American Jobs Act Fails in the Senate
Earlier this week the Senate voted on a Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 1660, the American Jobs Act. However, the motion failed to muster the 60 votes necessary to break cloture and formally consider the bill. As a result, the Senate plans to break the President’s jobs package up into pieces and vote on each one individually. The House has not indicated whether they will vote on the bill in the coming weeks.
Senate Introduces Comprehensive ESEA Draft
On Tuesday Senator Tom Harkin (IA) introduced the long anticipated Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011. According to Harkin, the bill will set high expectations for all children to graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers, support teachers and principals to help them provide high quality instruction, ensure disadvantaged students get their fair share of resources, focus federal attention on turning around low-performing schools and closing achievement gaps, and remove federal barriers to give states and communities the flexibility they need to innovate.
The bill would eliminate some of the more controversial vestiges of No Child Left Behind, and it would codify into law some of President Obama’s top education reform priorities:
- Adequate Yearly Progress would be eliminated; instead states would be required to ensure that students are making “continuous improvement.”
- States would be required to set college- and career-readiness standards.
- Current grant programs – Race to Top, Investing in Innovation, and Promise Neighborhood programs – would be codified into law.
- States would be required to develop new teacher evaluation systems.
We are still working through the draft bill to see how it affects the Perkins Act and CTE. We will provide a CTE-specific summary next week. The bill is scheduled to be marked up next week, beginning on Tuesday afternoon. The markup is expected to take four days.
Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act
Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA) and Sen. Bob Casey (PA) introduced the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act this week, H.R. 3154 and S. 1686 respectively. This bill would amend Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to allow school districts to use Title I ESEA funds to better integrate academics with CTE through coursework and networks of schools. The bill would encourage school districts to link secondary school programs, including both middle and high schools, and align secondary and postsecondary education. Further, the bill would leverage a variety of school, employer and community partners.
Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager