Navigating CTE During COVID-19: How New Hampshire is Addressing Access Gaps

May 19th, 2020

The homework gap refers to the potential inequality in access to broadband infrastructure and internet-accessible devices that can affect low-income and rural students disproportionately. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has highlighted and deepened the digital divide.

According to a report by the Pew Research Center, roughly 63 percent of Americans in rural settings have broadband internet access at home, 12 percent less than the national average. Rural learners are less likely to have internet-accessible devices besides a smartphone. The ability to provide equitable access and deliver content to all learners is an issue that if they weren’t already, rural schools and districts are grappling with now in light of all instruction taking place online. 

New Hampshire has created innovative approaches to address internet access and online instruction, with one of the greatest successes involving opening up lines of communication with new stakeholders. Early in the Coronavirus pandemic, a few large internet service providers, such as Xfinity, removed the subscriber requirement for access to their wifi hotspots. However, in rural northern New Hampshire, these hotspots didn’t exist and smaller local companies and local service providers filled this role with similar products. Direct outreach by the state’s Commissioner of Education to local companies and service providers resulted in a 95 percent success rate in either opening wifi access or lifting previous download limits. Additionally, through the Commissioner’s outreach, eligibility for Xfinity’s program for free or reduced-cost internet for low-income individuals was expanded, and users with previous outstanding bills that were formally ineligible for this program could now have access.

Having internet access alone isn’t helpful if learners and their families don’t have a device that can access content, so New Hampshire has been distributing Chromebooks to students throughout the state. Some charter schools had surplus computer equipment, and opening up a dialogue between education systems that might not normally take place resulted in additional devices available for the public school system. For some Career Technical Education (CTE) programs that required specialized hardware, desktop computers and monitors were distributed to students. 

A change in the successful delivery of educational content also relies on professional development for teachers to adapt to new pedagogical challenges. New Hampshire created professional development resources and instruction for teachers to assist in successfully transitioning to remote learning.

“With additional funding, we would be able to expand simulation technology for CTE, including virtual reality technologies,” says Eric Frauwirth, New Hampshire’s State CTE Director and State Administrator with the New Hampshire Department of Education. Students in programs that have hands-on requirements for clinical hours, like welding or nursing, could use this simulation technology to achieve program and licensure requirements. Rather than have these located at the scattered technical centers within the state, this new technology could be distributed to local sending high schools with reserved time for students to use these technologies.

States and local leaders have taken necessary steps to ensure each learner has access to virtual education, however, there needs to be much more support to scale innovative solutions. Advance CTE has called for a strong investment in CTE funding in order to lessen the digital divide, and the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act includes $1 billion for CTE funding, which could be used to expand the infrastructure necessary to support these programs. In addition, the Emergency Educational Connections Act of 2020, which Advance CTE supports, introduced by Senate Ed Markey (D-MA) would authorize $4 billion to help close the homework gap.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Middle Grades CTE: Course/Activity Structure and Scheduling

May 19th, 2020

There is widespread agreement that high school is too late to begin to expose learners to careers and the foundational skills needed to access and succeed in careers, but there remains a lack of consensus about what CTE and career readiness should entail at the middle grades level.

Advance CTE, with support from ACTE, convened a Shared Solutions Workgroup of national, state and local leaders to identify the core components of a meaningful middle grades CTE experience. This collaboration resulted in Broadening the Path: Design Principles for Middle Grades CTE and a companion blog series exploring each of the core programmatic elements of middle grades CTE defined in the paper. In this second entry in the blog series, we will examine the core programmatic element of course/activity structure and scheduling.

Inclusivity and flexibility are at the core of state and local decision-making about middle grades CTE structure and scheduling. Whether middle grades CTE is integrated across the curriculum or offered through individual courses or course units, specific and regular time should be dedicated to CTE in the middle grades so that all learners can benefit. In particular, careful attention must be paid to ensure that learners who need additional academic supports are not kept from experiencing CTE due to scheduling constraints. Decisions about middle grades CTE delivery may affect master schedules, the availability and qualifications of educators, and even graduation requirements.

States and local districts are implementing a variety of delivery options for middle grades CTE. Utah’s one-credit College and Career Awareness course is required for all students in grade 7 or 8 and uses project-based learning to help students explore high school, postsecondary and career options; investigate programs of study relevant to the Utah labor market; and develop workplace skills.

Delaware also uses a course model to deliver middle grades CTE, but courses are developed on the local level. Local education agencies complete an application that identifies course skill standards and curriculum as well as end-of-course assessments, affiliated career and technical student organizations, teacher qualifications and aligned CTE programs of study at the high school level.

In response to 2017 legislation expanding CTE into the middle grades, Maine is in the process of developing standards for middle school CTE and awarding grant funding to pilot a range of middle grades CTE delivery models. These pilot projects are developed in partnership among career and technical centers, CTE regions and area middle schools. The aim is to provide multiple, standards-based avenues and opportunities for middle grade students to explore CTE.

Many pilot sites are trying out a variety of CTE experiences and exposures. For instance, Lewiston Regional Technical Center is piloting week-long exploration camps, multi-week summer camps and guidance sessions. This work is supported by two dedicated staff members, a CTE exploration instructor and a CTE exploration coordinator/counselor. Mid-Maine Technical Center is matching middle school students with high school mentors to work together on applied learning projects, among other activities, while one of Biddeford Regional Center of Technology’s projects connects middle school students with local employers in the manufacturing sector through guest speakers and industry tours. Oxford Hills Technical School operates the Viking Voyages program, through which area middle school students take part in week-long, project-based learning experiences during the school year with the technical school, secondary students and community members.

As you reflect on this element of middle grades CTE in your state, district or school, consider such questions as:

  • Are CTE courses or experiences structured in such a way that all students have access — or do students have to make choices between CTE and other experiences?
  • Are there efforts to identify and eliminate barriers to participation and success in CTE courses or experiences for marginalized or special populations of students?
  • Is enough time and space dedicated to middle grades CTE experiences to enable experiential or hands-on learning both within and outside the school day?
  • Is enough time dedicated to middle grades CTE experiences to provide the necessary depth and breadth of content and deliver on student outcomes?
  • How are experiences/courses sequenced from early education into the middle grades and then into high school as part of a broader continuum?
  • Is information about course options and scheduling choices communicated clearly to students and their families?

For additional resources relevant to middle grades CTE course/activity structure and scheduling, check out the Middle Grades CTE Repository, another deliverable of this Shared Solutions Workgroup.

This Week in CTE

May 15th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

MEMBER OF THE WEEK

This week, Advance CTE welcomes Melissa Hickey as the State CTE Director for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Melissa serves in this role while also leading Reading/Literacy for the state. Top of mind for Melissa is working with business and industry leaders as well as high school and community college leaders to engage in conversations to establish new industry-recognized credentials.

CTE AWARD OF THE WEEK

In Arizona, the J.O. The Unified School District continued the tradition of hosting the annual CTE awards program recognizing students who have completed their CTE program. In addition to the program concentrator awards, a Spirit of CTE Award is presented to a student, advisory board member and community partner for their impact and contribution to the success of the district’s CTE program. View the Spirit of CTE Award winners here. All achievements were announced virtually. 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Gavin Schmidt, a Custom, Collision and Restoration student from Batavia Career and Technical Education Center in New York practices his skills while social distancing. Gavin has found an innovative way to keep working on his industry skills by turning his home into a body shop. 

GRANT RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK

United Way of North Texas has announced its seventh round of grant recipients. On the list is Per Scholas, which helps the nation meet the demand of skilled workers in the technology sector. With this grant, Per Scholas will be re-skilling and upskilling learners in preparation for their re-entry into the workforce. 

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

The Fordham Institute provided a new analysis of data comparing workers with bachelor degrees to workers without one. In the end, job skills and on-the-job training is agreed upon as a necessity for upward mobility across industries. 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education has responded to the House’s proposed HEROES Act. View the letter, and all of our responses, on our COVID-19(Coronavirus) state resources page.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Legislative Update: New Stimulus Introduced and Grant Opportunity Announced

May 15th, 2020

This week, the House introduced a new COVID-19 (Coronavirus) stimulus package. Read below to learn more about what is in this bill, as well as a new grant opportunity. 

House Introduces New Stimulus Package in Response to the Coronavirus 

On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced a new stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus- the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800). The $3 trillion relief bill encompasses a large scope of activities, such as funding to state and local governments, small business assistance and funding for Coronavirus research. 

The HEROES Act also includes $90 billion for an education stabilization fund that would go to K-12 and public institutions of higher education. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) is one of the allowable uses of funds. Approximately $58 billion from the education stabilization fund would be allocated to K-12 education, with approximately $27 billion going to public postsecondary. An additional $10.15 billion is also in the HEROES Act for higher education- this funding can go to all institutions of higher education, and allocates $1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.   

This bill includes some of the Career Technical Education (CTE) provisions that were in the previously introduced Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA)- which Advance CTE supports. Specifically, the HEROES Act offers the flexibility at the state and local levels for retention of funds for the 2019-2020 academic year and the flexibility for local Perkins recipients to pool funds, as well as waives some of the professional development requirements during Coronavirus- that were all proposed in RAWA. 

However, Advance CTE was disappointed to find that the $1 billion for CTE-specific programs was left out of the HEROES Act. Advance CTE, in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee leadership detailing the importance of including CTE-specific funding and expressing concern that this was not included in the HEROES Act. We encourage you to let your representative know that you support including the full RAWA CTE related pieces in the next Coronavirus relief bill by following the quick prompt here

The House is expected to vote on the bill later this afternoon. The full bill text can be found here, a summary here and the manager’s amendment here

ED Announces New Grant Opportunity Through Student Support and Academic Enrichment

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) recently released a new opportunity to apply for the Expanding Course Access Demonstration Grants Program. This program will provide grants to state education agencies (SEAs) to provide models of well-rounded educational opportunities through course-access programs. The grant program is created with funding though the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)- specifically Title IV Part A that authorized the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants program (SSAE). The SSAE grant program is used to support well-rounded educational opportunities- which includes CTE. 

Grant applications must be submitted by June 26, 2020. OSSS, in collaboration with the Title IV, Part A Technical Assistance Center, will be holding a webinar on May 20, 2020 from 2:00-3:00pm ET for those considering applying. You can register for the webinar here. The webinar will be recorded and available for public view here

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Navigating CTE During COVID-19: How Are States Addressing Industry-recognized Credential Attainment?

May 14th, 2020

Industry-recognized credentials are an essential component of any high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program. They indicate the entry-level competencies learners need in a given career field and signal to employers that an individual is prepared for work. But in the midst of a global pandemic, with nearly every state issuing, to varying degrees, stay at home orders that have resulted in school closures and limited access to testing facilities, how can learners continue to earn industry-recognized credentials? 

Over the last decade, there has been a groundswell around industry-recognized credentials. Driven by the Lumina Foundation’s campaign to ensure that 60 percent of U.S. adults hold a credential beyond high school by 2025, nearly every state has set its own postsecondary credential attainment goal. What’s more, many states are also counting industry-recognized credential attainment in their high school accountability systems or are promoting credential attainment through programs such as Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program. 

Challenges for Industry-recognized Credential Attainment

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) threatens to stall many of these policies and initiatives. The requirements for earning an industry-recognized credential vary by type and by provider, but are hard to deliver remotely. Industry-recognized credentials commonly require one or a combination of the following:  

  • Contact hour requirements: Certain certifications and licenses require individuals to complete a course or training led by a qualified instructor before they are eligible to sit for the exam. 
  • Clinical or practical experience: Some credentials, primarily state-issued licenses, have clinical hour or work-based learning requirements. This is particularly true for health-related credentials such as the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Registered Nurse (RN) licenses.
  • Assessments: Virtually every industry certification or license requires an assessment of competency, and many of these assessments are only available through certified proctors or approved test providers. 

As states have shut down one by one, credentialing opportunities have slowed to a trickle. School districts, institutions of higher education and training providers have been challenged to offer the learning and practical experiences learners need to be eligible for credential exams. Further, testing providers have had to shut their doors or limit access in order to comply with stay at home orders. 

The State Policy Response

The implications of this credentialing slowdown are myriad. For one, many states have baked credential attainment into high school graduation requirements, accountability systems and postsecondary performance-based funding structures. These requirements will need to be waived or loosened in a way that limits harm to learners. In Ohio, the Department of Education has already amended high school graduation requirements for learners pursuing industry-recognized credentials and is allowing learners to earn credentials as soon as it is safe to do so – even if they already have been awarded a diploma. 

Other states are exploring remote proctoring so learners can sit for an industry-recognized credential exam at home. Florida issued guidance for at-home testing for industry certifications, which will allow learners to access exams for credentials on the state-approved Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) list as long as the credential providers meet certain conditions. However, while a number of credential providers are now offering online proctoring opportunities that are secure and monitored, the technology is expensive to scale and requires the learner to have access to a computer and reliable internet at home. 

The second implication is that credentialing is slowing down at a time when states hit hardest by the coronavirus are experiencing a critical shortage of licensed healthcare workers. In response, governors are issuing emergency licensing waivers in order to permit nursing and medical students as well as retired professionals or those with expired licenses to support the relief effort. In California, for example, the state Board of Registered Nursing has developed guidance on different roles nursing students can play in the field based on competencies developed through prior course taking. 

Finally, with economists already predicting a severe economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus, states will need to accelerate credentialing opportunities for learners transitioning back to work. Even as schools and testing facilities remain closed, states can start thinking now about their economic recovery plan and how to bolster industry-recognized credential attainment in the months and years ahead. 

Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research

Navigating CTE during COVID-19: States Must Maintain Quality In the Face of Flexibility

May 13th, 2020

 

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances for all learners, as outlined in the first blog in this series. A key tenet of equity is flexibility, meeting each learner where they are at and providing the supports needed to help that learner be successful. However, this flexibility must always be offered with a persistent commitment to access and quality. During the crisis facing our nation, understandably, the response to these challenges of massive school and college closures and rapid scaling of distance learning has been to provide significant flexibility to states and educational institutions. For example, many postsecondary institutions have made classes pass/fail, the U.S. Department of Education is granting waivers to states who are unable to assess students during the pandemic, some states are waiving graduation requirements, and some states have taken action to waive licensure requirements

When leveraging the flexibility provided, states must ensure that the actions they are taking do not disproportionately negatively affect historically marginalized populations or lead to widening or new equity gaps. Quality should not be sacrificed in the name of flexibility. 

Equality vs. Equity. Retrieved from Shorter-Gooden Consulting (n.d.). https://www.shorter-goodenconsulting.com

The decisions that state leaders make today can have significant long-term consequences. For instance, some postsecondary institutions have made classes mandatory pass/fail to address equity concerns. Institutions recognize that students’ current environments may not be conducive to learning and therefore the letter or numerical grades they receive may not be a true reflection of their abilities or their peers whose lives have not been as disrupted by the pandemic may have an unfair advantage. However, making classes pass/fail can have long-term consequences for grade point average calculation for scholarships and the transferability of credits. There must be intentional alignment across systems and institutions to ensure that learners are equipped with the skills, knowledge and experiences needed to succeed. Pass/fail grading constructs do not provide enough information, regarding the skills and knowledge a learned acquired, thus having long-term consequences to future educational and career progression. Further, pass/fail courses often do not transfer. Therefore, institutions must provide transparency about whether they will waive credit transfer requirements and allow students to receive credit for pass/fail classes to promote seamless transitions and prevent exacerbated equity gaps.   

As we experience continued periods of disruption, state leaders must be prepared to make difficult decisions to prioritize equity to ensure that each learner is able to access and thrive in CTE programs.

This is the second blog in a series of blogs that will map out how state leaders can continue to advance equity, quality and access during the Coronavirus pandemic. Read the first blog in the series here. To learn more about Advance CTE’s commitment to advancing equity in CTE, click here. To access resources related to equity and the Coronavirus, click here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Middle Grades CTE: Standards, Curriculum & Assessment

May 12th, 2020

There is widespread agreement that high school is too late to begin to expose learners to careers and the foundational skills needed to access and succeed in careers, but there remains a lack of consensus about what CTE and career readiness should entail at the middle grades level.

Advance CTE, with support from ACTE, convened a Shared Solutions Workgroup of national, state and local leaders to identify the core components of a meaningful middle grades CTE experience. This collaboration resulted in Broadening the Path: Design Principles for Middle Grades CTE and a companion blog series exploring each of the core programmatic elements of middle grades CTE defined in the paper. In this first entry in the blog series, we will examine the core programmatic element of standards, curriculum and assessment.

As the backbone of a robust middle school CTE experience, middle grades CTE curriculum should ensure that students are exposed to careers across all 16 Career Clusters®, supplemented by opportunities to dig deeper into career areas of interest. Curriculum and assessments should be based on clear, consistent standards that integrate academic, employability and, where appropriate, foundational technical skills and align to other relevant standards across the education continuum.

A number of states have developed, or are in the process of developing, standards for middle grades CTE and career development. Idaho has taken a rigorous approach to this work, partnering with Education Northwest to gather input from stakeholders through a statewide survey, regional focus groups and research on middle grades standards in other states. This process has led to a set of standards organized around three questions—“Who am I?” (self-evaluation), “What’s out there for me?” (career exploration) and “How do I get there?” (future planning). Ten schools will pilot the standards and associated materials in the 2020-21 school year.

In addition to standards development, states have created curriculum, lesson plans and assessments to help bring CTE and career exploration into the middle grades. For instance, Nebraska has developed a Career Development Model and Toolkit that includes a library of lesson plans for PK-12 learners that can be filtered by each of the state’s career readiness standards. The Technical Assistance Center of New York has developed rubrics to support CTE teachers in assessing life/career competencies in the middle grades. Teachers can create their own customized rubrics.

On the local level, Peoria Unified School District in Arizona has built a two-year curriculum for seventh- and eighth-grade students called Technology, Life & Careers (TLC). The TLC curriculum includes classroom- and lab-based instruction across multiple CTE subject areas as well as career assessments and interest inventories, work-based learning experiences and career and technical student organizations. The program culminates with students taking a deep dive into their career areas of interest and beginning their state-mandated Education and Career Action Plans.

As you reflect on this element of middle grades CTE in your state, district or school, consider such questions as:

  • Do middle grades CTE standards apply to all students or only to students who enroll in specific courses?
  • Do the standards and related curriculum balance breadth of career exploration with depth of knowledge?
  • How are middle grades CTE standards aligned with standards for career development across the K-12 system?
  • What role do employers play in developing or validating middle grades standards and providing input on specific curriculum or assessments?

For additional resources relevant to middle grades CTE standards, curriculum and assessment, check out the Middle Grades CTE Repository, another deliverable of this Shared Solutions Workgroup.

Melissa Hickey Brings Creative CTE Leadership to Connecticut

May 11th, 2020

Melissa Hickey is once again heading up Career Technical Education (CTE) at the Connecticut State Department of Education, where she has been working for the past four years. Melissa returns to this role while also serving as the Reading/Literacy Director for the state. She has held a number of education roles including beginning her education career as a second grade teacher, serving as a coach, science coordinator and district-level administrator.

Melissa brings creativity to her role, having recently partnered with the Department of Labor to host “Cuppa Joe Road Shows,” to connect business and industry representatives to educators and facilitate conversations between the two groups to both showcase and spark successful partnerships. Partnerships are key to how she approaches her work at the state level. In fact,  she created the Perkins leadership group which resulted in 2,500 people providing input into the Perkins V state plan via multiple online surveys and public hearings. Melissa strives to work across the many stakeholders that are necessary to make high-quality CTE possible, including the Department of Labor, Department of Economic Community Development, and business and industry, and even works to connect them to each other.  Top of mind for Melissa is working with business and industry as well as high school and community college leaders to engage in conversations to establish new industry recognized credentials.

There’s lots of change in Connecticut, as state staff turn towards implementing their Perkins state plan, and the recent change of Career Clusters in the state. However, in the coming months, Melissa and her small but mighty team are working to increase work-based learning opportunities and helping their colleagues across Connecticut provide high-quality and in-demand opportunities to learners.

 

This Week in CTE

May 8th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

This week we celebrate the expertise and skill of our educators nationwide. Follow @CTEWorks on Twitter and Follow us on Facebook for our messages of gratitude to all the CTE educators providing academic knowledge and real-world skills to learners, especially during this difficult time.

Students from the state of Utah have shared their words of appreciation for CTE educators. Read them here, in the latest CTE Directions Newsletter.

Twitter Chat of the Week

The ECMC Foundation hosted a Twitter chat on Thursday, to discuss with national partners what is needed to support students during COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Their conversation also covered what is needed to ensure the future of postsecondary is more equitable once we return from the current pandemic. If you missed the highlights, you can view the hashtag #ECMCFchat on Twitter.

Work-Based Learning Activity of the Week

Direct engagement with employers has presented its challenges during the current pandemic. However, the state of Wisconsin has partnered with organizations and local businesses to offer online job shadowing to CTE students. View the list of sessions they are offering in May!

Federal Policy of the Week

On Thursday, advocates took to Twitter to address the homework gap during the E-Rate Day of Action asking Congress to provide at least $4 billion in funding for home internet access through E-rate. This day of advocacy was led by the Alliance for Excellent Education. Follow these hashtags on Twitter to join the advocacy: #HomeworkGap and #Erate.

Resource of the Week

Advance CTE and Association for Career and Technical Education have released the Middle Grades CTE repository of resources. State and local leaders can leverage this repository as they begin to develop and expand high-quality CTE into the middle grades.

Happy Nurse Appreciation Week!

This week we celebrate all the nurses across our nation and shine the spotlight on our health occupations CTE programs. Recent and soon-to-be graduates are selflessly joining the workforce to serve the needs of their communities while earning credit toward completing their program of study. In the state of Massachusetts, 17 students from postsecondary institutions are now working, under guidance from the Governor, to fulfill their graduation requirements. Thank you, all!

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Legislative Update: CTE and Workforce Development in the Next Stimulus Bill and Reporting the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

May 8th, 2020

The federal government continues to work on the next COVID-19 (Coronavirus) stimulus bill and provide guidance on previous ones. Read below to learn more about how Career Technical Education (CTE) can be included in a future Coronavirus package and new information about reporting use of funds for the third stimulus. 

Analysis Continues of the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act

Last week, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA), which Advance CTE is in full support. This bill provides funding and flexibilities for CTE and workforce development programs during Coronavirus with a $15 billion investment that includes $1 billion for CTE programs and activities, as well as $2 billion to re-implement the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. Last week’s Legislative Update outlined many of the major provisions of RAWA, including the implications for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and some of the flexibilities for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

Some of the additional standout WIOA activities include: 

  • $2.5 billion for employers to provide incumbent worker training;
  • $500 million for states and intermediaries to support existing or expand registered apprenticeships; 
  • $500 million for National Dislocated Worker Grants, to go to training and temporary employment as a result of Coronavirus;
  • $2.5 billion for State Dislocated Worker Grants, to be used for necessary rapid response through Fiscal Year 2022; 
  • $2.5 billion for employers who are offering incumbent worker training; 
  • Increasing the percent of funds that local workforce boards can use for transitional jobs to 40 percent; and 
  • The Governor and local workforce boards can include Coronavirus as a consideration when deciding whether to allow 75 percent of wages to be reimbursed during participation in on-the-job training. 

The WIOA and Perkins V funds in RAWA must be used to supplement, and not supplant state or local funds. If this bill passes, it is imperative to carefully document that the use of funds is supplement and not supplant especially since it can be expected that Coronavrisu will change typical state and local funding structures.

The full programmatic funding breakdown included in RAWA is as follows: 

  • National Dislocated Worker Grants: $500 million;
  • State Dislocated Worker Grants: $2.5 billion;
  • Youth Workforce Investment Activities: $2.5 billion;
  • Adult Employment and Training Activities: $2.5 billion; 
  • Wagner-Peyser/Employment Service: $1 billion;
  • Job Corps: $500 million;
  • Native American Programs: $150 million;
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers: $150 million;
  • YouthBuild: $250 million;
  • Reentry and Employment Opportunities: $350 million;
  • Registered Apprenticeships: $500 million;
  • Adult Education and Literacy: $1 billion;
  • Community College and Industry Partnership Grants: $2 billion;
  • Department of Labor Administration: $90 million;
  • Career Technical Education: $1 billion; and
  • Department of Education Administration: $10 million.

You can view the press release highlighting our full support of RAWA from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) here. We encourage you to  let your representative know that you support including CTE in the next Coronavirus relief bill by following the quick prompt here. The full bill can be viewed here and a summary of each section here

Department Announces that Colleges Must Publicly Share Use of Stimulus Funds

The U.S. Department of Education announced that institutions receiving Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) – authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – must report information about the funds on a publicly accessible website. The public-facing report must include how much money the institution received, how many students are receiving Emergency Financial Aid grants, how the institution decided which students would receive these grants and any directives that were attached to the funding. 

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

 

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