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Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Legislative Update: FY12 Draft Suballocations, Urban Jobs, Investing in Innovation, Hiring Heroes

Friday, May 13th, 2011

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers released a draft of suballocations for FY12. These suballocations are the spending limits for each of the appropriations subcommittees. The Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (commonly referred to as Labor-HHS-Ed) sets the funding levels for all education, including Perkins, and workforce related programs. The proposed spending limits for Labor-HHS-Ed are 11.6 percent below the FY2011 amount and 23 percent below the President’s FY2012 budget.

According to Rogers’ FY12 markup schedule, the Labor-HHS-Ed bill will be the second-to-last markup with the subcommittee markup on July 26 and the full committee markup on August 2. The Labor-HHS-Ed bill will reach the House floor in September at the earliest before it eventually moves to the Senate.

It will be essential for all CTE advocates to take the next few months to make a concerted, consistent and broad-based effort to let Congressional leaders know the importance of Perkins funding. NASDCTEc is launching an aggressive advocacy plan during the summer months and will be rolling out opportunities and resources for you to use in your efforts to raise visibility and support for CTE and Perkins funding.

Urban Jobs Act

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) introduced S. 922, the Urban Jobs Act, to increase employment opportunities for at-risk youth. The bill, an amendment to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, would authorize the Secretary of Labor to provide grants for urban job programs. Nonprofit organizations would receive funding to carry out programs to prepare youth for employment, especially high school dropouts or youth who have had any encounters with the criminal justice system.

Investing in Innovation for Education Act

Sen. Mark Begich (AK) introduced S. 895, the Investing in Innovation for Education Act (also known as the “i3” bill), to promote innovative ideas proposed by school districts and organizations that show a record of increasing student achievement. Begich proposes to make permanent the i3 competitive grants funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The new bill has a special focus on rural areas, requiring 25 percent of funding to go to grantees from rural areas. Begich suggests that the bill will “level the playing field” by giving students the chance to benefit from innovation regardless of where they live.

Hiring Heroes Act of 2011

Sen. Patty Murray (WA) and 14 co-sponsoring Senators introduced S. 951, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, to address the high unemployment rate (over 27 percent) among young veterans and to help them find work. Senator Murray stated that, “For the first time, this bill will require that our service members get the training they need to translate the skills they learned in the military into the working world.” The bill would require broad job skills training and a transition assistance program requirement for returning service members. The bill would also create new direct federal hiring authority to provide jobs for returning service members when they leave the military, and veteran mentorship programs would be improved.

By Kara in Public Policy
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NASDCTEc, CTE advocates launch CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Members of NASDCTEc this week launched its CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign. The effort, which is being led by a growing number of CTE advocates — ranging from State Directors to business and industry, to CTSOs, and to other advocates — aims to showcase high-quality CTE that prepares students for the demands of the global economy.

The campaign kicks off at a critical time in which officials such as Education Secretary Arne Duncan have challenged the CTE community to prove its value and the positive impact programs make on student outcomes.

CTE: Learning that Works for America underscores the value of CTE to a broad array of stakeholders, including students, parents, educators, business and industry, and policymakers. The campaign puts in a clear voice a unified message about the success CTE programs across the nation have demonstrated through low high school dropout rates, above-average college-going rates and evidence of return on investment, and more. NASDCTEc aims to help mobilize and strengthen the CTE community with this campaign. Further, the initiative pushes forward NASDCTEc’s mission to deliver quality, consistent CTE that prepares all students for college and career.

In the coming weeks, NASDCTEc will launch a new website, which will include more resources for the CTE community to mobilize the campaign.

By Erin in CTE: Learning that works for America
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House Passes FY12 Budget Resolution

Monday, April 18th, 2011

On Friday the House passed their FY12 budget resolution by a vote of 235-193. The resolution proposes to set non-security discretionary spending below 2008 levels and freeze it for five years. The budget resolution also seeks to save $4 trillion over ten years through cuts and changes to Medicare, Medicaid, other entitlement programs and discretionary programs.

The budget resolution sets spending levels for each appropriations subcommittee to use when determining funding individual programs. The resolution sets spending for Department of Education programs at $360 billion, which is the same as the FY06 level. It is clear that the House is serious about cutting spending, and it is likely that most federal programs will be once again touched by cuts in FY12.

However, the budget resolution, much like the President’s budget, is a blueprint that outlines the House budget priorities. It does not have the force of law, and does not have to be agreed upon by the Senate. Because Congress is on recess for two weeks, now is a critical time to reach out to Members while there are in their home states and districts. Contact from constituents goes a long way in making our message more personal, and will help foster relationships with their offices. You can schedule visits with Members or their staff, invite them to visit CTE programs in your state, and send them data and information on best practices in their state.

By Nancy in Legislation
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ACTION ALERT: Congress Plans to Cut CTE by $138 million

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Late last night the House introduced the long-term appropriations bill that will fund government programs through the end of FY11. Programs funded by the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations subcommittee received a total of $157.7 billion. This equates to a $5.5 billion, or 3.36%, cut from fiscal year 2010 levels. This is also $13 billion, or 7.6 percent, below the President’s FY11 budget request.

While we do not have specifics on the exact cuts to Perkins, according to this chart released by the House Appropriations Committee, “Career Education” was cut by $138 million (see page 7). It is unclear at this time if that reduction is from Tech Prep and the Basic State Grant, or just from the Basic State Grant. As soon as further details have been released by Congress and the Department of Education, we will update you.

The House is expected to vote on the bill TOMORROW, after which the Senate will take up the bill.

CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

It is crucial that you contact your Members of Congress TODAY to urge them to maintain funding for CTE!

If you have any questions or to update NASDCTEc on your contact with Congress, please call Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager, at 301-588-9630 or email her at [email protected]

By Nancy in Legislation
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House Introduces Three Week CR, Perkins Not Targeted

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

On Friday afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee introduced a new continuing resolution (CR) for FY11 that would fund the federal government for an additional three weeks beyond March 18, when the current CR is set to expire. This bill proposes to cut an additional $6 billion in the form of rescissions, reductions, program terminations, and eliminated earmarks.

Perkins Act funding is not one the cuts in the bill. However, the Career Pathways Innovation Fund is slated for elimination with the rationale that both the President and the Senate also targeted the program for cuts, and that the program received $500 million in mandatory funding in last year’s health care bill.

The House is expected to vote on this bill on Tuesday. It will then go the Senate for their consideration. While Perkins was not in this bill, further cuts will be made before the FY11 bill is complete. Please continue to call both your Representatives and Senators to make the case that Perkins funding should be maintained because of the benefits to students in their districts and states.

By Nancy in Legislation
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FY11 Budget Still Hangs in the Balance

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

On Friday chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI), released a new seven month continuing resolution (CR) that proposed to cut an additional $6.5 billion from the current CR. This plan did not include cuts to Tech Prep or Perkins.

Today the Senate voted on both this funding bill as well as H.R. 1, the CR passed by the House last month that would cut FY11 spending levels by $61 billion. H.R. 1 failed to pass the Senate by a vote of 44 to 56, while Sen. Inouye’s bill failed by a vote of 42 to 58. These votes were seen largely as “test votes” to show that in order to pass a funding bill, both chambers must come together to negotiate a compromise that will likely fall somewhere in the middle of these two bills. Congress has until March 18 to pass a funding bill in order to avoid a government shutdown.

“Once it is plain that both parties’ opening bids in this budget debate are non-starters, we can finally get serious about sitting down and narrowing the huge gap that exists between the two sides,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Conference, in a speech at the Center for American Progress today.

This means that every federal program, including Perkins, is still vulnerable to cuts. It is imperative that we continue our advocacy efforts to make sure that both the House and the Senate understand how important CTE is to their district and state.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Business and Industry Sign on in Support of Tech Prep

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Yesterday NASDCTEc, along with ACTE, AACC, and the Council of Chief State School Officers, sent a letter to the Senate signed by 168 businesses, employer groups and national organizations that voiced their support for maintaining Tech Prep funding. This tremendous show of support should go a long way in letting the Senate know that Perkins, and Tech Prep in particular, is vital to ensuring that the next generation of skilled workers is trained and ready to fill the jobs offered by these businesses.

If a business or businesses from your state signed on to the letter, please be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their support!

By Nancy in Legislation
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Senate Passes CR, Tech Prep Safe For Now

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

This morning the Senate passed H.J. Res. 44, a short term continuing resolution that will fund the government until March 18. The House and Senate now have two additional weeks to work out a compromise on a longer term funding bill.

The bill funds most programs at current FY10 levels, but there were $4 billion in cuts. Tech Prep is not one of the programs cut in this bill, but Section 117 of Perkins, Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Vocational Institutions, was cut. This program awards grants to eligible tribally controlled postsecondary CTE institutions to provide basic support for the education and training of Native American students in CTE programs and for institutional support of tribally controlled postsecondary career and technical institutions.

While the maintenance of Tech Prep funding in this bill is an achievement, and shows that the advocacy efforts of the CTE community are making a difference, the fight is not over. This bill buys Congress additional time to work out a compromise, but Republicans in the House remained committed to deep cuts, of which Tech Prep could still be one. If we stop the fight now, Congress will not think Tech Prep and Perkins funding are important to their constituents or understand the affect these programs have on their state and district.

Please continue the great advocacy work you have been doing:

This work could truly make a difference!

By Nancy in Legislation
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House Introduces Short Term CR to Avoid Government Shutdown

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

On Friday the House Appropriations Committee unveiled a short term continuing resolution (CR) that, if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, would fund the government until March 18, allowing time for a compromise to be reached on a longer term funding bill. Passage of this CR will prevent a government shut down that could otherwise occur on March 4. The CR contains funding to allow government agencies and programs to continue operating at current spending levels for the next two weeks, except for several programs that will be terminated or cut.

These cuts and eliminations total $4 billion in spending reductions, however, Tech Prep is not one of the programs targeted for cuts in this bill. While this is significant, and shows that the advocacy efforts of the CTE community are making an impact, the fight is not over. This bill buys Congress additional time to work out a compromise, but Republicans in the House remained committed to deep cuts, of which Tech Prep could still be one.

Please continue to call your Members of Congress to urge them not to cut Perkins Tech Prep funding!

By Nancy in Legislation
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House Passes Funding Bill That Would Cut Tech Prep

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

At 4:30 a.m. this morning the House voted 235-189 to pass H.R. 1, the continuing resolution (CR) that would reduce spending on federal programs by $60 billion below current FY10 levels. The bill includes cutting $103 million from Perkins Tech Prep.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) said of the bill, “Congressional Republicans have spent the last six weeks ignoring jobs and refusing to offer a plan to grow our economy. Today, they have made matters worse – passing a spending bill that destroys jobs, weakens the middle class, hurts schools and young adults, eliminates assistance to homeless veterans, and diminishes critical investments in our future.”

When the Senate returns from recess on February 28, they will take up the bill, but it is unlikely to pass. The Senate has said they will introduce their own short term resolution. Earlier this week, House Speaker John Boehner (OH) said that he would not vote for a CR that does not include cuts, but yesterday he said that a CR that could avoid a government shutdown would be ready “soon enough.”

Remember to call your Senator TODAY to ask them to restore Tech Prep funding!

By Nancy in Legislation
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