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Posts Tagged ‘NCLB/ESEA’

Register NOW for Upcoming NASDCTEc Legislative Update Webinar – Back to School Edition: Policy and Funding

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Join Kara Herbertson, NASDCTEc’s Research and Policy Manager, and Steve Voytek, NASDCTEc’s Government Relations Associate, as they walk you through the latest policy happenings in Washington.

After years of anticipation, Congress has taken steps toward reauthorizing several pieces of legislation that impact CTE including the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the Higher Education Act. In addition to updates on these key pieces of legislation, we will discuss sequestration and debates over the FY14 budget.

Are there specific questions you would like us to address? Email Kara at [email protected] and we will be sure to address your question during this webinar.

Time: September 26, 2013 at 3 p.m. Eastern

Register NOW

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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Legislative Update: Senate Releases WIA Discussion Draft

Friday, June 28th, 2013

CapitolClarification on ESEA Title I Supplement Not Supplant

This week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) sent a letter to Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) state Title I directors to clarify concerns around funding with regards to sequestration. ED noted that beginning July 1, 2013, many states and local education agencies (LEAs) will experience funding decreases due to sequestration and other budgetary factors.

The letter stated that, “ED understands that some LEAs have indicated a willingness to make up the difference in whole or in part with local funds in order to continue to provide a high-quality Title I program. However, many LEAs are concerned that they might violate the prohibition against supplanting if they replace the local contribution with Title I, Part A funds in a subsequent year.”

ED confirmed that LEAs taking this approach will not be considered in violation of the “Supplement Not Supplant” requirement.  The acceptance of this approach is relevant for Career Technical Education (CTE) because it could set a precedent for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) as states and locals seek to continue funding CTE programs despite any decreases in federal funding.

Senate WIA Discussion Draft

After holding a hearing on the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) last week, the Senate released this week its first discussion draft for reauthorization of the legislation. While NASDCTEc was pleased with many components of the draft, such as its inclusion of career pathways throughout the bill and the removal of the sequence of services provision, we were concerned with a proposal to fund One Stop infrastructure and other activites directly from the state allocations of One Stop partner programs.

While only postsecondary Perkins programs offer training services as partners in the One Stop system under WIA, Perkins funding supports both secondary and postsecondary CTE programs, with the decision of how to split overall funding between secondary and postsecondary CTE made by each individual state. The 1.5 percent contribution proposed in the WIA draft would mean a loss of nearly $17 million overall that would then come from Perkins’ administrative funds, resulting in a 30 percent cut to the administrative funds that are available to most states.

This issue has been a longstanding one within WIA legislation and will likely continue to be a sticking point as Congress proceeds with WIA reauthorization. The Senate WIA proposal is only currently in draft form, and staff provided comments on the draft legislation and will continue to work with Senate staff on this issue.

Bill for Grant to Address Skills Gap Through Community Colleges and Businesses

Yesterday, Representative George Miller (D-CA) and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) announced that they will soon introduce legislation intended to close the skills gap by developing and strengthening partnerships between community and technical colleges and business and industry.

The Community College to Career Fund Act would create a competitive grant program to encourage partnerships between two-year postsecondary institutions and business and industry. Partnerships would focus on creating job experiences, such as apprenticeships and on-the-job training, that allow participants to receive college credit while gaining hands-on experience. By preparing individuals with high-demand skills, the bill aims for businesses to locate and invest in the U.S. and for communities to maintain their local talent. Additional highlights of the Community College to Career Fund include:

Representative Miller stated that, “Community colleges are essential in today’s economy to educate the workforce of the future – the registered nurses; the experts in the alternative energy sector; and the IT and cyber-security workers. This legislation will make critical investments in community colleges that will strengthen the middle class and enable America’s workforce to better compete in the global economy.” This bill appears to be similar to an initiative proposed by the Obama Administration early last year.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: House Ed Committee Passes ESEA Reauthorization Bill

Friday, June 21st, 2013

CapitolHouse Education Committee Passes ESEA Reauthorization Bill

The House Education and the Workforce Committee passed this week the Student Success Act, or H.R. 5, as amended by a substitute from Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN). The Republican ESEA reauthorization measure passed on a party line vote of 24-15. Overall, the bill aims to eliminate more than 70 federal education programs and consolidate funding into a larger stream with more flexible uses. The bill would also eliminate the federal maintenance of effort requirement to give states more funding flexibility.

The Student Success Act would also keep current testing requirements in place but would allow states to make decisions on school improvement. Some opponents are concerned that the bill’s allowance of alternative assessments for many students in special education would result in an inequitable system.

Representative Rokita’s substitute, which was accepted as part of the overall bill this week, prohibits the Secretary of Education from requiring that states adopt the Common Core State Standards.

Read more about the ESEA reauthorization proposal on the Senate side. Due to stark differences between the House and Senate bills, conference on a final bill is unlikely to occur until the end of this year.

Senate Holds WIA Hearing

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing this week to begin its long overdue reauthorization process for the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and the rest of the committee heard testimonies from local and state workforce leaders on how federal policy can better support the workforce through WIA.

One panelist, a CEO from a company that connects employers with workforce talent, spoke about the importance of counselors and how the stigma around jobs requiring technical skills is inaccurate and needs to change. Overall, the panelists encouraged greater collaboration between workforce development agencies and businesses, and updated federal legislation to support the increasingly diverse individuals needing workforce services.

Senate Budget Committee Hearing on President’s FY 14 Budget for Education

Secretary Duncan testified this week in front of the Senate Budget Committee on the President’s FY14 budget request for education. The request proposed funding the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) at its pre-sequestration level of $1.1 billion.

During the hearing, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) discussed her disapproval of the House budget proposal and the need to replace sequestration cuts, which have resulted in a $58 million decrease to Perkins. Secretary Duncan also indicated that the House FY 14 proposal would reduce total federal education funding by 18 percent in addition to the sequestration cuts.

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), a proponent of Career Technical Education (CTE), expressed concern to Duncan over the lack of focus on CTE and the exclusion of certificates and apprenticeships from college completion statistics.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Flexibility Waivers

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced this week two flexibility waivers for which states can apply. The first waives a component of the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waivers, permitting states to delay until the 2016-2017 school year the use of student growth data in making personnel decisions. This change impacts the 34 states and the District of Columbia that had approved waivers before the summer of 2012 by delaying implementation for one year. States without ESEA waivers will not be impacted.

The second flexibility waiver announced by the Department is focused on “double-testing flexibility.” The testing consortia PARCC and Smarter Balanced will begin field testing their assessments next school year. To avoid administering two similar tests to some students in the same year – the field test and the state’s current assessment – the Department is accepting requests from states that would like to administer a single assessment (either assessment is permitted) to students in the 2013 – 2014 school year. Accountability expectations would remain the same for the school year.

FY14 Appropriations

The Senate Appropriations Committee this week approved its FY 2014 302(b) allocations by a party line vote of 15-14. The overall funding level was set at $1.058 trillion, $91 billion higher than the House’s $967 billion level. The allocation for the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) is $164.33 billion compared to the $121.8 billion Labor-HHS-ED allocation proposed by the House.

The Senate Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill is scheduled for markup on July 9, 2013 in subcommittee and on July 11, 2013 in full committee.

Wyden Amendment on Occupational Coding of UI Wage Records

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced this week an amendment to improve the collection and use of labor market information by amending the new immigration bill being considered by the Senate. The amendment would require employers to add occupational codes to the employee reports they send to their state UI agency. Part of the amendments intent is to create a public record of the number of people employed in technical jobs to assess the availability of qualified applicants from the U.S. before hiring individuals on an H1-B visa.

The CTE community would benefit from this information because it would allow us to observe whether or not individuals are employed in their area of study and to see how individuals move along a career path.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: ESEA Proposals Introduced in House and Senate

Friday, June 7th, 2013

ESEA Update

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently enacted through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), expired at the end of FY 2008 and has since been eligible for reauthorization. This week, several ESEA reauthorization proposals were introduced in Congress.

Senate Democratic ESEA Proposal

Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee introduced an amendment to ESEA entitled the Strengthening America’s Schools Act. Highlights of the bill include:

Though parts of the bill focus on college and career readiness and include opportunities relevant to Career Technical Education (CTE) such as dual enrollment and career academies, NASDCTEc believes that there is greater opportunity to focus on career readiness within the bill. We have sent a joint letter to Senator Harkin with the Association for Career and Technical Education to indicate areas of the bill where more components of CTE would be beneficial to all students.

The Senate HELP Committee is scheduled to begin markup of the bill next Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

A summary of the bill is available here.

Senate Republican ESEA Proposal

Republicans from the Senate HELP Committee, under the leadership of Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN), introduced this week their own proposal for ESEA reauthorization called the Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2013.

The Republican proposal is similar to a previous bill introduced by Senator Alexander in the last Congress. The newer version, however, removes key aspects with possible bipartisan support including:

Like the Senate HELP Democrats’ bill, the Republican bill moves away from the strict federal accountability system put in place through NCLB. However, the Alexander bill would eliminate the highly-qualified teacher provision and allow, but not require, states to use Title II to develop teacher evaluation systems that take into account student performance.

The Senate Republican proposal would not allow the U.S. Secretary of Education to require districts to adopt certain tests, standards, or accountability systems, and would give more priority to school choice.

The Democratic and Republican bills are even less similar than those presented in the previous Congress. As such, a compromise on ESEA reauthorization seems less likely and, at the least, the removal of common elements from the proposals may slow the progress of ESEA reauthorization.

House Republican ESEA Proposal

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) introduced this week the Student Success Act (H.R.5), a companion piece to the Republicans’ ESEA bill.

The bill combines three ESEA bills introduced during the last Congress with a few changes.

Of note, the proposal would eliminate the federal Adequate Yearly Progress metric and replace it with state-developed accountability systems. The bill would also repeal the highly qualified teacher provision.  A summary of the bill is available here.

The bill is scheduled for markup on Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

Staff will continue to monitor and share any developments related to these proposals and ESEA reauthorization.

CRS Releases Report on ESEA/HEA Teacher Issues

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a timely report on teacher-related issues that Congress should consider during the reauthorization of ESEA and the Higher Education Act (HEA).

The report, Elementary and Secondary School Teachers: Policy Context, Federal Programs, and ESEA Reauthorization Issues, describes ESEA and HEA provisions related to teachers and the evolution of the teaching field since NCLB was instated. The report laid out key areas of consideration for Congress as they reauthorize ESEA and HEA including the following questions:

Teacher and Principal Effectiveness:

Compensation and High-Stakes Decision-Making:

Equitable Distribution of Teachers:

Preparation and Certification:

Professional Development:         

We will share the full report when it becomes publicly available.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: FY14 Perkins Estimates, FY14 Budget, ESEA Hearing

Friday, May 10th, 2013

FY 2014 Perkins Estimates

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education shared state-by-state budget tables for all programs under its jurisdiction. This includes estimates for both FY13 and FY14.  At the time of the release, the tables included incorrect information for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). The tables have now been updated and can be found here. Perkins information can be found on page 21.

The FY13 estimates reflect sequestration reductions. It is important to note that the estimates for FY14 assume the President’s budget request is approved, which restores funds to pre-sequestration levels and for Perkins, assumes enactment of the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education. This proposal withholds $100 million in funds from the states to create an innovation fund managed by the federal government. The authority to withhold these funds and create the innovation fund would have to be enacted into law before it could occur; therefore, NASDCTEc recommends against using the FY14 estimates for planning purposes.

For more information on the President’s FY14 budget proposal and its potential impact on CTE, revisit this blog post and this blog post.

FY 2014 Budget Update

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for the creation of a budget conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate budgets. As reported in previous blog posts, the House budget would lead to an 11.7 percent reduction in nondefense discretionary spending for FY14 which would result in significant reductions to Perkins funding. The Senate budget would repeal the sequester and restore funding to Perkins and other nondefense programs.

This week, Senators Reid and Patty Murray (D-WA) attempted again on the Senate floor to appoint conferees on the Budget Resolution. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objected. Staff will continue to monitor any progress made on the FY14 budget.

House ESEA Hearing Discusses CTE

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been eligible for reauthorization for more than six years, and members of Congress are again looking at how the expired law can be updated and improved. This week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing called “Raising the Bar: Exploring State and Local Efforts to Improve Accountability” to discuss the federal role in accountability for education.

CTE became part of the discussion when Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) highlighted the importance of preparing students who are both college and career ready by aligning CTE and academic courses. Education stakeholders who provided testimony at the hearing included Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, John White, and Superintendent of Northfield, Minnesota Public Schools, Chris Richardson. White and Richardson agreed that better alignment between CTE and traditional academic courses is necessary. White described Louisiana’s efforts to include more measures – including dual enrollment credit, employment attainment, and Advanced Placement scores – in addition to using proficiency and graduation rates.

Another panelist, Eric Gordon of Cleveland Metropolitan School District in Ohio, discussed his district’s commitment to preparing students for postsecondary education and careers through CTE.

The discussion at this hearing on academic and technical skill integration illustrates the need for greater alignment between ESEA and Perkins. Some Members of Congress have indicated that ESEA reauthorization will begin in late summer, and staff will continue to provide details as they become available.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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Continuing Resolution Extends Highly Qualified Teacher Provision

Monday, September 24th, 2012

On Saturday the Senate passed a six month continuing resolution that will fund the federal government through March 27, 2013. This bill extends for an additional year a provision that allows teachers who are participating alternative certification programs to be considered highly qualified. This means that at least until the end of the 2013-2014 school year, teachers in alternative certification programs will be considered highly qualified. The Department of Education will also be required to send a report to Congress no later than December 31, 2013 detailing how many special education students, rural students, English-language learners, and low-income students are being taught by teachers in an alternative-certification program.

Nancy Conneely, Director of Public Policy

By Nancy in Legislation
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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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Legislative Update: Appropriations, NCLB Waivers

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Victory for Perkins Funding in House Spending Bill

The House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee approved its FY13 bill this week by a vote of 8-6. We are happy to announce that Perkins was level funded in this bill! Thank you to everyone who contacted their Member of Congress in support of CTE and Perkins.

Because the House and Senate bills are approximately $7 billion apart, there is still a lot of work to be done in the coming months before the two chambers can agree on final spending levels. However, because Perkins was level funded in both the House and Senate bills, we are optimistic that it will remain level.

The bill will now move to the full House Appropriations Committee, likely on Wednesday July 25.

Six Additional States and the District of Columbia Receive NCLB Waivers

The Obama Administration announced this week that six more states – Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon and South Carolina – and the District of Columbia have received NCLB waivers that give them flexibility in meeting performance targets under NCLB. This latest round of recipients brings the total number of states with NCLB waivers to 32 plus the District of Columbia. Additional information on state requests and other documents can be found here.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Five More States Receive NCLB Waivers

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Last week the Obama Administration announced that five more states – Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia – have received NCLB waivers that give them flexibility in meeting performance targets under NCLB. This latest round of recipients brings the total number of states with NCLB waivers to 24. Additional information on state requests and other documents can be found here.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: Perspectives from the Hill

Monday, June 25th, 2012

The National Career Clusters™ Institute is an annual summer event that offers a range of seminars and workshops highlighting model CTE programs across the country that are aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework ™. This blog series provides a recap of the broad range of information shared over the course of the event, which took place June 18 – 20 in Washington, DC.

On Tuesday afternoon we were joined by a panel of Congressional staffers who shared with attendees their outlook on budget topics, as well as the status of a number of education and workforce related bills. We were reminded that the remainder of the year is going to be a challenging one for Congress as they tackle issues such the national debt, sequestration, and tax cuts that are set to expire in December. The combination of these fiscal problems will undoubtedly lead to cuts in many federal programs.  Given that it is an election year, most of these issues will not be taken up until the lame duck session in November and December.

Because Perkins is not due for reauthorization, Congress is focused on other programmatic bills, such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, and the Child Development Block Grant. There has been a lot of action around ESEA in both chambers this session, but things have seemed to slow done. The outlook was that it probably would not be reauthorized this year. While there has been a flurry of activity on the Workforce Investment Act in the House, it is unlikely that the bill will progress much further because of stalled negotiations on the Senate side.

However, the panelists did give their perspective on Perkins-related issues. As far as the Obama Administration’s Blueprint is concerned, it could be a discussion starting point for Members of Congress as they begin talking about reauthorization. More specifically, the proposal for competitive funding is not popular in Congress, while there is agreement that accountability and data needs to be stronger. Congress would also like to see better alignment with other federal programs such as ESEA and the Higher Education Act.

All of the panelists stressed that they want to hear from you! Constituent input is very important as they decide how to allocate federal dollars most effectively, and as they work on bills such as Perkins. So if you haven’t already, contact your Member of Congress now and let him or her know how critical CTE and Perkins is. Preliminary conversations about Perkins could be starting this year, and Congress needs to hear from the field about what is working, what is not working, and changes you would like to see made.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, National Career Clusters Institute, Public Policy
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