New Advance CTE Resources, Increased Focus on Postsecondary

Advance CTE has new resources out on H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (which would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins)) and will release a report on states’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans next week. While Congress and the Administration are paying attention to states’ ESSA plans, they’re also turning to issues in postsecondary education. More below on new Advance CTE resources, a webinar we’re hosting on July 20, Pell grants and legislative proposals to address postsecondary education.

H.R. 2353 Resources Now Available 

As we reported, H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, overwhelmingly passed the House last week. You can find our summary of the bill here and the letter we sent in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) to the House here, which commends the Committee for their work on the bill but also reiterates our concerns about how the bill defines a secondary CTE concentrator.

ESSA Webinar on Career Readiness

This spring, sixteen states and Washington D.C. submitted plans to the U.S. Department of Education describing their strategies to implement ESSA. A number of organizations have released their analyses of ESSA state plans (e.g., Bellwether Education Partners and the Alliance for Excellent Education) and Advance CTE will release our analysis next week, which will focus specifically on how the plans address career readiness. Please join us Thursday, July 20 from 1-2 p.m. ET to hear from national experts and state leaders about connecting ESSA to your state’s vision for career readiness.

Year-Round Pell Grants Take Effect July 1 

As we reported in May, Congress approved a Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) Omnibus package that included the reinstatement of year-round Pell grants. On June 19, Secretary DeVos officially announced that the change would take effect on July 1, 2017, allowing students “to receive up to 150 percent of the student’s Federal Pell Grant Scheduled Award beginning with the 2017-2018 award year.” Find the press release from the U.S. Department of Education here and the “Dear Colleague” Letter issued here.

In Case You Missed It: Postsecondary Legislation Introduced in the House

On June 8, members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee introduced two pieces of legislation as part of the “Aim Higher” initiative. The initiative, which is being led by House Democrats, has a goal of making “quality higher education accessible and affordable to empower America’s working families to succeed in our economy” (find more in the press release here).
The Jumpstart on College Act, sponsored by Rep. Espaillat (D-NY) would create competitive grants that would be awarded to “support dual enrollment and early college high schools that primarily serve low-income students” and “colleges and universities to partner with school districts to support the development of these programs.” Find additional details in the summary here.
The Advancing Competency-Based Education Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Polis (D-CO) would amend the Higher Education Act (HEA) “to allow for the voluntary implementation of competency-based education demonstration projects at institutions of higher education,” which would be selected by the Secretary of Education through an application process. The bill would also create “a council to study the ongoing innovation and growth of competency-based education.” Find additional details in the summary here.
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

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