Posts Tagged ‘federal grants’

FIPSE Grants Cancelled

Monday, May 16th, 2011

We reported in March that the U.S. Department of Education called for applications for discretionary grants under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Comprehensive Program. The Department hoped to award more than $20 million.

Due to reduced funds in the FY 2011 budget, the Department has cancelled the grant competition. No new awards will be made under the Comprehensive Program in FY 2011.

By Kara in News, Public Policy

Department of Labor Technical Skills Training Grants Now Available

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that grant applications for the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants program are now available. According to a webinar hosted by the Department, the grant program is intended to “raise the technical skill levels of American workers so they can obtain or upgrade employment in high-growth industries and occupations.”

There will be approximately $240 million total available funds, ranging from $1 – $5 million to 75 – 100 grantees. Awards will be made to two categories: those that provide On-the-Job Training (OJT) to all participants and those that use other training strategies. The following awards will be made:

1.)    At least $150 million will be awarded to programs providing OJT to all participants

2.)    Between OJT and other training strategies, at least $45 million will be awarded to applicants that propose training healthcare industry occupations

3.)    Between OJT and other training strategies, at least $60 million will be awarded to applicants that serve long-term unemployed individuals

During the webinar, a Department of Labor speaker stated that proposals in the following areas are of greatest interest: Information Technology, Communications and Broadband Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, and Healthcare.

There will be two rounds of funding: the first round closes June 2, 2011 and the second round closes November 17, 2011.

For more information: Read the solicitation, visit the Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website, or view an online “Grants 101” tutorial.

By Kara in News
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Spring Meeting: Data Systems and CTE

Friday, April 29th, 2011

At the NASDCTEc/OVAE Joint Spring Leadership Meeting last Monday, State Directors heard more about the place of Career Technical Education (CTE) in the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant Program. An expert from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) stated that though state leaders may opt to include CTE as part of a state’s data system, the grants do not require inclusion of CTE data.

The purpose of the grants is to meet several long term goals including examining whether graduates have the knowledge and skills to succeed in further education and the workforce. Though CTE data is not a requirement within the SLDS grants, states and CTE programs would benefit mutually by reporting CTE data on this goal.

The SLDS grants are three to five year awards of $1.5 to $19.7 million per state. Since FY 2006, a total of $515 million in grants has been awarded to 41 states and the District of Columbia. The program has evolved from requiring only K-12 elements to involving pre-kindergarten, postsecondary education, workforce education, and the student-teacher link in addition to the K-12 components.

Some issues identified through the SLDS Grant Program include:

Successful strategies include:

To access the PowerPoint presentation from this session, please visit the 2011 Spring Meeting Resources webpage.

By Kara in Uncategorized
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Making the Case for Keeping the Federal Role in Education

Monday, April 25th, 2011

There has been much talk in recent months from freshman and Tea Party Congressmen about the role of the federal government in education, and even calls to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. In a new paper released this month by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), Get the Federal Government Out of Education? That Wasn’t the Founding Fathers’ Vision, Jack Jennings lays out several reasons why limiting the federal government’s role in education would be “a wrong-headed, simplistic move.”

First, federal involvement in education is not a new phenomenon. Laws from the 1700s granted federal lands to new states that could be used for public education. These policies existed even before Washington was elected president, and lasted 170 years until the Eisenhower Administration.

Second, it would limit the ability of states and local districts to use tax dollars to support public education. While only 8% of funding for public education comes from the federal government, the federal tax code, through a number of deductions and exclusions from federal taxation, incentivizes states and locals to use their tax dollars for public education. According to CEP, these indirect subsidies for education earned through the federal tax code were worth somewhere between $42 billion to $48 billion for all levels of education in 2009.

Third, federal student financial aid makes college more affordable, leading individuals to good jobs and a better life. Almost three-fourths of student aid comes from the federal government, and if this aid did not exist, many students would be unable to access postsecondary education and training.

Fourth, the federal government has long supported equal educational opportunities for minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and the poor. For example, according to Jennings, the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 was enacted for the purpose of providing “vocational” education to new immigrants and those with low levels of education.

Finally, broad education reforms at that federal level, rather than piecemeal interventions at the local level, will help to raise the United States’ academic achievement and competiveness among other countries. During the last four presidential administrations, reforms such as increased accountability and uniform standards, have gained traction at the federal and national levels.

By Nancy in Publications
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Smaller Learning Communities Eliminated in FY11 Budget

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

As more information comes out about the drastic cuts to education programs in Congress’ FY11 continuing resolution, we have learned that funding for the Smaller Learning Communities program has been eliminated. This program, authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, had previously allocated $88 million in grants to LEAs to improve student academic achievement through structures within a large high school that included career academies, themed schools-within-a- school, and “houses” in which small groups of students remain together throughout high school.

The impetus for Smaller Learning Communities stemmed from research that showed that students learn better and retain more when they learn things in context and when they understand the “why” behind what they are learning. CTE has played an integral role in many of these schools that prepare students to succeed in postsecondary education and careers. Once again, this cut in funding will negatively impact CTE students and programs throughout the country.

By Nancy in Legislation
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FIPSE Grants Now Available

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Last week the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education announced that applications for new discretionary grants under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Comprehensive Program are now available. According the Federal Register notice announcing the awards, the Comprehensive Program “supports innovative grants and cooperative agreements to improve postsecondary education. It supports reforms, innovations, and significant improvements of postsecondary education that respond to problems of national significance and serve as national models.”

Institutions of higher education (IHE) or combinations of IHEs and other public and private nonprofit institutions and agencies are eligible to apply. Approximately $20 million in grants will be available (pending Congressional appropriation). Grants will range from $500,000–$750,000 over three years, with $150,000-$200,000 being awarded for the first year. The Department estimates that 28 grants will be awarded.

There are three competitive and two invitational priorities that applicants should be aware of:

Competitive Preference Priorities (applicants can receive up to an additional two points for each priority met):

  1. Increasing postsecondary success
  2. Enabling more data-based decision-making
  3. Improving productivity

Invitational Priorities:

  1. Curriculum alignment
  2. Reducing instructional costs

The deadline to apply is May 23, 2011.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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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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Career Pathways Innovation Fund Grants Available

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced the availability of up to $122 million in competitive Career Pathways Innovation Fund grants. The intent of these grants is to continue DOL’s support for community colleges, with a particular focus on career pathway programs implemented by community colleges in partnership with other organizations in the community. This program replaces the Community-Based Job Training Grants.

At least $65 million of the funding will go to projects that focus on the health care sector. The following four types of entities are eligible to apply as lead grantees: Local Workforce Investment Boards, individual community and technical colleges, community college districts, and state community college systems. DOL intends to fund approximately 40 to 50 grants ranging from $1 million to $5 million. Approximately $6.25 million of the total funds available will be reserved to support grantee efforts to conduct a third-party evaluation of the grant activities.

Issue Date: February 28, 2011

Closing Date: March 31, 2011

More information available here.

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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Dept. of Labor Announces Green Jobs Innovation Fund Competition

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the Green Jobs Innovation Fund competition to increase green job training within existing career training programs. About $40 million will be awarded to five to eight national or state organizations running career training programs at the local level.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis remarked that “This grant program is an important effort in supporting green investments and equipping workers with the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to succeed in green occupations. The projects we expect to fund will enable workers to gain new skills that will make them competitive for industries and careers in demand.”

The grantees will use the funds to connect workers to green career pathways by linking Registered Apprenticeships with pre-apprenticeships and by providing skills training programs through community-based partnerships.

For more information on ETA competitive grants, visit ETA’s online tutorial. To request a grant application, visit or the Department of Labor grant website.

By Kara in News
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Republicans Propose Tech Prep Cuts

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

On Thursday Rep. Jim Jordan (OH), head of the Republican Study Committee, introduced the Spending Reduction Act of 2011, which aims to reduce federal spending by $2.5 trillion by 2021. This bill first proposes setting FY11 non-security spending levels at FY08 levels, and thereafter setting FY12 to FY21 levels at FY06 levels.

Second, the bill would repeal or eliminate a variety of programs in an effort to reduce the deficit. One of the programs slated for repeal is Title II of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. While President Obama last year proposed consolidating Title II Tech Prep funding into the Title I Basic State Grants, this bill would eliminate that funding.

Among the programs singled out for rescission are those in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which includes the Community College and Career Training Grants that were just announced by the Administration last week. The bill would also rescind unobligated funds made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes funding for Race to the Top and the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.

While this bill may pass the House due to the new Republican majority that has made deficit reduction a major priority, it is unlikely to pass the Democratically-controlled Senate. However, NASDCTEc will be watching this bill closely and will be advocating on the Hill for maintaining Perkins funding. But we may need your help! If the bill progresses through the House, we will likely contact you for state specific information on the impact of cutting Tech Prep funding, and may need your help in contacting key members of Congress that represent your state or district.

By Nancy in Legislation
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