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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

OMB Releases Sequestration Report

Friday, September 14th, 2012

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this afternoon released the OMB Report Pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, as required by Congress. According to OMB’s estimates, non-exempt nondefense discretionary federal programs will be cut by 8.2 percent if sequestration occurs on January 2, 2013. The report does not get down to the program level, so we do not have official numbers on the amount the Perkins could be cut, but based on our rough estimates, Perkins could be reduced by approximately $92 million. The total cut to Department of Education programs would be $4.113 billion.

OMB’s determination that the cut from sequestration would be 8.2 percent is based on the assumption that FY13 discretionary spending will be at FY12 levels. However, as we told you earlier this week, the 6 month continuing resolution increases FY13 spending 0.612 percent above FY12 levels. Therefore, the final sequestration percentage will likely be slightly different than 8.2 percent.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Senate Hearing Focuses on College Affordability; Witness Calls for Streamlining Federal Reporting Requirements

Friday, September 14th, 2012

At a hearing this week — Improving College Affordability: A View From the States – members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee heard from higher education stakeholders about the obstacles that keep postsecondary education out of reach for many students. Dr. Camille Preus, Commissioner of the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, spoke about how the Federal government can encourage and support states in making postsecondary education more affordable:

The federal government also could help states in their efforts to be more efficient by aligning the various reporting requirements that it imposes on institutions of higher education. These requirements differ for various programs, such as the HEA and the Workforce Investment and the Carl D. Perkins Act, and these in turn differ from information that states themselves require. A concerted effort needs to be undertaken to eliminate these inefficiencies. Many community colleges have only one individual who is responsible for meeting all reporting requirements. Sometimes states becoming directly involved in providing needed information. In addition, the federal government needs to be much more aggressive in ensuring that appropriate state educational entities have access to data that will enable them, in concert with institutions, to identify the earnings of students after they have left institutions. These data in turn will help colleges to maximize resource allocation.

In the context of better aligning workforce and training programs, NASDCTEc has also recommended that common measures across programs such as WIA, Perkins, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and Adult Education would provide more interconnectivity in the workforce system as programs collaborate and work together to ensure the alignment of goals. Our recommendaitons also call for data sharing across federal programs in order to ease the burden that programs and providers face in collecting accountability information, and foster an environment of collaboration and efficiency in the workforce and education systems.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Congress Releases Six Month Funding Bill

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

This week the House Appropriations Committee released a six month continuing resolution that will fund government programs until March 27, 2013 at FY12 levels plus an across-the board increase of 0.612%. This increase is the result of the bill adhering to the spending levels set forth in the Budget Control Act, as well as unanticipated revenues in FY12 that will carry forward to FY13.  The House is scheduled to vote on the bill tomorrow, with the Senate voting on it next week. The bill is expected to pass both chambers easily.

While this is good news, passage of this bill does not mean that Perkins will not see cuts in FY13. Cuts could still be included in the final spending bill to be worked out after Congress returns in January. With the uncertainty of the election and what impact it will have on the balance of power in both the White House and Congress, we do not know if Perkins will be targeted for cuts in 2013. This means that we must remain diligent in our efforts to educate Members of Congress on the value of CTE.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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OMB Delays Release of Sequestration Report

Friday, September 7th, 2012

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was scheduled to release a report on the impact of sequestration yesterday, as required by the Sequester Transparency Act. However, that did not happen, and it is now looking like it will not be released until late next week. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had this to say:

“Given the time needed to address the complex issues involved in preparing the report, the administration will be submitting that report to Congress late next week. No amount of planning changes the fact that sequester would have devastating consequences. We need to deal with our fiscal challenges in a balanced way.”

We will let you know when the report is released, and what it has to say about the impact of sequestration on Perkins Act funding.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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NASDCTEc Webinar: Federal Funding Update: FY 13 and Sequestration

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Over the last several years federal funding for many programs, including Perkins, has been slashed. Following this trend of shrinking budgets along with the looming threat of sequestration, Fiscal Year 13 could result in more cuts. Join Nancy Conneely, NASDCTEc’s Public Policy Manager, as she walks you through the federal funding maze. During this webinar you will hear about Fiscal Year 13 federal funding, the Budget Control Act, and sequestration.

When: Tuesday, September 25th at 3 p.m. ET

To register, please go to: https://nasdcte.adobeconnect.com/_a998116607/fedfunding/event/event_info.html

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Webinars
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Workforce Wednesdays: Get Involved!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Join NASDCTEc and the more than 40 other national organizations that make up the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce for “Workforce Wednesdays,” each Wednesday in August.

CTE and workforce development programs are an important part of the nation’s economic recovery and job creation effort, yet our nation’s investments in the skills of its people are at risk. Non-defense discretionary programs—including education and workforce programs—face at least $55 billion in funding cuts as of January 2013 due to the Budget Control Act, and efforts to protect funding for defense programs could double the size of these cuts. Key policymakers have even proposed eliminating dozens of federal workforce programs. It is critically important that we help policymakers understand why investments in CTE and workforce development programs are important and how these investments impact their local communities.

Participate in Workforce Wednesdays by taking action—it can be as simple as calling your Senators or Representative or, even better, arranging a site visit  — but just take action on one or more Wednesdays during the month of August. Stand united with NASDCTEc and the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce in support of adequate funding for CTE, adult education and workforce training programs!

Members of Congress will be in their home districts during the month of August.  Contact your Senators and Representative today to arrange an in-district meeting, a site visit, or engage in a direct conversation with in-district staff to let them know where you stand on funding for CTE and training programs. Or let your local community know why these investments matter by submitting an op-ed or letter to the Editor to your local paper. What you do isn’t as important as that you do something, so take action as part of Workforce Wednesdays in August!


RESOURCES

Find Your Members of Congress

Advocacy Tip Sheet

FY13 Funding Request Sheet

Leave Behinds and One-Pagers

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Obama Administration Must Release Details of Sequestration Cuts Within 30 Days

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

President Obama today signed into law the Sequestration Transparency Act, which requires the Administration to detail what the $110 billion in sequestration cuts will look like in Fiscal Year 2013. The Administration must issue its report to Congress within 30 days. The bill was a show of bipartisanship in Congress at time when the House and Senate have a hard time agreeing on anything. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent last month and passed the House by a vote of 414-2. Congress is expected to try to negotiate an alternative to sequestration during the lame duck session that will save $1.2 trillion over ten years.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Sequestration

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

House and Senate Continue to Spar Over Sequestration

Speaker of the House John Boehner along with other members of the House Republican leadership sent a letter this week to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging the Senate to agree to a deal that would prevent sequestration just for defense. Senator Reid responded in letter that read in part:

Democrats have no intention of giving up on balanced deficit reduction. At the same time, we fully agree about the importance of avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff. Toward that end, the Senate recently passed legislation that cuts taxes for 114 million middle class families. By not extending tax breaks that only go to the very wealthy, the bill also produces critical savings that could be used to suspend sequestration as part of a comprehensive deficit reduction package.

Congress is scheduled to go on recess today until Monday September 10th. When they return, they are expected to pass a six month continuing resolution, but will not tackle sequestration until after the election.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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Congress to Pass Six Month CR in September

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner announced today that they have reached a deal on a six-month continuing resolution (CR), which will fund the government at $1.047 trillion, which is the level set for FY 13 in the Budget Control Act (BCA). While no other details have been announced, staff will work through August recess to draft a bill. One issue to note is that the funding level set by the BCA is $4 billion more than the FY12 level, so the CR cannot simply fund programs at last year’s levels. It is unclear how Congress will allocate the additional funding for the six month CR.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Alternative Certification, Career Academies

Friday, July 27th, 2012

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Alternative Certification

The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing this week to examine alternative certification of teachers. The topic is a timely one given its connection to defining highly qualified teachers under the No Child Left Behind Act. In 2010, Congress passed legislation that allowed students enrolled in alternative certification programs to be considered “highly qualified teachers.” The House Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill seeks to extend this definition for two more years.

There was general support for alternative routes to certification on both sides of the aisle during the hearing. Chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA) had this to say:

Alternative certification routes help address teacher shortages in particular geographic areas and subject matter, as well as strengthen the overall quality of the teaching profession. While Republicans know there is no one-size-fits-all federal solution to help put more effective teachers in the classroom, supporting the availability and acceptance of alternative certification programs is one way the public and private sectors can join together to ensure more students have access to a quality education from an extraordinary educator.

Cynthia Brown, Vice President for Education Policy at the Center for American Progress, agreed that alternative certification programs hold a lot of promise, but that there need to be policies in place to ensure that they are “high quality, innovative, and effective,” which also holds true for traditional teacher preparation programs. She suggested that Congress focus on teacher effectiveness rather than alternative routes to certification.

More Details on Career Academies Proposal

Last week Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the National Academy Foundation’s NEXT Conference about the President’s FY13 budget proposal to invest $1 billion in career academies. Funding at this level could increase the number of career academies by 3,000 and serve an additional 500,000 students.

According to Duncan, $200 million in grants to states would be available in FY13, and $400 million would be available in both FY14 and FY15. Grants to would total $4 million each to states, and would be given over a three year period. States would distribute those funds competitively to locals.

As part of the grant program, the Department of Education is proposing a definition of “career academy” that each state must use for the in-state competition:

  1. A career academy is a secondary school program as organized as a small learning com­munity or school within a school to provide the support of a personalized learning environment.
  2. The academy must begin in ninth grade and combine credit-bearing academic and techni­cal curriculum.
  3. The academy must organize curriculum around a career theme like those proposed by NAF — hospitality and tourism, IT, health, sci­ence, and engineering — and be aligned with states’ college- and career-ready standards.
  4. The academy must provide work-based learning and career exploration activities through partnerships with local employers.
  5. The academy must articulate entrance re­quirements of postsecondary education programs to ensure students graduate from high school ready to pursue a higher education degree or credential.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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