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Posts Tagged ‘ARRA’

Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Applications Now Available

Monday, September 19th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Education has announced the 2012 competition for the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program. Grants will range from $1 million to $5 million and will last for a three-year period. Final amounts will depend on the final appropriation and state applications.

State education agencies that did not receive an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant are eligible to apply. The grants require states to develop and implement statewide data systems containing the elements specified in the America COMPETES Act. This year’s grants also require states to focus their grant applications on one of the following three priorities:

  1. Early childhood: Grants under this priority may be used to develop and link early childhood data with the state’s K–12 data system. This coordinated early learning data system must include the child, program, and workforce data elements described as Essential Data Elements in the Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge program. Maximum grant award $4 million.
  2. K–12: Grants under this priority may be used to design, develop, and implement a statewide, longitudinal kindergarten through grade 12 data system. Maximum grant award $5 million.
  3. Postsecondary and/or workforce: Grants under this priority may be used to develop and link postsecondary and/or workforce data to the state’s K–12 data system. At a minimum, this must include the postsecondary data required by the America COMPETES Act elements, and “states are encouraged to develop their own postsecondary data and not simply purchase this data from an organization external to the agencies partnering under this application.” Maximum grant award $4 million.

Within each priority area, states must use grant funds to address minimum capacity requirements in three categories: governance and policy requirements, technical requirements, and data use requirements.

Applications are due December 15, 2011. The anticipated start date for the grants is May 1, 2012.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Community College and Career Training Grants Now Available

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Shortly after taking office in 2009, President Obama pledged that America would have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 and would increase the number of workers who attain degrees, certificates, and other industry-recognized credentials. An announcement from the Administration today should go a long way in helping to reach that goal. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that grant applications for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program are now available. The grants were authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and funded at $2 billion over four years by the health care bill in 2010.

“These grants will help colleges create programs that make it possible for workers to come back to school and acquire skills and industry-recognized credentials needed to compete for good jobs in growing industries,” said Secretary Solis.

The grants are authorized at $500 million a year (FY 2011 to 2014) and will be available to community colleges or other two-year degree granting institutions of higher education as defined in the Higher Education Act. The goal of the grants is for schools to expand their capacity to provide education and career training to TAA for Workers program participants and other individuals to upgrade their knowledge and skills so that they can find family-sustaining employment. Each state will be guaranteed a minimum of 0.5% of the total funding, or $2.5 million per state per year.

The solicitation for grant applications can be accessed here. Applications must be received no later than 4 PM ET on April 21, 2011.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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States Cite Education as Top Fiscal Concern for 2011 in New Survey

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

At a time when House Republicans are promising to cut billions of dollars from federally funded programs, states are feeling the pain. When asked in a recent survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures to list their top three fiscal concerns for the 2011 legislative session, state legislative fiscal directors in 13 states listed education. Only the budget (31 states) and health care/Medicaid issues (18 states) were cited by more states.

NCSL Fiscal Brief: Top Fiscal Issues for 2011 Legislative Sessions found that the education issues states are most concerned with are adequate funding levels, school finance formulas and increased student enrollment. For example, Connecticut responded that education funding in the state remained flat for the last two years even though stimulus money was available. With stimulus funding no longer available in FY 2012, there will be no chance of accessing those additional funds, at a time when demand will be higher.

A table appended to the report breaks down which three areas each of the 47 states responding to the survey listed as top priorities.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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A Look Inside: A Synopsis of CTE Trends

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Earlier this fall, NASDCTEc hosted a webinar highlighting the recent trends seen in CTE governance, teacher shortages, funding and Career Clusters implementation, based on results collected and analyzed from the 2010 State Profile Survey. We are now happy to announce the release of A Look Inside: A Synopsis of CTE Trends, a four-part series analyzing state CTE data and initiatives:

Each section within the series provides a closer look and a better understanding of the structure and trends within CTE. While states are grappling with how to plan for the future in this uncertain economic climate, this series can help provide insights into the movement of CTE throughout the United States.

By Nancy in NASDCTEc Resources, Publications
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Community College Grant Solicitation Expected This Month

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Last year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act amended the Trade Act to authorize a new Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program, which was then funded at $2 billion over four years by the healthcare bill in March. These grants will be available to institutions of higher education to expand their capacity to provide education and career training to TAA for Workers program participants and other individuals to upgrade their knowledge and skills so that they can find family-sustaining employment. The grant solicitation is expected to be released later this month.

The Department of Labor has released a fact sheet on the grant program outlining key issues and questions for colleges interested in applying for funds. Additional information can be found in the most recent issue of the Association of Community College Trustees’ Trustee Quarterly magazine, which features Q&A with Department of Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter and Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Jane Oates.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Linked Learning, Green Workforce Development, Republican Pledge to America

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Linked Learning Pathways to College, Career, and Citizenship Success Act

On September 22, Rep. Judy Chu (CA) introduced H.R. 6174, the Linked Learning Pathways to College, Career, and Citizenship Success Act, along with co-sponsor Rep. Barbara Lee (CA). The bill is aimed at preparing students for college and careers through the Linked Learning, or multiple pathways, approach. More specifically, the bill would award grants to school districts in partnership with local stakeholders, including businesses, unions, parent organizations, and other community members. At the district level, grants would be used for planning and implementation of a system of pathway schools around career themes designated as high pay, high growth, and high skill industries. At the school level, students would be exposed to four components: a rigorous academic core aligned to the state’s postsecondary requirements; career technical education; work-based learning, and supplemental services.

Green Workforce Development Through Community Colleges Act

Rep. Paul Tonko (NY) introduced H.R. 6142, the Green Workforce Development Through Community Colleges Act, which gives authority to the Secretaries of Labor, Energy and Education to jointly develop a workforce training and education program to prepare workers for careers in alternative energy and energy efficiency industries. The bill would award grants to community colleges to reach this goal.

Republican “Pledge to America”

Yesterday, Congressional Republicans issued their election policy platform, “A Pledge to America.” Education issues are not mentioned, but the document does include a plan to create jobs and make America more competitive if Republicans take control of the Congress in November. Their plan would include ending all tax increases, giving tax deductions to small businesses and repealing mandates that harm small businesses. The pledge also outlined a plan to cut spending by reducing discretionary spending to FY 2008 levels, rescinding unused ARRA funds, imposing hard caps on discretionary spending and sunsetting outdated and duplicative programs.

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Health Information Technology Education Grants Awarded

Friday, July 9th, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $36 million in grants to five regional community college consortia to develop or improve non-degree health IT training programs that students can complete in six months or less. The grants were funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These grants will be used to establish or expand programs with the goal of training more than 10,500 new health IT professionals annually by 2012. This goal is in response to President Obama’s healthcare reform initiatives, specifically transitioning to electronic health records by 2014.

The grants will also fund the development of model curriculum materials and technical skill assessments based on validated industry standards. These new HIT careers will provide opportunities for students participating in programs of study in both health science and information technology career clusters.

For a listing of the consortia as well as all the individual participating community colleges and funding levels, please visit HHS’s health IT webpage.

By Nancy in News
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House May Move on Education Jobs Fund This Week

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The House is expected to vote on the Supplemental Appropriations Act this week. There will be two votes – one on the war funding and one on the package of additions/offsets to the Senate bill. The bill contains $10 billion for education jobs and $4.95 billion for Pell grants. In order to pay for these provisions, $12 billion in rescissions must be made including $800 million in education funding:

However, the bill still faces opposition from Republican members. House Minority Leader Boehner has said, “We’ve heard all kinds of rumors about how it might be considered, but we are not going to facilitate the passing of tens of billions of dollars of wasteful government spending on the backs of our kids.”

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Education Jobs Fund, Budget, For-Profit Schools

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Education Jobs Fund Shrinking

The House will not take up the emergency was supplemental (which includes the education jobs fund) this week amid reports that Republicans plan to vote “present” on the bill, forcing Democrats to come up with 218 votes in support of the bill. The House has already cut the education jobs fund is down from $23 billion to $10 billion and will offset that spending, however none of that offset will come from ARRA education funds. Despite the offset, Republicans are now saying they will oppose the addition of education jobs fund or other provisions because they want to keep the supplemental just to war and disasters spending.

House Democrats Will Not Pass a Budget

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) announced on Tuesday that rather than passing a budget this year, the House plans to adopt a budget enforcement resolution, which would cut spending even more than the President requested in his budget earlier this year. Hoyer said that until the nation’s deficit is addressed, it “isn’t possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget.” Hoyer wished to see recommendations from the President’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which has been charged with balancing the budget by 2015, before proposing a longer term budget. Recommendations are expected in December.

Senate Holds Hearing on For-Profit Schools

Yesterday the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held the first in a series of hearings to address the Federal investment in for-profit education and to find out what is happening to students who enroll in these schools. In his opening remarks, Chairman Tom Harkin (IA) unveiled “Emerging Risk?: An Overview of Growth, Spending, Student Debt and Unanswered Questions in For-Profit Higher Education” a report that investigates the Federal investment in for-profit schools and how these schools are using taxpayer dollars. It also identifies gaps in available information about enrollment, student performance, and loan debt and repayment. Harkin said, “We don’t know how many students graduate, how many get jobs, how schools that are not publicly traded spend their Title IV dollars, and how many for-profit students default over the long term. More broadly, we don’t know exactly what risk we are taking by investing an increasing share of our Federal financial aid dollars in this sector.”

Ranking Member Michael Enzi (WY) agreed that there are some “bad actors” among the for-profit schools, but made the point that “these schools are increasingly reaching more and more Americans who are not served by traditional higher education. They are an essential part of our efforts to provide every American with the skills necessary to be a valuable part of the workforce.” He also quoted Secretary Duncan who gave the keynote address at DeVry’s policy forum last month and said that “for-profit institutions play a vital role in training young people and adults for jobs. They are critical to helping America meet the President’s 2020 goal. They are helping us meet the explosive demand for skills that public institutions cannot always meet.”

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: ESEA, Veterans’ Training, Education Jobs Fund

Friday, June 18th, 2010

ESEA Work Continues Slowly in Congress

On Wednesday Democrat and Republican leaders of the House and Senate education committees met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Melody Barnes, the White House Domestic Policy Adviser, to discuss the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Education Week blogged about the meeting, reporting that Congress is working in a bipartisan manner to get the bill done, but that no one in the meeting would commit to a timeline. While Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) had previously stated his desire to get a draft done by Memorial Day, no firm deadlines came out of this meeting. What I have been hearing from Hill staffers in recent weeks is that Congress intends to release a draft this year, but there is not enough time on the legislative calendar to markup a bill, so the earliest ESEA could be reauthorized is next year.

Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act


Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI), chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, recently introduced S. 3447, the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 which would make changes to the Post-9/11 GI bill which currently provides education funding and benefits to veterans. S. 3447 would allow veterans to use their benefits at educational institutions that do not award associate or higher degrees. This would be a change from the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, which does not allow participants to use funds at a non-degree granting institution. This bill would allow veterans to attend postsecondary education institutions that do not grant associate or higher degrees, such as area career technical schools, career schools, and apprenticeship programs. A hearing has been scheduled for July 21 by the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to review the legislation.

Proposed Education Jobs Fund Faces More Obstacles

As Democrats work to secure votes and offsets for the proposed education jobs fund (which would be attached to the emergency war supplemental), time may be running short. “I am becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of progress on the supplemental and strongly urge Congress to complete its work on the request as quickly as possible,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Appropriations Committee during testimony Wednesday.

A proposal to use unspent ARRA funds as an offset to the $23 billion education jobs fund seems unlikely. Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (HI) had previously opposed Republican attempts to use stimulus funds to offset spending, and will likely oppose Democratic attempts to do the same now. Because of the push to offset spending (to secure more votes), the fund will probably be smaller than $23 billion. Sen. Tom Harkin (IA), chair of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, told CQ, “We probably won’t get the full $23 billion, but we may get something.”

By Nancy in Legislation
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