment in the Perkins Basic State Grant was sent to Senate Appropriators and the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing on FY19. Read below to find out more about these items and a bill introduced to help address the shortage of Career Technical Education (CTE) educators.

38 Senators Sign Letter Requesting Larger Investment in Perkins

As we reported, Senators Blumenthal (D-CT), along with two of the co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Kaine (D-VA), led an effort to send a “Dear Colleague” letter 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 encouraging that they consider increasing the federal investment in Perkins. A record 38 Senators across 26 statessigned the letter – a strong show of support for CTE and a reflection of your advocacy efforts! Advance CTE will be sending thank you letters to these Senators and we encourage you to do so as well if your Senator(s) signed on to the letter (and you can find their contact information through the U.S. Senate website).

Oklahoma CTE Leader Testifies at House Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on the Pipeline to the Workforce

On April 25, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing on the FY19 Pipeline to the Workforce. Dr. Tom Friedemann, Superintendent/CEO of the Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma testified during the hearing along with Dr. Maria H. Coons, Vice President of Workforce and Strategic Alliances at Harper College in Illinois, G. David Sload, President-CEO of the Keystone Chapter, Associated Builders and Contractors in Pennsylvania and Portia Wu, Director of Workforce Policy at Microsoft Corporation. Members of the Subcommittee focused their questions on a variety of topics related to apprenticeship models and CTE delivery. The importance of changing the perception of CTE was raised as well as career exploration, career guidance and advisement and providing tailored student supports.

“Creating Quality Technical Educators Act” Introduced in the Senate

On April 24, Senators Kaine (D-VA), Portman (R-OH) and Baldwin (D-WI), Co-Chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, along with Senator Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the “Creating Quality Technical Educators Act.” The bill’s press release highlights that it will “create a teacher residency grant program to help address the CTE teacher shortage in schools. The grant program creates partnerships between elementary, middle or high schools and higher education institutions to offer one-year teacher residencies to train prospective educators.” Advance CTE is proud to support this bill.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

 

Congress Back in Session, New Advance CTE Resources, Perkins Reauthorization Update

April 13th, 2018

With Congress back in session this week (after a two-week recess), there’s news to share from Washington, D.C.! Read below to learn more about President Trump’s intent to nominate a key official for a post at the U.S. Department of Labor, an important announcement about the current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, new resources from Advance CTE and an update on reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).

President Trump to Nominate John P. Pallasch for Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training

On April 11, President Trump announced his intent to nominate John P. Pallasch for the position of Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training. Pallasch previously served in the Kentucky Department of Labor as the Executive Director of the Office of Employment and Training.

Speaker of the House, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) Will Not Seek Re-Election 

On April 11, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is the current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives announced that he will not seek re-election in November. The next House Speaker will be selected after the November elections and will take on the role in January 2019, when the next Congress is sworn into office.

Advance CTE Releases CTE on the Frontier: Rural CTE Strategy Guide

This week, Advance CTE released CTE on the Frontier: Rural CTE Strategy Guide, a tool that includes a series of questions for state leaders to use as they reflect on current efforts to expand access to high-quality CTE and career-focused pathways and experiences in rural communities and to identify future opportunities and actions. The guide, along with Advance CTE’s earlier CTE on the Frontier briefs are accessible in the Learning that Works Resource Center and examine state strategies to improve program quality, connect rural learners to the world of work, diversify program offerings and strengthen the CTE teacher pipeline. In all, this package of resources can help state leaders identify and execute a plan to improve rural access to high-quality career pathways.

Status Update on Perkins Reauthorization

Since House passage of H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 2st Century Act, the bill that would reauthorize Perkins, there has been little discussion about the Senate taking up reauthorization. Recently, Senate staff for members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee have been engaged in internal discussions on Perkins reauthorization. Committee staff are exchanging ideas and language in an effort to spark discussion and move the reauthorization process forward. These initial ideas are not the foundation of a legislative proposal, but rather just one part of the negotiations. While some of the ideas we have heard are not aligned with Advance CTE’s Perkins Reauthorization Recommendations and would present significant concerns, we remain engaged in the process and are working closely with Hill staff to address these issues.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

FY18 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Includes Increase for Perkins

March 27th, 2018

Last week marked a big week for Congress’ work on both Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) and 2019 (FY19) appropriations. Read below to learn more about what was included for education and workforce programs in the FY18 omnibus appropriations bill, the FY19 “Dear Colleague” letters to request a strong investment in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) Basic State Grants and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ testimony on the President’s FY19 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Education.

FY18 Omnibus Signed Into Law, Perkins Receives $75 Million Increase

Last week, Congress passed and President Trump signed an omnibus appropriations bill for FY18. Notably, the omnibus included a $75 million boost to the Perkins Basic State Grant, bringing this investment up to nearly $1.2 billion. This increase will be allocated to states based on the federal to state formula included in Title I of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins). You can find more information about the the omnibus in Advance CTE’s press release and some notable increases (compared to FY17 levels) to education and workforce programs are outlined below:

  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment state grants, grants authorized under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) received a $700 million increase.
  • Congress authorized an increase in the maximum award for federal Pell Grants. Eligible students could receive up to $6,095 for the 2018-2019 academic year, compared to the current $5,920 per year.
  • State formula grants provided through Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) were increased by $80 million.
  • Adult Education and Family Literacy State Grants were increased by $35 million.
  • Apprenticeship grants received a $50 million increase.

Looking for additional information on program allocations? The National Skills Coalition has a helpful table that compares the FY17 and FY18 omnibus appropriations levels for key education and workforce programs and the Committee for Education Funding has a new table that shows the FY16, FY17 and FY18 appropriations levels as well as the Presidents’ FY18 and FY19 requests for many education programs.

170 Representatives Sign Letter to Support Federal Investment in Perkins

As we reported, Representatives Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA) led an effort to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to the leaders of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee requesting strong funding for Perkins. A record 170 Representatives from both parties across 40 states and territories signed the letter – a strong show of support for CTE and a reflection of your advocacy efforts! Advance CTE will be sending thank you letters to these members of Congress and we encourage you to do so as well if your Representative signed on to the letter (and you can find their contact information through the U.S. House of Representatives Directory).

Contact Your Senator About Signing the FY19 Perkins Funding Letter

Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), along with two of the co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Kaine (D-VA), will be sending a letter 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 encouraging that they consider increasing the federal investment in Perkins to $1.3 billion. Right now, these Senators are asking for their colleagues to join them in signing this letter (their request is formally called a “Dear Colleague” letter). Please consider contacting your Senators to encourage them to sign on to the letter by using the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Action Center or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking your Senators to sign onto the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Perkins appropriations letter.

Secretary DeVos Testifies on U.S. Department of Education FY19 Budget 

On March 20, Secretary DeVos testified on the President’s FY19 Budget Request before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee. After opening statements, Members of the subcommittee used the entire time allotted for the hearing for their questions, which focused on a variety of topics, including school safety, school choice and more. Secretary DeVos discussed CTE briefly in her opening statement and in response to remarks from Representatives who noted their support of CTE, she said, “we would advocate for making the CTE programming through the Perkins program more flexible to reach down even into middle school to help students know and understand, again what pathways they might have beyond high school to consider.”

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

 

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