Legislative Update: New ED Appointees and Extension of Student Loan Payments

January 22nd, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced new political appointees this week, following Wednesday’s inauguration. Read below to learn about who this included, as well as the new extension of federal student loan payments and the latest updates to the College Scorecard. 

ED Announces Senior Biden-Harris Appointees 

On Thursday, ED announced new senior appointees to the department, including: 

  • Sheila Nix, Chief of Staff;
  • Claudia Chavez, White House Liaison;
  • Suzanne Goldberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Operations and Outreach, Office for Civil Rights (serving as acting Assistant Secretary);
  • Ian Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (serving as Acting Assistant Secretary);
  • Emma Leheny, Principal Deputy General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel (serving as acting General Counsel); 
  • Donna Harris-Aikens, Senior Advisor for Policy and Planning, Office of the Secretary; 
  • Ben Miller, Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff; 
  • Ben Hale, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications, Office of Communications and Outreach (serving as acting Assistant Secretary); 
  • Rich Williams, Chief of Staff, Office of Postsecondary Education; 
  • Greg Schmidt, Senior Counsel, Office of the General Counsel; 
  • Jasmine Bolton, Senior Counsel, Office for Civil Rights; and 
  • Alex Payne, Special Assistant, Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs.

Of note, Harris-Aikens held a leadership position at Advance CTE from 2002 to 2003. Full bios of each appointee can be found here

President Extends Pause on Federal Student Loan Payments 

Almost immediately following Wednesday’s inauguration, President Joe Biden directed ED to extend the pause on federal student loan repayments and collections and keep the interest rate at 0%. COVID-19 emergency relief flexibilities are also extended through September 30, 2021. 

ED Updates College Scorecard 

Last week, ED announced new updates to the College Scorecard. Information on how well borrowers from individual colleges and universities are progressing in repaying federal student loans is now available on the site. Additionally, there is data on how borrower cohorts are progressing in the repayment process at different intervals. This includes the percentages of borrowers who fall under these eight loan repayment statuses two years after entering repayment: paid in full, making progress, delinquency, forbearance, default, not making progress, deferment and loans discharged.  

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Legislative Update: Biden Stimulus Proposal and Relief Funding Available from ED

January 15th, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden shared a new COVID-19 (coronavirus) stimulus proposal. Read below to learn more about how education is included in that bill, as well as additional information on availability of funds for the latest relief package that was signed into law. 

Biden Shares New Stimulus Proposal

On Thursday evening President-elect Joe Biden shared a proposal for a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. This would include $170 billion for K-12 and higher education to support Biden’s goal of “safely reopening a majority of K-8 schools in the first 100 days” of his presidency. That amount is broken down in the following way:

  • $130 billion would go to elementary and secondary education for safe reopening of schools and additional supports. This funding can be used for activities such as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces to allow for social distancing, closing the digital divide and hiring counselors to support students as they transition between remote and in-person learning. A portion of this funding must also go to students in low-income areas that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, as well as to a COVID-19 Educational Equity Challenge Grant that will go to state, local and tribal governments to partner with stakeholders.  
  • $35 billion would go to expanding the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. This funding will be designated to public institutions, as well as public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). This money can support distance learning, ensuring colleges have the resources and protocols necessary since the pandemic and providing emergency grants to students. 
  • $5 billion would be for a Hardest Hit Education Fund, that will go to governors to disperse to the students most significantly impacted by the pandemic across early childhood education, K-12 and higher education. 

The full legislative text has not been released yet. Advance CTE will share additional information as it becomes available.  

ED Provides More Information on COVID-19 Relief 

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has continued to make funding available for the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) that was passed at the end of December. As a reminder, the bill included close to $82 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund, comprised of $53 billion for the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, $22.7 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and $4.1 billion for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. 

On Thursday, ED announced that $21.2 billion for the HEERF is now available. Of that amount, $20.5 billion is for public and non-profit colleges and universities, and $681 million is for proprietary schools. Public and non-profit schools can use this funding for activities such as student supports, technology costs and faculty trainings. Proprietary schools can use this funding to provide financial aid grants to students. If an application was submitted by an institution for the HEERF through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, no additional application needs to be completed. More information can be found here

ED also announced the availability of GEER funding. Of the GEER Fund, $2.75 billion is designated for the Emergency Assistance to Non-public Schools (EANS) award, with the rest going to supplemental GEER awards. The EANS funding can be used to safely reopen schools, address learning loss and continue instruction. EANS awards will be allocated to each governor based on the state’s share of low-income school-age youth enrolled in non-public schools. ED shared that after governors submit an EANS application they can expect a response within 24 hours. The GEER awards will be allocated based on the formula used in the CARES Act. Additional information can be found here

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Legislative Update: CTE Increase in FY21 Appropriations and COVID-19 Stimulus Package

January 7th, 2021

In the final days of 2020, the full Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) appropriations bill and COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief package were signed into law. Read below to learn more about what this means for Career Technical Education (CTE) and education funding. 

Congress Increases CTE Funding for FY21

Last week the omnibus bill that was passed by Congress to provide federal funding for the remainder of FY21- which includes Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed)- was signed into law by the president. Importantly, this included an increase of $52.25 million for the Perkins basic state grant, bringing the total to approximately $1.334 billion. Overall, the bill included an increase of approximately $785 million for education programs and an increase of approximately $122 million for labor programs.  

Stimulus Bill Provides Funding for Education 

In the final days of 2020, Congress passed and the president signed into law a new $900 billion COVID-19 (coronavirus) stimulus package. This bill includes close to $82 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund that was created to prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic. The Education Stabilization Fund is broken down into three categories that follow the structure of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed in March 2020. 

  • Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, $54.3 billion
    This funding goes to states through the state education agency (SEA) using the approved application from implementation of the CARES Act. Funding will be allocated to each state per Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). At least 90% of funds will be directed to local education agencies (LEAs) in the proportional amount to what’s received under Title I Part A of ESEA. Activities authorized by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) is one of the authorized uses of the ESSER Fund, as well as Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Title VII Subtitle B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Alaska Native Educational Equity, Support and Assistance Act. Additional allowable uses of funds include activities such as: purchasing educational technology; professional development; addressing learning loss and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English language learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care. Reporting by the state on use of these funds is required within six months of receipt of funds.U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on Tuesday that funding has been made available for the ESSER Fund. State allocations can be found here. The Education Stabilization Fund Portal will track how states and districts are spending this money.
  • Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund, $22.7 billion
    This funding will go directly to institutions of higher education for costs associated with coronavirus response and to provide financial aid to students. Funding will be allocated to institutions in the following way: 89% to public and private non-profit institutions through a formula that takes into consideration factors such as Federal Pell Grant recipients; 7.5% for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs); 0.5% for institutions with unmet needs related to the pandemic, as determined through an application process; and 3% for institutions under Section 102(b) of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Uses of these funds include activities such as defraying costs associated with the pandemic, carrying out student supports authorized by HEA to address needs related to the pandemic and financial aid to students. $1.7 billion of the HEER Fund is dedicated to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and MSIs.  
  • Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, $4.1 billion
    Governors are able to use this funding for early childhood education, K-12 education or higher education. $2.5 billion of the GEER Fund is dedicated to Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools. State distribution is split 60% by the population of individuals ages 5 through 24 and 40% by individuals counted under section 1124(c) of ESEA. GEER funding can be used for purposes including: providing emergency support to LEAs selected by the SEA in order to continue providing education services and to support the LEA; providing emergency support grants to institutions of higher education and to provide support to any other institution of higher education, LEA or related entity.

Some additional provisions in the stimulus package include $7 billion for broadband access and $30 million for student aid administration. 

Through this bill Pell Grant eligibility is restored for formerly incarcerated individuals. Advance CTE has been advocating for this policy change, and is pleased to see the removal of the Pell Grant ban.  

The bill’s maintenance of effort provision requires that states keep the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) funding at least at the percentage of the state budget for the average of FY17, FY18 and FY19.  

Advance CTE will continue to monitor implementation and provide updates on future guidance. 

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Full FY21 Appropriations Bill, COVID-19 Relief Package

December 22nd, 2020

This week, Congress voted on a Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) appropriations bill to provide federal funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, along with a COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief package. Read below to learn about the details of this bill, as well as the Rural Tech Project finalists. 

Congress Passes FY21 Appropriations and COVID-19 Stimulus Bill 

Written by Hannah Neeper, Policy Research Associate, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Original post can be found here

With only days remaining in 2020, Congress reached an agreement on a long-awaited additional relief package related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and coupled it with the FY 2021 omnibus appropriations bill to finish the federal appropriations process for the year. The massive bill, providing approximately $900 billion in COVID-19 relief and approximately 1.4 trillion for regular spending across the federal government in FY 2021, passed in the House in two parts by votes of 327-85 and 359-53 and in the Senate by a vote of 92-6 on Monday evening.

The COVID-19 portion of the bill provides a wide range of resources across the federal government, including money for another round of stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, additional Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses, COVID-19 testing and other various aspects of relief aid. For education specifically, the Department of Education will receive $82 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund, significantly more than was included in the CARES Act in March but well short of needs expressed by educators around the country. Out of that funding, $54.3 billion is for K-12 (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund) and can be used for a variety of activities, including school facilities repairs and improvements,addressing learning loss among students, and any activities authorized under other federal education legislation, including Perkins. Higher education will receive $22.7 billion, while the flexible Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund will receive an additional $4.1 billion. Many more details on the distribution and use of these funds will be coming in the new year. In addition, we are likely to see additional proposals to address unmet needs as the Biden Administration comes into office. President-elect Biden stated this package “is just the beginning. Our work is far from over.” in response to the agreement. 

Within the appropriations portion of the bill, there was more good news for CTE! The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill included a $52.25 million increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant, bringing the new total to $1.334 billion for CTE. This increase serves as the fourth straight for the Perkins Basic State Grants, which provides a strong indication of the growing support for CTE on Capitol Hill! This funding increase will ensure a strong base of support for CTE through Perkins funding, with COVID-19 relief funds supplementing for more immediate and one-time costs. 

Below are some additional funding levels in the appropriations bill that are important to CTE educators: 

  • Adult Education: $674,955, an increase of $18,000 from FY 20 level
  • Pell Grants: $5,435 for the maximum award, an increase of $150 from FY 20 level
  • Federal Work-Study: $1,190,000, an increase of $10,000 from FY 20 level
  • Career Pathways for Youth Grants: $10 million, level funded from FY 20 level 
  • Strengthening Community College Training Grants (SCCTG): $45 million, an increase of $5 million from FY 20 level
  • Apprenticeship Grant Program: $185 million to support registered apprenticeships, an increase of $85 million from FY 20 level

In addition, there were several changes to federal programs impacting postsecondary education included within the bill. For example, the ban on Pell grants for incarcerated students is eliminated and there are provisions to streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

ED Announces Rural Tech Project Finalists 

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the five finalist teams for the Rural Tech Project- an initiative with the purpose of advancing technology education and supporting rural educators. Each of the finalist teams will receive $100,000 and move on to the second phase of the challenge, which will take place from January through July 2021. During that time each team will create a detailed program plan and build partnerships. The finalist teams include: 

  • iLead Academy (Carrollton, Kentucky);
  • Louisa County Public Schools (Mineral, Virginia);
  • Premont Independent School District (Premont, Texas);
  • Ravenna High School (Ravenna, Michigan); and
  • Woodlake High School (Woodlake, California).

Meredith Hills, Senior Policy Associate for Federal Policy

Legislative Update: One-Week Stopgap Funding Bill and Stimulus Proposal Details

December 11th, 2020

This week, Congress passed a one-week appropriations bill in an effort to avoid a government shutdown. Read below to learn more about what this means for federal funding, as well as details on a stimulus proposal.

Congress Passes One-Week Stopgap Appropriations Bill

This afternoon the Senate passed a one-week spending bill to extend government funding to December 18, 2020 before it expires at midnight today. This follows the House introduction and vote to pass the continuing resolution H.R. 8900 earlier this week. This bill simply extends funding at currently enacted levels for one more week. It includes the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) appropriations bill, which designates funding for the Perkins Basic State Grant.

Now, the president must sign this bill by midnight tonight, December 11, when federal funding expires. Congress will then take the next week to propose and vote on either a full appropriations package for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2021, or another CR. 

Bipartisan Senate Group Releases Additional Stimulus Details

The bipartisan group of Senators who announced a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus framework last week shared out additional information on funding allocations this week. The outline includes $82 billion for education funding, which will be split into a Governors Emergency Relief Fund, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, Higher Education Emergency relief fund (including set asides for minority serving institutions) and relief for territories and the Bureau of Indian Education. Funding levels for each of those streams are still not clear. This proposal also includes $160 billion for state, local and tribal governments to be used “as the basis for good faith negotiations.” At this time, there is no additional information about how these funds can be used. Full legislative text has not been released yet. If this bill were to pass, it would operate retroactively to December 1, 2020 and extend through March 31, 2021.   

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Legislative Update: New COVID-19 Stimulus Framework and Appropriations Committee Chair

December 3rd, 2020

This week, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a new COVID-19 (coronavirus) stimulus framework. Read below to learn more about this proposal, as well as committee leadership changes in the House, the revamped College Scorecard, a formal request for information on work-based learning programs for youth and the significance of having an educator in the White House. 

Senate Announces Coronavirus Relief Bill

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of Senators announced a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus framework. This is significantly lower than what has been proposed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress so far, and the intention is to provide short-term and immediate pandemic relief. The bill includes $82 billion for K-12 and higher education, though the breakdown between funding levels for K-12 and postsecondary education is not clear. The proposal also includes $160 billion for state, local and tribal governments, as well as $10 billion for broadband. If this bill were to pass, it would operate retroactively to December 1, 2020 and extend through March 31, 2021.   

House Elects New Appropriations Chair

Today, following the retirement of House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was voted to be the new committee chair. DeLauro’s win came after her endorsement by the Democratic House Steering and Policy Committee earlier this week. Currently, DeLauro serves as the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee so she is well versed in Career Technical Education (CTE), education and workforce funding.   

ED Expands College Scorecard 

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the revamped College Scorecard to further improve an individual’s ability to navigate data and make informed decisions about higher education. The College Scorecard now includes median income data two years post-graduation. Earnings data will continue to be added each year moving forward to provide both short and long-term outcomes information. Additionally, Parent PLUS Loans are now included in this resource. In the short term, the College Scorecard will continue to be updated to include federal loan repayment data in an effort to demonstrate how former federal student loan borrowers from a specific program within an institution were able to meet repayment obligations. 

ED Requests Information on Expanding Work-Based Learning for Youth

This week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) announced a new Request for Information on Expanding Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Youth. OCTAE is “interested in learning about successful approaches to expanding work-based learning opportunities for youth from States, Tribes, state and local educational agencies, community-based and other nonprofit organizations, employers, industry associations, philanthropic organizations, faith-based organizations, researchers, and other interested individuals and entities.” This stakeholder input will inform ED’s implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and coordination on federally supported youth employment initiatives with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partners. 

The full notice in the Federal Register asks specific questions on successful practices and strategies, public and private partnerships, outcomes data and evaluation design, student barriers and employer barriers. Submissions are due by January 13, 2021. 

New Administration Includes Educators 

As we prepare for the transition of the new presidential administration and session of Congress, it is significant to note that the incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, is a career educator and education advocate. Dr. Biden teaches writing and English at Northern Virginia Community College, and plans to continue in this role following President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Dr. Biden plans to use her platform to speak about education issues such as tuition-free community college, broadband and technology access and food insecurity. 

You can read about Advance CTE’s priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration here

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Legislation Update: National Apprenticeship Act Reauthorization and New Data Tool from ED

November 20th, 2020

News this Week:

This week, the House passed a bill to reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act. Read below to learn more about this bill, as well as a new online portal to track education stimulus funding, a summary from a convening on work-based learning and Advance CTE’s priorities for the new administration. 

House Passes National Apprenticeship Act 

The House passed a bill earlier today, mainly on party lines, that would reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act (H.R. 8294). This bill would: 

  • Authorize $400 million for FY21, increasing by $100 million every year up to $800 million in FY25; 
  • Codify and streamline standards for registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeships; 
  • Codify existing regulations and practices for equitable participation and increased diversity in apprenticeship programs; 
  • Codify the roles and responsibilities of the DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship; 
  • Codify the roles and responsibilities of the State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAAs); and
  • Strengthen the connection between the DOL and U.S. Department of Education (ED). 

There were many amendments that were adopted into this bill, including one from Co-Chair of the Congressional Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucus Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) that would provide stipends to those in a pre-apprenticeship program. 

It is unlikely that this bill will move in the Senate during the remainder of this Congress. 

Advance CTE is pleased to endorse the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020.

ED Releases Virtual Platform to Track CARES Act Funding 

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a new online portal to track if and how states, local education agencies and institutions of higher education are using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The interactive data map shows how funding through the Education Stabilization Fund of the CARES Act was allocated to each state, as well as a breakdown by state of money for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. All data included in the portal was reported by September 30, 2020. 

ED Holds Event on Rethinking Work-Based Learning

Last week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office for Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) convened education, workforce and business leaders for a “Rethink Work-Based Learning” discussion. OCTAE Assistant Secretary Scott Stump moderated the event and encouraged increasing work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities. A full readout from the event can be found here

Advance CTE Shares Priorities for the Administration 

This week Advance CTE published transition priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration. These priorities respond to the short and long term needs of the CTE community.

In order to achieve a full, equitable economic recovery and ensure that every learner has access to high-quality Career Technical Education, the next Administration must:

  • Embrace and promote CTE as a valued pathway for learners.
  • Make CTE a central part of the Administration’s economic recovery strategy.
  • Promote inter-connected education and workforce development systems.
  • Eliminate structures that embed systemic racism in education and workforce programs.
  • Ensure that states are fully supported in the implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act during COVID-19, including CTE-designated funding and statutory flexibility and waivers.
  • Attend to CTE-related challenges and supports during COVID-19 response and recovery.
  • Double the federal investment in CTE to respond to the need and demand for high-quality CTE.
  • Expand Pell Grant eligibility.

It is important to note that this transition planning is technically still informal, as the General Services Administration (GSA) has not begun the formal transfer of power or authorized transition funding to be used by the Biden-Harris team. 

The full recommendations can be found here

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Legislative Update: Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Bills and Panel with Federal CTE Leadership

November 13th, 2020

This week, the Senate introduced Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) appropriations bills. Read below to learn more about what this means for education and workforce funding, as well as a panel discussion about the history and future outlook of Career Technical Education (CTE) and the start of administration transition planning. 

Senate Introduces Fiscal Year 2021 Funding Bills

Written by Michael Matthews, Government Relations Manager, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Full post can be found here.
As Congress returned this week for the lame duck session, one of the most critical items on the agenda before the end of the year is the passage of Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) appropriations bills. As one step toward finalizing these bills, on November 10, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee released its long-awaited draft FY21 appropriations bill. According to the Committee’s highlights document, the proposal includes $184.47 billion in overall funding, with $73.2 billion of the proposed discretionary spending for the Department of Education, which would be an increase of $433 million or 0.9% over FY20 enacted levels. 

Even with this very modest overall increase, there was some very good news for CTE in the bill! The bill proposes an $75 million, or 5.8% increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant over the FY20 enacted levels, bringing its total proposed funding level to approximately $1.36 billion. This is $57 million more than the funding level included in the appropriations bill passed by the House in July. 

Below are some additional funding levels proposed in the bill: 

  • CTE National programs: $7.42 million, level funded from FY20 level 
  • Federal Work-Study: $1.18 billion, level funded from FY20 level 
  • Adult Education: $671 million, level funded from FY20 level 
  • DoL Training and Employment Services programs: $3.585 billion, a decrease from $3.611 billion in FY20 
  • Career Pathways for Youth Grants: $10 million, level funded from FY20 level 
  • Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants: $2.132 billion, level funded from FY20 level 
  • ESSA Title IVA Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.25 billion, an increase of $40 million from FY20 level 
  • Pell Grants: $6,495 for the maximum award, an increase of $150 from FY20 level 

The bill is not expected to have a markup or be considered individually on the Senate floor, but it will serve as a negotiating position for the Senate with the House. In order to prevent a government shutdown, Congress needs to pass FY21 appropriations bills or a new continuing resolution (CR) prior to the December 11 expiration of the current CR.  

While the Perkins increase in the bill doesn’t come close to meeting the funding needs for CTE, it is a solid step in this process considering restrictive budget caps and urgent needs created by the pandemic. We will continue to work with Congress on appropriations bills and on the next COVID-19 relief package to advocate for more resources to ensure all students have access to high-quality CTE programs and encourage you to reach out to your Members of Congress to ask them to support the higher Perkins funding level included in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.   

Federal Leadership Speaks on Advance CTE Panel 

On Tuesday, November 10, Advance CTE was joined by an esteemed panel of current and former Assistant Secretaries for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), including:

  • Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for OCTAE, 2018 – Present; 
  • Brenda Dann-Messier, 2009 – 2014; 
  • Carol D’Amico, 2001 – 2003; 
  • Trish McNeil, 1996 – 2001; and
  • Betsy Brand, 1989 – 1993. 

Panelists shared memories over the 100 years of Advance CTE’s work, including work on the federal investment in CTE and the advancement of federal CTE Policy. The group as a whole expressed great pride in changing the national narrative of CTE to a program of value for each learner, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender or where they live. 

Former Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier complimented current Assistant Secretary Stump, noting that “for a long time, CTE was a dumping ground…based on race and ethnicity. It has been a long haul. Scott [Stump], you’ve done a phenomenal job to change that trajectory.”

Looking ahead to the next 100 years with the CTE community, Advance CTE is excited to continue to push forward in order to grow and transform CTE into a system that prepares each learner for a lifetime of success. 

A full recording of our 100 year celebration can be found here.

President-Elect Begins Transition Planning

On Saturday November 7, it was announced the former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) received the electoral votes required to win the presidential election. In the days since, President Elect Biden has begun to share his plans for the transition between administration.

It is important to note that this transition planning is technically still informal, as the General Services Administration (GSA) has not begun the formal transfer of power or authorized transition funding to be used by the Biden-Harris team.

At this time, the Biden-Harris Transition Team has put out a public website: https://buildbackbetter.com. This includes priorities for COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. President-Elect Biden outlines four national efforts as part of an economic recovery strategy:

  • Mobilize American manufacturing and innovation to ensure that the future is made in America, and in all of America;
  • Mobilize American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future;
  • Mobilize American talent and heart to build a 21st century caregiving and education workforce; and
  • Mobilize across the board to advance racial equity in America.

In addition, Linda Darling-Hammond was named as the head of the education transition team. Darling-Hammond has an extensive career in the education field, including Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford School of Education, past President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and President of the California State Board of Education. Darling-Hammond also ran the education transition team for former President Barack Obama in 2008.

Darling-Hammond will lead the Department of Education Review Team of volunteers, comprised of the following individuals:

  • Ary Amerikaner, The Education Trust
  • Beth Antunez, American Federation of Teachers
  • Jim Brown, United States Senate, Office of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (Retired)
  • Norma Cantu, University of Texas at Austin, School of Law
  • Jessica Cardichon, Learning Policy Institute
  • Keia Cole, MassMutual
  • Lindsay Dworkin, Alliance for Excellent Education
  • Donna Harris-Aikens, National Education Association
  • Kristina Ishmael, Open Education Global
  • Bob Kim, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • James Kvaal, The Institute for College Access & Success
  • Peggy McLeod, UnidosUS
  • Paul Monteiro, Howard University
  • Pedro Rivera, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
  • Roberto Rodríguez, Teach Plus, Inc.
  • Shital Shah, American Federation of Teachers
  • Marla Ucelli-Kashyap, American Federation of Teachers
  • Emma Vadehra, The Century Foundation

Full information on the Biden-Harris campaign platform pertaining to education and workforce development can be found here.

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Biden-Harris Administration: Transition Team Gets Started

November 11th, 2020

On Saturday November 7, it was announced the former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) received the electoral votes required to win the presidential election. In the days since, President Elect Biden has begun to share his plans for the transition between administration.

It is important to note that this transition planning is technically still informal, as the General Services Administration (GSA) has not begun the formal transfer of power or authorized transition funding to be used by the Biden-Harris team.

At this time, the Biden-Harris Transition Team has put out a public website: https://buildbackbetter.com. This includes priorities for COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. President-Elect Biden outlines four national efforts as part of an economic recovery strategy: 

  • Mobilize American manufacturing and innovation to ensure that the future is made in America, and in all of America; 
  • Mobilize American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future; 
  • Mobilize American talent and heart to build a 21st century caregiving and education workforce; and 
  • Mobilize across the board to advance racial equity in America. 

In addition, Linda Darling-Hammond was named as the head of the education transition team. Darling-Hammond has an extensive career in the education field, including Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford School of Education, past President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and President of the California State Board of Education. Darling-Hammond also ran the education transition team for former President Barack Obama in 2008.

Darling-Hammond will lead the Department of Education Review Team of volunteers, comprised of the following individuals: 

  • Ary Amerikaner, The Education Trust
  • Beth Antunez, American Federation of Teachers
  • Jim Brown, United States Senate, Office of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (Retired)
  • Norma Cantu, University of Texas at Austin, School of Law
  • Jessica Cardichon, Learning Policy Institute
  • Keia Cole, MassMutual
  • Lindsay Dworkin, Alliance for Excellent Education
  • Donna Harris-Aikens, National Education Association
  • Kristina Ishmael, Open Education Global
  • Bob Kim, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • James Kvaal, The Institute for College Access & Success
  • Peggy McLeod, UnidosUS
  • Paul Monteiro, Howard University
  • Pedro Rivera, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
  • Roberto Rodríguez, Teach Plus, Inc.
  • Shital Shah, American Federation of Teachers
  • Marla Ucelli-Kashyap, American Federation of Teachers
  • Emma Vadehra, The Century Foundation

Full information on the Biden-Harris campaign platform pertaining to education and workforce development can be found here

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Legislative Update: New Funding Bill Passed and ED Offers Technical Assistance

October 2nd, 2020

This week, Congress passed a temporary funding bill and avoided a government shutdown. Read below to learn more about this bill, as well as a new opportunity for technical assistance and a revised COVID-19 stimulus package. 

Congress Passes Funding Bill 

Early Thursday morning the president signed a stopgap funding bill, avoiding a government shutdown since federal funding expired on September 30, 2020. The Senate passed this continuing resolution (CR) on Wednesday in a bipartisan vote of 84-10, following the House vote on the CR last week. This bill extends federal funding at the currently enacted levels through December 11, 2020. At that time Congress will either pass new Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) appropriations bills, or continue with another CR. The bill (H.R. 8337) extends funding for all 12 appropriations bills, including Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed). All education programs will continue at the currently enacted funding levels through the duration of the CR. 

ED Announces 2020 Catalyzing Career and Technical Education Competition

Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) announced the launch of the 2020 Catalyzing Career and Technical Education Competition. Through funding from OCTAE, Social Finance and JFF, recipients will be provided with technical assistance to scale high-quality, Perkins-eligible Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. Perkins-eligible CTE providers are able to apply for this, and up to two sites will be chosen to receive technical assistance valued at about $150,000-$225,000. There will be a webinar on October 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm ET, during which additional information will be provided and those interested can ask questions. Applications are due by December 4, 2020, and those interested are strongly encouraged (but not required) to notify Social Finance of their intent to apply by October 16, 2020. You can learn more about the competition here and the Request for Proposals can be found here.  

House Democrats Introduce Revised COVID-19 Relief Bill
Written by Michael Matthews, Government Relations Manager, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Full post can be found here.

On Monday, House Democrats introduced a new $2.2 trillion pandemic relief package as part of a last-minute attempt to find a bipartisan solution prior to both chambers leaving town until after the November 3 elections. The proposal largely mirrors the HEROES Act, the $3.4 trillion package passed by the House in May, including an extension of the $600 expanded unemployment insurance, an additional round of $1,200 tax rebate checks, and more money for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), among other provisions.

There is good news for education in the bill, as the new bill more than doubles the education request to $225 billion, including over $200 billion for an education stabilization fund and some additional targeted resources. See below for a specific breakdown of education funding.

ED’s Education Stabilization Fund – $208.1 Billion:

Funding is allocated to states based on a combination of the number of school-aged children and the number of Title 1-eligible children. Funding is not dependent upon schools reopening and can be used for the types of services and supplies that were allowed under the CARES Act. Funding is divided as follows:

  • $175 billion for elementary and secondary education
  • $27 billion for public postsecondary education, with 75% based on the number of Pell Grant-eligible students; funds can be used for an institution’s needs and for grants to students
  • $4 billion for governors to use on education, including restoring state and local education support
  • $2 billion for Bureau of Indian Education, tribal colleges and outlying areas
  • Maintenance of effort – states must maintain the percent of their budgets spent on education in fiscal year (FY) 2019 for FYs 2020 through 2022, with further specific assurances for K-12 funding and higher education.

Higher Education $11.9 Billion:

This section has funding for private institutions of higher education, and the allowable uses reflect those for public institutions in the Education Stabilization Fund. It includes:

  • $3.5 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and for Minority-Serving Institutions
  • $7 billion for private, non-profit institutions of higher education (page 168)
  • $1.4 billion for institutions with unmet need related to coronavirus
  • $20 million for Howard University
  • $11 million for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf
  • $11 million for Gallaudet University

The bill also includes $12 billion to close the homework gap and $3 billion for emergency home connectivity – The $12 billion is for schools and libraries to fund Wi-fi hotspots and devices.

The House passed a revised version of this bill on Thursday night. 

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

 

Series

Archives

1