Earlier this week, I had the privilege of representing NASDCTEc at a meeting with Jeff Zients (Director of the Office of Management and Budget), Gene Sperling (Director of the National Economic Council), and Alan Krueger (Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers). The meeting was set up to allow organizations, such as NASDCTEc, the chance to explain to the President’s staff how sequestration would impact our programs. Those in attendance agreed that sequestration would have a negative impact on domestic programs, including the Career Technical Education (CTE) community. NASDCTEc is collaborating with the Committee for Education Funding and the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce to fight any additional cuts to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).
On Tuesday, President Obama called for a delay in the sequestration process, currently scheduled for March 1, 2013. Should sequestration occur, all discretionary federal programs, including Perkins would be reduced by an estimated 5.9%. This cut would be harmful, resulting in the loss of CTE programs and negatively impacted the availability of programs to students. A delay in the sequestration process would mean a holding pattern in federal funding, which might be cautiously welcomed. Congress would have to approve the President’s suggestion, so in the coming weeks, more details should be forthcoming.
A short reminder that President Obama will be giving his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on the evening of Tuesday, February 12, 2013. This address is important for the CTE community because the President will use it to outline his legislative agenda and national priorities for the coming year. Giving the response to the State of the Union will be Senator Marco Rubio, who spoke on the benefits of CTE at a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce event and at the Opportunity Nation event last year.
David Beckett, Advocacy Manager