Congress Reaches Budget Deal, Congressional Briefings on JOBS Act

August 1st, 2019

This week, the Senate passed a $2.7 trillion budget agreement. Read below to learn more about the budget deal, as well as recent briefings on Career Technical Education (CTE) and cybersecurity, agriculture and short-term job-training programs. 

Congress Reaches Budget Deal

Today, the Senate passed a $2.7 trillion budget agreement in a 67-28 vote. Through this agreement, the non-defense discretionary funding cap for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 will increase by $27 billion and defense spending will increase by $22 billion. Each of those levels will go up by $2.5 billion in FY21. 

This follows last week’s budgetary movement, when Congressional and Administration leaders worked together on an agreement to raise spending levels for FY20 and FY21, as well as suspend the debt ceiling. The House then passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (H.R. 3877), a budget deal that raises the caps on defense and non-defense discretionary funding for FY20 and FY21 and  suspends the debt limit through July 31, 2021. 

Now, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) will determine the division of funds between the 12 government funding bills, and the Committee will prepare each of the 12 funding bills to be voted on following August recess before government funding runs out on September 30.

House and Senate Panels Discuss Short-Term Programs and JOBS Act

This week, both the House and Senate held briefings on short-term job-focused college programs. The panel, sponsored by Opportunity America, along with Representatives Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), discussed the ways that high-quality short-term programs open up new opportunities for career growth. The group explained that short-term credentialing programs can prepare individuals for in-demand and high-wage careers, improving career opportunities for the student and filling employer vacancies. A former Virginia Community College System student who took advantage of such program explained that, as a result, he has “a career instead of a job.” 

The panel also discussed the benefits of expanding Pell Grant eligibility to short-term job training programs, as outlined in the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act (S. 839 and H.R. 3497). This legislation would expand Pell Grant eligibility to high-quality short-term postsecondary programs. Eligible short-term programs would have to be at least 150 clock hours over at least eight weeks, meet local or regional labor market needs, articulate to institutional credit and provide students with a recognized postsecondary license, certification or credential.

Senate CTE Caucus Holds Briefings on Cybersecurity and Agriculture

The Congressional Career Technical Education (CTE) and Cybersecurity Caucuses held a joint briefing last week on “Building a Culture of Security: Integrating Cyber into Career and Technical Education.” The event featured a panel of cybersecurity and CTE experts speaking about the importance of integrating cybersecurity education into CTE programs, creating jobs in the cybersecurity field and anticipating future security threats to the country. When asked about public misconceptions regarding the skills needed to enter the field, panelists noted that there are a variety of cybersecurity career opportunities outside of the traditional computer science pathway.

The Senate CTE Caucus also held a briefing last week on “Agricultural Education and the National FFA Organization.” Current and past National Future Farmers of America (FFA) students and educators spoke about the impact of agricultural education on their understanding of food and health. The current students also shared that their CTE and FFA experiences gave them optimism about finding the job of their choice in their area of interest.  Senator Todd Young (R-IN), Co-Chair of the Senate CTE Caucus, spoke about the important role of the agricultural industry, and encouraged today’s students to continue to follow their passions while in school. 

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate and Jade Richards, Policy Fellow

CEF Hill Day, House Hearing on Apprenticeship Models

July 19th, 2019

This week, Advance CTE joined the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) to advocate for an increased federal investment in education. Read below to learn more about CEF Hill Day, a hearing on apprenticeship models and  the new postsecondary post filled in the U.S. Department of Education.

CEF Visits 41 Congressional Offices to Advocate for Education Funding 

CEF, of which Advance CTE is on the Board of Directors, held its annual Hill Day on July 17. CEF members spanning the education continuum met with a collective 41 congressional offices of both parties in the House and the Senate. In these meetings CEF representatives advocated for an increase in education funding, which currently makes up less than 2 percent of the federal budget. Check out #CEFHillDay on Twitter to see some of the offices that were visited.

House Holds Hearing on International Apprenticeship Models

On July 16, the House Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee held a hearing on “Scaling Up Apprenticeships: Building on the Success of International Apprenticeship Models.”

In their opening remarks, both Subcommittee Chair Susan Davis (D-CA) and Ranking Member Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) discussed the need for innovative apprenticeship models that provide students with academic skills and work-based learning experience. 

Witnesses shared apprenticeship models in Australia, Germany and Switzerland, and included:

  • Tim Bradley, Minister Counsellor for Industry, Science and Education, Embassy of Australia;
  • Silvia Annen, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training; and  
  • Simon Marti, Ph.D., Head of Office, SwissCore.

Though the apprenticeship model for each country is different, all reiterated common themes for success, such as: employer engagement throughout the entire process; public-private partnerships; affordability of programs by  shared investment across partners; and high standards for quality. The group also agreed that the apprentices are not expected to remain in one life-long occupation, but should be able to find career success in different jobs and industries.

The opening statement from Chairwoman Davis and the testimony from each witness can be found here

Senate Confirms Higher Education Post

On July 11, the Senate confirmed Robert L. King as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education. King’s nomination passed on a 56-37 vote. Previously, King was the president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He has also served as president and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation and chancellor of the State University of New York system. 

The announcement and statement from the Department can be found here

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

New Survey on ESSA Title IV-A Funds, Perkins Implementation Begins

July 11th, 2019

On July 1, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) (which reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act) went into effect.  As such, each state’s Perkins V one-year transition plan went into effect. Read below to learn more about Perkins V implementation, new survey data on how schools are using ESSA Title IV-A funding, what the repeal of the gainful employment rule means and how afterschool programs can reduce equity gaps in Career Technical Education (CTE).

New Survey Illuminates How Schools are Using ESSA Funds

For the first time, policymakers have a glimpse at how schools are using their grant funding under the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant, a program established in 2015 through Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). SSAE consolidated several existing categorical funding streams to provide local leaders more flexibility to support student learning. The program has three focus areas: well-rounded education (which includes CTE as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)), the effective use of technology, and safe and healthy schools. 

Thanks to a survey conducted by the School Superintendents Association, the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO), the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA), and the National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators (NAFEPA), we now have a glimpse at how schools are using these funds. According to their findings, 83 percent of survey respondents said that the investment in a well-rounded education is very or extremely important. 

Many schools and school districts are already using these funds to strengthen career readiness. Forty-nine percent of survey respondents said they are using SSAE funds to support STEM education, 16 percent for college and career counseling, and 15 percent for CTE. 

Perkins V Implementation Begins

The U.S. Department of Education announced that each state’s one-year transition plan had been approved to be implemented beginning July 1 when Perkins V went into effect. 

Secretary Betsy DeVos shared the following statement : 

“Our team is so encouraged by the way states have embraced the spirit of this new law and are rethinking career and technical education on behalf of their students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “The work is just beginning though. As states begin to think about their long-term career and technical education strategies, I would encourage them to continue to act boldly and break down the silos that exist between education and industry so that all students are prepared for the in-demand, high-paying jobs of today’s economy and tomorrow’s.”

Now, states are developing their full four-year Perkins V state plans that must be submitted to the Department in the spring of 2020. You can learn more about the Perkins V state plan process and content here

DeVos Repeals Gainful Employment Rule

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released its final regulation that rescinds the 2014 Gainful Employment Rule. The Obama-era rule stated that an educational program must prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation” to be eligible for funding from Title IV of the Higher Education Act, measured by data such as debt-to-earnings rates. This rule mainly impacts for-profit institutions, as well as non-credit programs at non-profit institutions. 

This repeal will be effective beginning July 1, 2020, but the administration announced that an early implementation option is available to institutions. If institutions are accepted for early implementation they will not have to submit 2018-2019 data. 

Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education & Labor, Virginia Foxx (R-NC) opposed the gainful employment rule largely on the basis that it is biased against for-profit programs. Their committee counterparts took the opposing stance. House Committee on Education & Labor Chairman Bobby Scott’s (D-VA) statement opposing this repeal can be found here, and Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray’s (D-WA) press release can be found here

Senate CTE Caucus Holds Event on Middle School Career Exploration

Earlier this summer, the Senate CTE Caucus held an event in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance that discussed how to make the most of middle school career exploration. In particular, the featured panel looked at the role of afterschool programs in showing students different career pathways. Check out this blog to learn more about topics covered during this event, and how afterschool programs can help address inequities in CTE. 

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate & Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Congress Introduces Legislation to Expand Pell Grant Eligibility, Secretary DeVos Speaks at Second Chance Pell Pilot

June 26th, 2019

This week, legislation was introduced in Congress to expand Pell Grant eligibility to short term programs and to high school students. Read below to learn more about these bills, Secretary DeVos’s remarks on Second Chance Pell, ESSA guidance, the 2019 Presidential CTE Scholars and apprenticeship updates from the Department of Labor. 

Congresses Introduces Legislation to Expand Pell Grant Eligibility 

Today the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, H.R. 3497, was introduced in the House by Representatives Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Steven Horsford (D-NV) and John Katko (R-NY). The JOBS Act was introduced in the Senate (S.839) this past March by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH). This legislation would expand Pell Grant eligibility to high-quality short-term postsecondary programs. Eligible short-term programs would have to be at least 150 clock hours over at least eight weeks, meet local or regional labor market needs, articulate to institutional credit and provide students with a recognized postsecondary license, certification or credential.

Additionally, over the course of this month the Go to High School, Go to College Act was proposed in both chambers of Congress. In the House, H.R. 3268 was introduced by Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY). A companion bill, S. 1888, was then introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Warner (D-VA). The bill would authorize a new pilot program to evaluate the impact of expanding Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment and early high school college programs. 250 institutions of higher education would be able to participate in the pilot, and students would be able to earn up to two semesters of college credit in high school before taking out of the 12 semester Pell limit. A summary of the bill can be found here

Secretary DeVos Delivers Remarks at Second Chance Pell Commencement

On June 25, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered commencement remarks to students in the Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy, Oklahoma who completed Tulsa Community College’s Second Chance Pell pilot. In her speech, Secretary DeVos shared her intent for the Second Chance Pell experimental site pilot to become a permanent program. 

Advance CTE supports expanding Pell Grant eligibility to incarcerated individuals, and lifting this ban is one of the organization’s priorities in reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.  

Secretary DeVos Releases Final “Supplement not Supplant” Guidance

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released final non-regulatory guidance on the supplement not supplant requirement under Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) following the 30-day public comment period. In a press release, Secretary DeVos stated that “This proposal does not change the legal obligations school districts have to make appropriate investments in education. It simply makes clear that a school district has significant flexibility in how it demonstrates compliance with the law.” To follow this new guidance, school districts need to demonstrate that a school’s Title I status was not considered when designating state and local resources to each school. 

2019 U.S. Presidential CTE Scholars Visit Washington, DC

Following the May announcement of the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars, the group was celebrated by the U.S. Department of Education and the White House this week during a ceremony in which each received a Presidential Scholar Medallion. In 2019, 161 students were selected out of the 5,200 candidates. Each year, 20 CTE students are selected from the pool of applicants, and this year’s Presidential CTE Scholars come from Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin. This program originated about 60 years ago, and expanded in 2015 to include exceptional CTE students. 

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Apprenticeship Program Updates

On June 24, the U.S. Department of Labor released a proposed rule on Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). This proposal outlines the requirements for entities such as trade, industry groups and employer groups, educational institutions, state and local governments, non-profit organizations and unions to be recognized as a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE). This is significant because the SRE would set the standards for high quality IRAPs and monitor for compliance. 

The Department also announced the Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies grant. Funding will be awarded to private-public apprenticeship partnerships in the information technology, advanced manufacturing and healthcare sectors. More than 85,000 apprentices will be the recipients of this grant through participation in newly-formed or expanded existing apprenticeship programs. Twenty-three academic institutions and the corresponding industry partner will be awarded this grant across Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.  

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

House Passes Appropriations Bill and Holds Hearing on Higher Education

June 21st, 2019

This week, the House of Representatives passed a Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) appropriations bill. Read below to learn more about this appropriations update, the latest House hearing on higher education and the new accreditation handbook issued by the U.S. Department of Education.

FY2020 Appropriations Bill Passes in the House

On June 19, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20)  $1 trillion minibus appropriations bill, H.R. 2740, that included funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) on a 226-203 vote. Bundled into this minibus were the funding bills for Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water. The bill included close to $1.3 billion for CTE State Grants, also known as Perkins Basic State Grants- leading to a total increase of $47 million over the amount provided by Congress for FY19.

It is important to note that the final House bill is unlikely to pass into law. The Senate Appropriations Committee has still not yet released their FY20 funding bill for Labor-HHS-Ed. In addition, Congress has not yet agreed on the overall levels of spending for defense and non-defense discretionary spending, which must happen before final allocations for the FY20 appropriations bills can be determined. Congressional leadership and administration officials met this week to attempt and come to an agreement, however, talks are ongoing.

Advance CTE will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

House Holds Hearing on Pathways to a College Degree

The House Committee on Education & Labor held a hearing in preparation for Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization on “Innovation to Improve Equity: Exploring High-Quality Pathways to a College Degree.” In their opening remarks, both Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) both discussed how the traditional higher education landscape has changed, and innovative postsecondary practices must be implemented to meet the needs of each and every learner.

The panel of witnesses included:

  • Judith Marwick, Provost, William Rainey Harper College
  • Tomikia LeGrande, Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Charla Long, Executive Director, Competency-Based Network
  • Sameer Gadkaree, Senior Program Officer, Joyce Foundation

The witnesses spoke about a variety of topics, including competency-based education, dual enrollment, student support services, and the persistent equity gaps in higher education.

You can watch the full hearing here and read statements from Congressman Scott and the witnesses here.

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Accreditation Handbook

On June 20, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a revised Accreditation Handbook to be referred to by college accrediting agencies. The guidelines are not required, but are how accreditors will be evaluated by the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary DeVos shared the intention to streamline requirements with this handbook- this new version is 28 pages, compared to the last one that was issued in 2012 and was 88 pages. One of the new additions to the handbook is a site visit to the accreditor by a department staff member.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

House Appropriations Minibus and U.S. Department of Education Proposed Accreditation Regulations

June 14th, 2019

This week, the House of Representatives continued to move forward with the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) appropriations process. Read below to learn more about this appropriations update, new proposed higher education regulations, a postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) fact sheet and how you can get involved in a campaign to double the federal investment in CTE.

House FY2020 Appropriations Process Moves Forward

On June 10, the House of Representatives moved ahead with the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) appropriations process by packaging it with the funding bills for the Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water, into what is called a “minibus” appropriations bill, H.R. 2740. Members of the House proposed a total of 189 amendments to the Labor-HHS-Ed portion of H.R. 2740, and the House Committee on Rules determined that 77 of these would  be considered. Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) proposed one of these amendments, an amendment that brings attention to the importance of CTE (however, it does not increase or decrease the money allocated to CTE State Grants). It is anticipated that the full House will vote on this appropriations package next week.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released their FY20 funding bill for Labor-HHS-Ed. In addition, Congress has not yet agreed on the overall levels of spending for defense and non-defense discretionary spending, which must happen before final allocations for the FY20 appropriations bills can be determined.Advance CTE will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

New College Accreditation Regulations from U.S. Department of Education

This week, the U.S. Department of Education published the proposed regulations to change the federal requirements for college accreditation to the federal register for a 30-day public review. These regulations are a result of the negotiated rulemaking process that concluded with  consensus in April. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a statement on the proposed regulations, which would reduce some of the regulatory requirements and simplify state authorization rules for distance education. Proposed updated rules for distance education and innovation, TEACH grants and faith-based institutions are expected to be published soon.

Advance CTE and Higher Learning Advocates Release New Factsheet

Advance CTE and Higher Learning Advocates released a new fact sheet on 101: Career Technical Education as part of the Higher Learning Advocates 101 resource series. This document provides an overview of what CTE is, postsecondary CTE outcomes and funding mechanisms for CTE programs. Check out the full fact sheet here.

Get Involved in the Campaign to Double the Investment in CTE

Looking to support efforts to increase the federal investment in CTE? Check out www.ISupportCTE.org, the website for the campaign to double the investment in CTE. In February, the CTE community launched this shared campaign and we invite everyone to join us in asking employers to sign onto a statement that supports doubling the investment in CTE. The signatures collected from employers will be a critical component to building visibility and support for CTE with members of Congress. Check out the share page to find a one-pager, PowerPoint, social media toolkit, and more that you can use and modify to spread the word about the campaign.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

NCES Report on the Condition of Education, Update on the Innovation and Modernization Grants

June 5th, 2019

This week brings new research on postsecondary education in the U.S., as well as an important update on the Innovation and Modernization Grants authorized under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Read below to learn about the newest reports on higher education, how to apply to be a peer reviewer for the Perkins V Innovation and Modernization Grants, and the latest Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations resource.

NCES Released 2019 Report on the Condition of Education

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the annual Condition of Education report. The congressionally mandated report includes data and analysis for 48 indicators across four categories: 1) Preprimary, Elementary and Secondary Education; 2) Postsecondary Education; 3) Populating Characteristics and Economic Outcomes and 4) International Comparisons. This year’s report also included a “spotlight indicators” section that examines postsecondary education enrollment (e.g., broken down by socioeconomic status) and outcomes (e.g., completion and transfer rates for nontraditional undergraduate students).

Some of the findings in the report include:

  • Undergraduate enrollment increased by 27 percent between 2000 and 2017, and by 2028 undergraduate enrollment is expected to increase by 17.2 million students;
  • In the fall of 2017, 75 percent of undergraduate learners at four-year institutions were enrolled full-time and 37 percent of undergraduate learners at two-year institutions were enrolled full-time;
  • From 2000 to 2017 the median earnings of young adults was consistently higher for those with some type of postsecondary attainment than without; and
  • The number of postsecondary certificates and degrees awarded increased from the 2000-2001 and 2016-2017 school years.

Check out the full report, At a Glance document and Highlights document for more information.

New NSC Policy Brief Details  Postsecondary Consumer Reports

A new policy brief from the National Skills Coalition, Consumer Reports for Today’s Postsecondary Students, outlines the different consumer-facing postsecondary reports currently in play. The report explains the required performance measures and reports for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), as well as the measures included in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. The report also discusses the value of reporting short-term post-graduation labor market outcomes.

Call for Peer Reviewers to Apply by Friday, 6/7 for Perkins Innovation and Modernization Grant Program

The Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) in the U.S. Department of Education put out a call for peer reviewers for the Perkins Innovation and Modernization Grant Program (Perkins I and M). The review process will take place across three weeks from the end of June to the middle of July. Reviewers should fit the following qualifications:

  • “Persons who are career and technical education (CTE) school leaders, teachers, district leaders, foundation officers, university faculty (who work with CTE), researchers, evaluators, professional development providers, or other individuals who have significant and current CTE experience and expertise at the secondary or postsecondary level.
  • Persons who are interested in identifying what is new or innovative nationally in CTE, and in determining how those innovations can be successfully implemented and evaluated.
  • Persons who are excellent writers, good critical thinkers, and committed to completing assigned tasks in a professional and timely manner.”

In order to apply, resumes (at most five pages) must be sent to PerkinsIandMgrants@ed.gov by this Friday, June 7.

Appropriations Fact Sheet Shared by the House Committee on Appropriations

As the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) appropriations process continues, the House Committee on Appropriations released a one-page fact sheet on the FY20 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill outlining some of the funding increases the bill allocated to the Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services and Education.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

New Higher Education Experimental Sites Initiatives Announced and College Scorecard Expanded

May 22nd, 2019

The big policy news related to Career Technical Education (CTE) in Washington, D.C. this week focused on postsecondary education. The importance of CTE was also recognized with the announcement of the U.S. Presidential CTE Scholars and a Senate CTE Caucus event. Read below to learn more about each of these updates.

Secretary DeVos Announces Higher Education Experimental Sites

This week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos shared details about new and updated higher education  Experimental Sites Initiatives. The Experimental Sites Initiatives is authorized under the Higher Education Act to pilot and evaluate proposed changes in policy. Through each initiative, the Education Department waives the statutory or regulatory federal student aid requirements relative to that initiative for a limited number of institutions in order to test the effectiveness of that new program.

First, Secretary DeVos announced a Federal Work-Study Experiment that would give selected colleges new flexibilities for students to participate in private-sector work-based learning opportunities, including:

  • No limits on the amount of Federal Work-Study funding that institutions can provide to private-sector employers;
  • Increased funding for Job Location and Development, which institutions can use to establish apprenticeship intermediaries; and
  • A reduced wage share for certain private-sector employers (e.g., small businesses) involved with institutions that are part of the experiment.

Second, Secretary DeVos announced the expansion of the Second Chance Pell program, which allows incarcerated individuals to access Pell Grants, by providing an opportunity for additional institutions to apply for inclusion. The Second Chance Pell pilot program was created under the Obama administration in 2015, and renewed in February 2019.

Expanded College Scorecard Released by Secretary DeVos

Secretary DeVos announced changes to the College Scorecard, an online interactive tool that allows users to gather information on the cost and certain outcomes (e.g., median earnings, median loan debt, and loan default and repayment rates) of higher education institutions. New information can now be accessed through the College Scorecard, such as:

  • Data on 2,100 non-degree granting institutions;
  • Graduation rates and transfer information for non-first-time and non-full-time students;
  • Up-to-date metrics from the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; and
  • Preliminary student loan debt data by field of study.


2019 U.S. Presidential CTE Scholars Selected 

Every year, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes the top high school seniors across the country through the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, including students who excel in CTE. A U.S. Presidential Scholar in CTE must be nominated by their Chief State School Officer. All candidates then complete an application and are evaluated for academic achievement, character, and leadership by a review committee of secondary and postsecondary education leaders. The review committee selects the semifinalists from this group, and the Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of independent individuals appointed by the President from across the country and spanning a range of professional backgrounds, asses the remaining pool to choose the finalists. The Commission selects only 60 CTE semifinalists and up to 20 CTE finalists.

The 2019 final U.S. Presidential CTE Scholars have been selected, and include students from Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin.

Senate CTE Caucus Event Shines a Light on CTE Data

On May 21, Advance CTE’s Senior Policy Associate, Austin Estes, participated in a Senate CTE Caucus briefing on CTE data. The panel event also featured Catherine Imperatore from the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Dr. Bryan Wilson from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (an initiative of the National Skills Coalition), and Dr. Nicassia Belton from the Maryland State Department of Education. The panelists discussed the value of data to promoting equity and quality in CTE, and the challenges states face in improving the accessibility, quality, and use of their data as they prepare to meet new reporting and accountability requirements in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Advance CTE shared findings from this year’s State of CTE report, highlighting the need for cross-sector data sharing and partnership across the states.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate & Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

House Appropriations Committee Marks Up Spending Bill for Education, Labor Programs

May 10th, 2019

This week the House Committee on Appropriations marked up the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill for Fiscal Year 2020 and released a report on the bill. Read below to learn more about the markup, congressional intent for the bill and what the federal investment in education means for CTE programs.

House Appropriations Committee Marks Up Spending Bill for Education, Labor Programs

On Wednesday, May 8, the House Committee on Appropriations marked up the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education) appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), which begins October 1, 2019. The bill moved ahead on a 30-23 party line vote.
The Committee accepted an amendment by Chairwoman of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. DeLauro (D-CT). The amendment adds $103 million to the overall spending amount for the bill. Advance CTE was pleased to see that this allowed for an additional $10 million to be allocated to CTE State Grants, also known as Perkins Basic State Grants- leading to a total increase of $47 million over the amount provided by Congress for FY19.
It is important to note that this markup is an early step in the process to determine the amount of funding Congress will allocate to the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor for FY20. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released their FY20 funding bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. In addition, Congress must agree on the overall levels of spending for defense and non-defense discretionary spending before determining final allocations for the FY20 appropriations bills and associated programs. Advance CTE will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.
House Appropriations Committee Releases Report on Spending Bill for Education, Labor Programs
On Tuesday, May 7, the House Committee on Appropriations released its report on the Labor-HHS-Education FY20 appropriations bill, which provides additional information about congressional intent. The report reinforces the role of Perkins Basic State Grants in creating opportunities for secondary, postsecondary and adult learners. The report also highlighted:
  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (authorized under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act) and the opportunity to use them to support  engineering and computer science education;
  • National Programs and support from the Committee for continued collection and dissemination of research in CTE while keeping funding level;
  • Cybersecurity and the need to better equip those who work in industries that regularly face cybersecurity threats, and how CTE programs can incorporate cybersecurity into the curricula related to critical infrastructure sectors;
  • Second Chance Pell and the need for research on the impact of Second Chance Pell in order to expand opportunities for incarcerated individuals to be eligible for Pell grants;
  • Federal Work-Study programs and how they can include community-based organizations and community service opportunities, but many students don’t know that these exist. The report pushes institutions of higher education to better communicate with students so that their Federal-Work Study experience can be connected to their career pathways of interest; and
  • High School Youth Apprenticeship programs and a  requirement for the U.S. Department of Education to submit a publicly available report on how apprenticeship funds are leveraged, including how the Department will expand high school youth apprenticeship programs.

Committee for Education Funding Highlights New Skills for Youth in Kentucky

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) released its analysis of the President’s FY20 budget, and hosted a panel on Education Matters: Investing in America’s FutureAdvance CTE was excited to include Leslie Slaughter, Kentucky State Coordinator for the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) Initiative, as one of the panelists to speak about the impact NSFY has had in expanding CTE opportunities for learners, and what continued work is possible with an increased federal investment. Leslie shared that “despite the growing need, federal support for CTE has fallen short of what is necessary to prepare a 21st century workforce. With greater support for CTE, apprenticeships, and other workforce development programs, students across the country would have greater access to accelerated career pathways and work-based learning that is coordinated to the needs of their regional communities.”
The full panel included:
  • Dr. Rick Carter, Principal, Athens High School, Athens, AL
  • Dr. Herman Felton Jr., President, Wiley College, Marshall, TX
  • Kathryn Roots Lewis, Director of Libraries and Instructional Technology, Norman Public Schools, Norman, OK
  • Leslie Slaughter, State Coordinator, New Skills for Youth Initiative, Frankfort, KY
  • David Young, Superintendent, South Burlington School District, Burlington, VT
There was a collective call for an increased federal investment in education, and a push for every person to reach out to their representatives and express why this is so important.

House Appropriations Subcommittee Marks Up Spending Bill for Education, Labor Programs

May 1st, 2019

The big news this week related to Career Technical Education (CTE) was that the House Appropriations Committee released their draft spending bill for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on Monday, April 29. Read below to learn more about what bill includes, yesterday’s mark up, and how you can get involved in a campaign to double the federal investment in CTE.

House Appropriations Subcommittee Marks Up Spending Bill for Education, Labor Programs 

On Tuesday, April 30, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up their appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), which begins October 1, 2019. The bill passed out of the subcommittee on a voice vote.

Overall, the bill included a six percent increase for federal education programs and a 10 percent increase for labor programs above the amounts Congress allocated in Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). The bill proposed a disappointing increase of $37 million, or less than three percent, for CTE State Grants, also known as Perkins Basic State Grants. Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released a joint statement in response.

The bill includes some notable increases for key education and workforce programs:
  • 13 percent increase for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants authorized under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA);
  • 24 percent increase for Title II Supporting Effective Instruction Grants authorized under ESSA;
  • 27 percent increase for Federal Work Study;
  • 9 percent increase for Federal TRIO programs;
  • $150 increase in the maximum award for Pell grants; and
  • 56 percent increase for Apprenticeship grants

It is important to note that this markup is an early step in the process to determine the amount of funding Congress will allocate to education and labor programs for FY20. While it is expected that the proposal will go before the full House Appropriations Committee in early May, the Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released their draft FY20 funding bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. In addition, Congress must agree on the overall levels for defense and non-defense discretionary spending before determining final allocations for the programs contained within the FY20 appropriations bills. Advance CTE will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

Get Involved in the Campaign to Double the Investment in CTE

Looking to support efforts to increase the federal investment in CTE? Check out www.ISupportCTE.org, the website for the campaign to double the investment in CTE. In February, the CTE community launched this shared campaign and we invite everyone to join us in asking employers to sign onto a statement that supports doubling the investment in CTE. The signatures collected from employers will be a critical component to building visibility and support for CTE with members of Congress. Check out the share page to find a one-pager, PowerPoint, social media toolkit, and more that you can use and modify to spread the word about the campaign.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

 

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