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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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Catching Up With … State Legislatures (Part 2)

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Catching Up SeriesEditor’s Note: This is part of a series that will highlight some of this year’s major state legislature activity as it relates to Career Technical Education (CTE). Further explanation of the series can be found here and the first installment 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.

With more than 80 percent of high schools now enrolling students in dual enrollment coursework, it’s not a huge surprise that dual enrollment continued to expand its reach during the 2014 legislative sessions across the country.

In Alabama, the governor signed a bill that seeks to incentivize a CTE dual enrollment scholarship program. The scholarship program was first proposed by Gov. Robert Bentley’s College and Career Ready Task Force in January and further championed in the governor’s State of the State address.

The scholarship program is intended to be funded by private donations from businesses and individuals, who in turn would receive a 50 percent tax credit on their donations. The law sets aside $5 million dollars for tax credits each year, providing $10 million in scholarships for 9,500 students each year. Additionally, businesses that donate to the program can direct up to 80 percent of their donation to train students for a particular field.

In Alaska, this year’s legislative session was dubbed “the education session” by Gov. Sean Parnell in his State of the State address in January. Whether that focus was achieved still appears unclear, but one large omnibus education bill did pass both chambers and was signed by the Governor last month. Expanded CTE dual credit options were among the bill’s final contents. Institutions that receive funding through the state’s Technical and Vocational Education Program (TVEP) must establish and maintain partnerships with Alaska schools for dual credit in high school and toward certification.

Florida and Oregon also expanded eligibility for dual enrollment. Now, Florida students can begin enrolling in dual-credit courses starting in the sixth grade, and in Oregon, students in the 9th and 10th grades are now eligible.

Finally, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced recently that educators who teach dual enrollment classes will earn coupons to pay for their own college credits. Gov. Bullock said the program is designed to increase the number of dual credit courses available by providing an incentive to instructors themselves. Under this new credit-for-credit program, which will be funded by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, an educator with a master’s degree teaching a dual-credit course will receive a coupon that can be used toward classes in the Montana University System as well as tribal and community colleges. These credits are also transferrable, meaning teachers can give these credit coupons to friends, family or even their students. The pilot program will start this fall and end in spring 2016.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

 

By Andrea Zimmermann in Legislation, Public Policy
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Catching Up With … State Legislatures (Part 1)

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Catching Up Series

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series that will highlight some of this year’s major state legislature activity as it relates to Career Technical Education (CTE). Further explanation of the series can be found 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.

There was significant legislative activity related to postsecondary education this spring – with a couple of landmark bills that even caught the attention of national media.

Postsecondary Funding

One of the most notable higher education bills to pass thus far hails from Tennessee, where Governor Bill Haslam recently signed into law the, “Tennessee Promise Scholarship Act.” The law, which will largely be paid for through lottery revenues, guarantees two years of free tuition at a community college or college of applied technology for all graduating high school seniors starting in 2015. Gov. Haslam first proposed in this year’s State of the State address as the cornerstone of his year-old Drive to 55 initiative to increase Tennessean higher education attainment to 55 percent by 2025.

Two other states also made forays into this arena. The Oregon state legislature directed its Higher Education Coordinating Commission to explore the possibility of a free tuition program. The commission is expected to submit its report by September 30. A similar effort in Mississippi, however, died in committee.

Colorado gave its higher education system a much-needed infusion of funds after years of budget cuts. The legislation known as the “College Affordability Act,” was signed by Governor John Hickenlooper in early May and increases higher education funding by $100 million for the 2014-2015 academic year (AY). The bill also institutes a six percent cap on tuition increases for the next two years.  Of that $100 million, 13 percent will be directed to community colleges, 40 percent to student aid and the remaining 53 percent to other higher education institutions.

Colorado’s legislature also passed a measure that would use outcome measures such as student retention and completion rates to determine an institution’s state funding. Currently, the bill has been sent to the governor for signature. Much of the proposed legislation is vague, and if signed into law, such details would be determined by the Department of Higher Education and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

Postsecondary Attainment Plans

Oregon lawmakers added apprenticeships to its higher education attainment plan, also known as the “40-40-20” goal. The plan, which was launched in 2011, states that by 2025 all adult Oregonians will hold a high school diploma or equivalency (the remaining 20 percent), 40 percent will have an associate’s degree or meaningful postsecondary credential, and 40 percent will hold a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree. Under this newest addition, apprenticeships registered with the State Apprenticeship and Training Council now qualify as a meaningful postsecondary credential.

Washington adopted two statewide education attainment goals as part of its 10-year higher education roadmap, which was originally unveiled in 2013. The Washington Student Achievement Council detailed these goals in a report it sent to the legislature in December and includes benchmarks necessary to reach them. The goals are for all Washington adults will have a high school diploma or equivalent and at least 70 percent of Washington adults will have a postsecondary credential.

Bachelor’s Degrees at Community Colleges

Following in the footsteps of more than 20 other states, Colorado also authorized community colleges to offer applied science bachelor’s degrees. While one more state joined a growing list, another decided to step back, momentarily.  The Florida legislature placed a one-year moratorium that prohibits the state’s community colleges from adding any new four-year degree programs. With 24 colleges offering a total of 175 degree programs and the number of such degrees awarded doubling in 2013, lawmakers became concerned that colleges were overstepping their bounds.

Did we miss something related to higher education in your state? Drop us an email!

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Legislation, Public Policy
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State CTE Policy Updates

Monday, August 26th, 2013

State MapOregon closes out its legislative session with a number of Career Technical Education (CTE) related bills and Ohio make a decision on a measure of students’ early college and career readiness.

Oregon’s Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee & CTSO Grant Program
Oregon passed HB 2912 requiring representatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, and the Bureau of Labor and Industries to meet at least four times each year to promote collaboration between the agencies on issues related to career technical education. The Advisory Committee is tasked with making sure CTE programs are available in public schools; developing regional centers that create partnerships between K-12, community colleges, public universities, and business/unions; encouraging the establishment of local advisory committees; and addressing barriers to CTE students transitioning to postsecondary education and the workforce.  This bill also establishes the Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) Grant Program within the Department of Education, allotted at $500,000 over two years, to encourage student participation in CTSOs.

Oregon’s Accelerated College Credit Programs
Oregon also established an Accelerated Learning Committee, comprised of the Chief Education Officer and appointees selected by the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House, and charged with examining methods to encourage and enable students to earn more college credit while enrolled in high school. The focus will be on the alignment of funding, assessments and policies between high schools and institutions of higher education. SB 222 also requires every community college district to implement and make available at least one two-plus-two, dual credit and/or another accelerated college credit program to every K-12 district within their community college district by 2015.

Oregon’s STEM Investment Council and Grant Program|
Lastly, Oregon created a STEM Investment Council via HB 2600 to help develop and oversee a long-term, statewide science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) strategy. The council will consist of nine members from the private sector to be appointed by the Chief Education Officer to aid and advise the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Commissioner for Community College System and the Chancellor of the Oregon University System on policies and programs, including the STEM Investment Grant Program. This new grant program will provide funds to districts, community college districts, public universities, relevant state agencies and any combination of these eligible recipients to support STEM education inside and outside of the classroom. The legislation notes that a STEM Investment Grant Account will be established in the State Treasury, separate and distinct from the General Fund, but no amount is noted or appropriated in this bill.

Specifically, the Council and grant program are focused on helping the state meet these two goals by 2024-25:

Ohio Requires the PSAT for All Students
The Ohio Department of Education, in partnership with the Ohio Board of Regents, has officially selected the PSAT as the statewide “college-career readiness assessment.” Beginning in October 2014, all sophomores will be required to take the PSAT. The goal of this policy is to provide information to students earlier about their readiness for postsecondary-level coursework so they can adjust accordingly while still in high school.

New Research/Resources
Jobs for the Future released What It Takes to Complete High School: A Shifting Terrain of Course and Diploma Requirements, a policy brief describing trends in states’ graduation policies (which NASDCTEc has begun tracking here, here, and here).

The New York State Association for Career and Technical Education issued a position paper in July entitled Recommendations for Developing College and Career Ready Students that offered the following six recommendations:

  1. Adopt a unified definition of College and Career Ready (that fully includes academic, employability and technical skills);
  2. Affirm the Common Core State Standards, Career Development and Occupational Studies and Next Generation Assessments to converge career and academic content and instructional practices;
  3.  Avoid imposing additional math and science course requirements;
  4. Link learner levels by restructuring existing middle-level and early high school CTE;
  5. Set goals for increasing the number of students who have Technical Endorsements to their diplomas; and
  6. Enact policies that assist all students to develop knowledge of career pathways leading to specific occupations and to have a personal career plan with flexible career goals.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren 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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Facing the CTE Teacher Shortage webinar

Friday, September 18th, 2009

NASDCTEc hosted Facing the CTE Teacher Shortage, a webinar which highlighted state examples from Alabama, California and Oregon that are employing effective strategies for addressing the teacher shortage in CTE.  Presenters included:

If you missed it, don’t worry!  You can access an archived version of the webinar here.  A PDF version of the Power Point slides is here.

By Nancy in NASDCTEc Resources
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Teacher Shortage Undermines CTE

Monday, August 10th, 2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the fastest growing careers in 2008 would be in CTE fields such as healthcare and trade and industrial occupations.  However, in order to cultivate a workforce to fill these jobs, students will require training from quality secondary and postsecondary CTE teachers – resources that are lacking across the nation due to a teacher shortage.  This crisis for CTE has been caused by student demand requiring more teachers, teachers leaving the profession and the limited opportunities to cultivate new educators as teacher programs are eliminated.

NASDCTEc has authored Teacher Shortage Undermines CTE, a brief that explores the reasons behind the shortage of teachers in CTE programs, and what can be done to curb the declining numbers and recruit more individuals into CTE classrooms. It also highlights examples from three states – Oregon, Alabama and California – that serve as models for increasing the number of CTE teachers in their state.

You can access a copy of the brief on our website at: www.careertech.org/show/publications under “Teacher Preparation”.

By Nancy in Publications
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