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Catching Up With … State Legislatures (Part 3)

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series that will highlight some of this year’s major state legislative Catching Up Seriesactivity as it relates to Career Technical Education (CTE). Further explanation of the series can be found here and the previous installments here and here. For a comprehensive look-back at the 2013 legislative sessions, check out the “2013 CTE Year in Review,” which was published jointly by NASDCTEc and the Association for Career and Technical Education in March.

Workforce development received a lot of attention from state legislatures this spring as lawmakers across the country created new apprenticeship programs, and called on state workforce boards, businesses and education entities to collaborate in order better address local labor market needs and skills gaps.

Apprenticeships, Career Pathways and Tax Credits

Several states created or expanded their apprenticeship programs in an effort to create a stronger pipeline of skilled talent in specific fields. Both Indiana and Connecticut seized on tax credits as a means to encourage businesses to offer qualified apprenticeships.

In Indiana, school districts and charter schools can now receive grants to support career pathways for high-wage, high-demand jobs that require an industry-recognized credential and includes a cooperative agreement with a business. Also, an employer that hires a student who has completed such program is eligible for a tax credit. Indiana also set aside an additional $5 million for its Pathways for Academic Career and Employment, a program first started in 2013 to provide partnerships between community colleges, industry and nonprofits.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s proposed apprenticeship program also passed the legislature, committing about $6 million for the Apprenticeship Training Program Fund and a job training program.

Sector Partnerships, Alignment and Coordination

Several state legislatures directed their workforce investment boards and other entities to determine local and regional workforce needs and to better align their work with counterparts in education and commerce.

In Alabama, the state’s workforce board was allocated $4.3 million for regions to determine local skill needs, develop seamless educational pathways and align funding with identified local workforce needs. The law also sets aside $600,000 for career coaches and an additional $200,000 for regional leadership planning efforts. In a separate bill, the state also created a workforce council to promote industry-focused coordination between businesses and its P-12 and higher education systems.

Kentucky lawmakers required the state’s Office of Education and Workforce Statistics to gather and disseminate employment and earnings data of public, postsecondary graduates. Meanwhile Oregonian lawmakers passed a bill to define “a robust and effective workforce system” by promoting coordination and collaboration of the state’s employment, economic development, job training services and education sectors – in particular community colleges and public and private universities.

Connecticut’s manufacturing industry received a boost from the state legislature through the new Manufacturing Innovation Fund, which can be used to support public and private education and training programs.

States also called upon their workforce boards, education systems and businesses to create sector partnerships in order to better provide industry-driven career pathways and address local and regional skills gaps.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Legislation, Public Policy
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State CTE Policy Updates: July Edition Part 1

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

This past month, a number of states have adopted or implemented policies related to Career Technical Education (CTE). Below is a part oState Mapne of July’s state policy updates, focusing on CTE funding, reporting and governance. Tomorrow, part two will be released, which will focus on legislation addressing dual enrollment and postsecondary CTE.

California State Budget Includes CTE Grants
In early July, after months of deliberation and debate, California’s budget went into effect, with $250 million earmarked for grants to K-12 districts, charter schools and community colleges in support of CTE. The grants will be dispersed through a competitive process, with priority given to programs that secure matching funds from industry partners and that are aligned to high-need and high-growth industries. While the grants may be used for new programs, it is expected to support existing programs such as Linked Learning, California Partnership Academies and the Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCPs). The Partnership Academies and ROCPs both maintained funding in the broader state budget. The grants are intended to both promote CTE across the state as well as encourage new and ongoing partnerships between schools and business.

Ohio’s Statewide CTE Reporting & CTE Month
This month, Ohio released a sneak peek into the state’s new CTE report cards, which was approved by the State Board of Education back in May 2013. While the final report cards – for the 2011-12 school year – will be released next month, the state released simulated scores by school this month to provide an early look into the new reporting mechanism. Specifically, the report cards include five components: achievement (e.g., technical skill assessments); federal accountability results (e.g., Perkins targets, disaggregated by subgroups); graduation (four- and five-year graduation rates of CTE concentrators); post-program outcomes (e.g., industry credentials, postsecondary enrollment, etc.); and preparation for success (e.g., proportion of students earning college credit while in high school, through AP, IB, etc.). What separates this from federal reporting is that Ohio is building these indicators into their statewide accountability system – and assigning grades to schools based on their performance. The state may add additional indicators to the CTE report card over time.

In unrelated news, the Ohio legislature also passed HB 127 designating the month of March as “’Career-Technical Education and Skilled Workforce Development Month’ to increase public awareness of the importance of career and technical education systems and skilled workforce development programs to the strength and vitality of Ohio’s economic future.” As an aside, February is celebrated as CTE Month by NASDCTEc and the ACTE.

Oregon’s CTE Revitalization Grants
The Oregon legislature recently passed HB 2913/SB 498 to maintain the state’s CTE Revitalization Grant Program, first established in 2011, which provides grants to CTE programs across the state. The new bill also requires the establishment of a committee to set goals for the program, develop grant criteria, review all grant applications, and make recommendations related to the awarding of grants, with representation from business, industry, labor and education providers. Priority will be given to programs to represent a diversity of students and strong partnerships between business and education (with or without funding commitments from business). The Grant Program has been funded at $7.5 million.

Idaho’s Technology Pilots
The Idaho Department of Education has awarded $3 million across 11 schools as part of the state’s technology pilot project. The winning schools, which include elementary, middle and high schools as well as distance academies, will use the funds to do a range of technology-based initiatives, such as one-to-one initiatives on various tablets and computers, piloting digital textbooks and libraries, expanding Career Information System, training for teachers on technology and instruction, and developing a website portfolio system to track and share students’ academic growth.  The schools were selected based on plans that were scalable, sustainable, and designed to improve student achievement and financial efficiencies. While this pilot if not focused on CTE specifically, the availability and utilization of technology has a direct impact on teaching and learning in all disciplines and CTE in particular at the high school level.

Missouri’s Career Technical Education Advisory Council
Missouri recently passed HB 5042, establishing a Career and Technical Education Advisory Council within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). This Advisory Council consists of 11 members, including a current CTE center administrator; an administrator from a school offering CTE; two business representatives, one from industry and one from an association/coalition; representatives from a technical college, a community college, and a state university; a current participant in an apprenticeship program, and three CTE educators who have served as advisors to Career Technical Student Organizations. The Advisory Council also has three ex-officio members from DESE guidance and counseling division, the director of workforce development, and a representative from the higher education coordinating board, facilitating a true cross-sector entity.

This Advisory Council replaces an earlier version – previously named the “State Advisory Committee for Vocational Education” – and is charged with providing a short- and long-term strategic for the provision of high-quality CTE to students across all ages, funding, and necessary legislative/regulatory changes.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren in Public Policy
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Highly Qualifed & CTE: Tough Economic Times Creating New Options

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

As I have traveled the country, one of the most common questions I get is about how NCLB highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements impact CTE. NCLB statute and regulations do not require CTE teachers to meet the same requirements as academic teachers, in large part because so many CTE teachers come from industry and through alternative routes. States some latitude to define what highly qualifed means for CTE.  However, the HQT regulations related to academic teachers have had the unintendend consequence of limiting states’ ability to allow CTE courses to garner academic credit because if academic credit is awarded then the teacher teaching that class must meet academic HQT requirements.  Several states have developed innovative approaches to this challenge. Idaho invested in funding to CTE teachers certified in academic areas. New York negotiated a waiver to allow academic and CTE team teaching (strictly regulated) to meet the requirements. California is the latest state to offer up another option given challenges districts are facing due to tough economic times.

Below is a recently published article that summarizes the California option quite nicely.  This article was written by Allen Young of The Cabinet Report, a subscribers-only daily news source published by School Innovations & Advocacy . 

“LEAs have options on tech instructors meeting NCLB qualifications
By Allen Young

With districts looking for creative ways to address staffing needs, the California Department of Education issued advice this week reminding local educational agencies that a career technical education instructor can qualify as a ‘highly qualified teacher’ with authorization from the school board.

The issue has been raised repeatedly by districts that are struggling under the current budget crisis to match diminishing instructional resources with ever growing student needs and still meet federal goals under the No Child Left Behind Act.

 

“Amid massive layoffs throughout the state, people are trying to save their jobs and find out what they are credentialed for,” said Lynda Nichols, NCLB coordinator at CDE. “When a district decides to have one of these classes and the board approves it as a graduation requirement, it throws the non-NCLB course into NCLB [requirements].”  The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing said that if a school is granting graduation credit for a CTE class, then the instructor need only carry a CTE credential.

To qualify as a “highly qualified teacher,” the instructor must have a four-year college degree and hold a proper credential in their CTE subject area.

There are many examples of crossover classes that provide alternate forms of graduation credit. The CDE has clarified on their website the sections in law that describe the classes and credentials needed for career tech teachers to provide graduation credit and fulfill UC admission requirements.   

Here is a summary

The CDE guidance for CTE instructors satisfying NCLB is available here:

http://www.cde.ca.gov/nclb/sr/tq/documents/ctenclbhqtprvision.doc

The CTE Frequently Asked Questions are available here:

http://www.cde.ca.gov/nclb/sr/tq/faqctenclbhqt.asp.”

 

 

By Kimberly in Public Policy
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