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Posts Tagged ‘Perkins’

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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Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) Honored with CTE Stars of Education Award, Distinguished Service

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

NASDCTEc today honored Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) with the Stars of Education Award, Distinguished Service: Congressional  for demonstrating a high level of national leadership, vision, and achievement in Career Technical Education (CTE). NASDCTEc Board of Directors presented the awards to the Senators today at the National Career Clusters™ Institute in Washington, DC.

The award is given to members or former members of Congress who have demonstrated their support for CTE through meritorious contribution, innovative or unique achievements, expansion of the impact of or investment in CTE on students, and/or evidence of superior performance.

“Now more than ever, Career Technical Education needs the support from leaders such as Senators Richard Blumenthal and Herb Kohl, who both have advocated for funding and legislation that helps to prepare students for college and careers through quality CTE programs,” said Dr. Pat Ainsworth President of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium and California CTE State Director.

Sen. Blumenthal, the former Attorney General of Connecticut, is now serving his first term in the United States Senate. As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Blumenthal has made CTE and the Carl D. Perkins Career Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins) a top priority. Sen. Blumenthal has authored several letters to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and his fellow Senators, urging them to invest in CTE through increased Perkins Act funding.

Sen. Blumenthal has also introduced bills that aim to increase workforce training and business and industry partnerships, including the Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act, the Pathways Back to Work Act, and the Community College Innovation Act.

Sen. Herb Kohl has served in the United States Senate since 1988.  Hesdfacxmls He is a member of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee.  Just this year, he signed onto several letters urging OMB and Congress to invest in Perkins.  Sen. Kohl also introduced the Fast Track to College Act this session, which aims to improve the transition of high school students to postsecondary education through dual enrollment and early college high schools.

Sen. Kohl serves as Chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and has received numerous awards for his dedication to agriculture issues, including agricultural research and education, family farms, and other issues affecting rural communities.

Finally, he has also demonstrated support to the manufacturing industry. Sen. Kohl worked to restore funding to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, a public-private partnership that utilizes federal, state, and private dollars to provide technical support and services to help small and medium-sized manufacturers create and retain jobs.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in NASDCTEc Announcements, News
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Legislative Update: Appropriations

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Perkins Level Funded in Senate Spending Bill

This week the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education marked up their FY13 appropriation bill, which allocated approximately $158 billion to be divided up among its programs, including the Perkins Act. We are happy to report that Perkins was level funded. Given threats to non-defense discretionary programs from sequestration and other budget proposals, we think that level funding is a victory. Thank you to all of you who made outreach to your Senators! Hearing from constituents really can make a difference.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Labor-HHS-Education bill yesterday by a party-line vote of 16-14. The bill proposes to change the name of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education to the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. In order for this to happen the House would also have to propose such a change in their bill or agree to the change in conference.

During the mark up the full Committee approved an amendment to restore Pell grant eligibility for Ability to Benefit (ATB) students participating in career pathway programs. Pell eligibility for ATB students was eliminated in the FY12 appropriations bill.

Contact Your Representative Today to Maintain Perkins Act Funding!

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (MT) previously stated that his subcommittee would not mark up their appropriations bill until after the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act. We are now hearing that he plans to mark up their bill on June 20th.

If your Representative is a member of the Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee, we urge you contact them today and ask that they maintain Perkins Act funding. Because the House’s allocation for education and labor programs is lower than that of the Senate, it is even more important that House members hear from constituents about the importance of Perkins and CTE in helping to prepare students for jobs that remain unfilled, and in turning around the economy. There is a greater possibility that Perkins could be cut in this  House bill.

House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee members:

Call Your Member of Congress TODAY!

If you have any questions or to update NASDCTEc on your contact with Congress, please call Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager, at 301-588-9630 or email her at [email protected]

By Nancy in Legislation
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Contact Your Senator Today to Maintain Perkins Act Funding!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education is scheduled to mark up their FY13 appropriations bill next Tuesday, June 12th. The Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee has been slated to receive $157.722 billion to divide up among its programs, including the Perkins Act. The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to markup the Labor-HHS-Education bill on Thursday June 14th.

If your Senator is a member of the Appropriations Committee, we urge you contact them today and ask that they maintain Perkins Act funding. Given the threats to non-defense discretionary funding (including Perkins) from sequestration and other budget proposals, it is vital that members of Congress hear from constituents about the importance of Perkins and CTE in helping to prepare students for jobs that remain unfilled, and in turning around the economy.

Senate Appropriations Committee members (Labor-HHS-Education members denoted by asterisk):

  •  Daniel Inouye (HI)*
  • Patrick Leahy (VT)
  • Tom Harkin (IA)*
  • Barbara Mikulski (MD)*
  • Herb Kohl (WI)*
  • Patty Murray (WA)*
  • Dianne Feinstein (CA)
  • Richard Durbin (IL)*
  • Tim Johnson (SD)
  • Mary Landrieu (LA)*
  • Jack Reed (RI)*
  • Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
  • Ben Nelson (NE)
  • Mark Pryor (AR)*
  • Jon Tester (MT)
  • Sherrod Brown (OH)*
  • Thad Cochran (MS)*
  • Mitch McConnell (KY)
  • Richard Shelby (AL)*
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)*
  • Lamar Alexander (TN)*
  • Susan Collins (ME)
  • Lisa Murkowski (AK)
  • Lindsey Graham (SC)*
  • Mark Kirk (IL)*
  • Dan Coats (IN)
  • Roy Blunt (MO)
  • Jerry Moran (KS)*
  • John Hoeven (ND)
  • Ron Johnson (WI)*

Call Your Senator TODAY!

If you have any questions or to update NASDCTEc on your contact with Congress, please call Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager, at 301-588-9630 or email her at [email protected]

By Nancy in Legislation
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CTE IN THE NEWS: Career Education Plan from Obama Administration Unlikely to Bear Fruit for a Year or More

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education unveiled by the Obama Administration this week surfaced questions among key education and policy stakeholders; they rose issue regarding the timing of the document and effectiveness of its funding proposal, according to a recent Huffington Post article.

The article highlighted NASDCTEc’s concerns over the Perkins Blueprint, particularly relative to the proposal that would shift Perkin’s longstanding formula funding into competitive funding. Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director, noted how elimination of formula funding would leave states and regions with little or no monies to support areas that likely need the most help with training and educating CTE students for jobs.

“The details worry us,” said Green, in the article. “The competitive approach has the potential effect of really disadvantaging rural areas … that have smaller staffs and no full-time grant writers.”

NASDCTEc this week released a statement noting concerns of the Perkins Blueprint.

Echoing concerns over the Perkins Blueprint funding proposal, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) said in a statement that she “supports the Administration’s push to build on the successes of CTE programs,” but has “concerns with the funding mechanisms being proposed,” according to the article.

Finally, the article speculated that the Perkins Blueprint will likely not see much traction during this election year, adding that “no congressman has indicated he or she would sponsor a CTE reform bill along the lines of Obama’s proposal.”

“It’s part of a campaign strategy to emphasize employment,” said Jack Jennings, a former longtime Democratic congressional education staffer. “That’s Obama’s weak spot.”

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, WIA, Career Pathways

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The Department of Education released their Perkins reauthorization blueprint yesterday. See our previous blog entry and statement here.

Senate Sets Spending Levels for Subcommittees

This week the Senate Appropriations Committee released their 302(b) allocations, or spending levels, for each of the 12 subcommittees. In the Senate, they are using as their top line number the cap set by the Budget Control Act — $1.047 trillion. The Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee would receive $157.722 billion to divide up among its programs, including the Perkins Act. The House is expected to release its 302(b) allocations next.

House Holds WIA Hearing

The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a legislative hearing this week on H.R. 4297, the “Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012.” The hearing provided members an opportunity to discuss and gather expert feedback on the legislation. Among other things, this bill would consolidate 27existing workforce related programs into one flexible job training program, require the makeup of WIBs to be two-thirds employers, and require States to adopt common performance measures.

DOL Releases Career Pathways Resources

The Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor released technical assistance resources for the Career Pathways Initiative. The Career Pathways Initiative was launched in June 2010 to increase credential attainment and improve access to training opportunities for disadvantaged individuals. The new resources can be found here.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Department’s Perkins Reauthorization Proposal Raises Questions and Concerns

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Yesterday Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier unveiled Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa. This Blueprint outlines the Obama Administration’s plan for reauthorizing the Perkins Act, and revolves around the following four themes:

  1. Alignment: Effective alignment between high-quality CTE programs and labor market needs to equip students with 21st-century skills and prepare them for in-demand occupations in high-growth industry sectors;
  2. Collaboration:  Strong collaborations among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry partners to improve the quality of CTE programs;
  3. Accountability: Meaningful accountability for improving academic outcomes and building technical and employability skills in CTE programs for all students, based upon common definitions and clear metrics for performance; and
  4. Innovation:  Increased emphasis on innovation supported by systemic reform of state policies and practices to support CTE implementation of effective practices at the local level.

 

While we support the themes encompassed in the Blueprint, we worry that the details related to each of these areas could have an adverse affect on CTE programs. For example, the proposal to award funds to consortia on a competitive basis could result in decreased, inequitable student access to high-quality CTE programs. You can read our joint statement with ACTE here. We will provide more detailed analysis in the coming days.

For more information from the Department of Education, you can access a summary of the Blueprint, as well as their press release.

 Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Career and Technical Education Leaders Respond to Department of Education Perkins Blueprint

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Yesterday afternoon, at Des Moines Area Community College, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released the Administration’s proposal for Perkins reauthorization. NASDCTEc, together with ACTE, issued a statement immediately following the release:

ALEXANDRIA, VA — On April 19, 2012, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan unveiled Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education, outlining the Obama Administration’s proposal for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) appreciate the Department’s focus on Perkins, and Career and Technical Education (CTE), at a time when many industries face a shortage of well qualified skilled workers. However, some of the details in the Blueprint raise serious concerns.

While we support the themes encompassed in the Perkins Blueprint—alignment, collaboration, accountability and innovation—we worry that the details in the Blueprint could have an adverse affect on CTE programs and result in decreased, inequitable student access to high-quality CTE programs. As the reauthorization process moves forward, CTE stakeholders across the country are looking forward to providing input to develop a new law that will best meet the needs of CTE students and our nation’s economy.

We believe that a new CTE law should provide sufficient resources to ensure that all students have access to high-quality CTE, beginning early in a student’s education with career awareness and broad knowledge and building pathways to more specific career-readiness skills through connections among secondary education, postsecondary education, and the labor market. To achieve this goal, we believe it is critical that the new law focus on improving program quality by building the capacity of secondary and postsecondary educational institutions to prepare all students for success in current and emerging in-demand career pathways.

Recent data prove that CTE is making the difference in the lives of students, in communities and for businesses all across our nation. We are eager to work with the Department of Education, the Obama Administration and Congress to develop federal policy and legislation that builds on strengths, expands opportunities and access for more students to be successful in college and careers, and helps keep our nation’s economy strong and prosperous.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: WIA, Budget

Friday, March 30th, 2012

House Introduces Workforce Investment Act

The House this week introduced a comprehensive Workforce Investment Act reauthorization proposal, H.R. 4297, The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012. This builds upon three separate bills introduced earlier this session by Reps. Virginia Foxx (NC), Rep. Buck McKeon (CA), and Rep. Joe Heck (NV). Rep. Foxx’s earlier bill, the Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act, allowed states to submit a unified plan encompassing two or more job training and related programs, including both Perkins secondary and postsecondary programs. Under Foxx’s bill, Perkins funds would have been eligible to be consolidated into a Workforce Investment Fund and used for workforce activities. We shared our opposition to this proposal with the members of the Education and the Workforce Committee, and we are happy to report that new language was added to the Workforce Investment Improvement Act that singles out Perkins as the only program that cannot be consolidated in the unified state plan.

House Passes Budget Resolution

Yesterday the House passed the FY13 Budget Resolution introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI) by a vote of 228 to 191. This proposal would cap federal spending at $1.028 trillion, which is $19 billion below levels set by the Budget Control Act and the level that the Senate is plans to use.  Such a large difference between the chambers sets up another potentially long and drawn out appropriations process.

Duncan Testifies Before Congress on Budget
This week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee to discuss the Administration’s FY13 Budget, much like he did last week before the Appropriations Labor-HHS- Education Subcommittee.  There was push back from this committee about the focus in the President’s budget on new competitive grant programs, as opposed to the long-standing formula programs. Secretary Duncan also spoke about the value of community colleges and the need to increase capacity to meet the growing demand of individuals seeking to upgrade their skills.

 

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Budget, ED Priorities, DOL Priorities

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

House Marks Up Budget Resolution

Rep. Paul Ryan Chairman of the House Budget Committee released his budget resolution this week, which will serve as a blueprint for the House as the appropriations process moves forward. The budget passed committee by a vote of 19-18. The resolution sets the FY13 discretionary cap at $1.028 trillion, which is $19 billion below the cap set by the Budget Control Act last summer. The proposal would cut education, training, employment, and social services programs by $16.4 billion, which is 22 percent below FY12 levels. The resolution specifically targets Federal job training and workforce programs, calling them duplicative, and proposing to streamline the system and consolidate existing programs into “career scholarship programs.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) has said that the Senate will adhere to the spending levels set in the Budget Control Act and will not release a budget resolution.

Secretary Duncan Testifies Before Congress

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday to discuss the budget and policy priorities of Department of Education.  Duncan spoke about some CTE-specific proposals such as increased funding for career academies and community colleges. He also addressed the need to reauthorize the Perkins Act:

The Administration’s reauthorization proposal would transform CTE by increasing the focus on outcomes and career pathways that ensure that what students learn in school is more closely aligned with the demands of the 21st century economy, while creating stronger linkages between secondary and postsecondary education. The proposal would also promote innovation and reform in CTE.

A number of members, from both sides of the aisle, expressed concern that the President’s budget would cut or freeze existing programs, in exchange for funding new programs such as the Community College to Career Fund.

Secretary Solis Testifies Before Congress

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis testified before the House Education and the Workforce Committee this week about the budget and policy priorities of the Department of Labor. Solis began her testimony by saying that the labor market grew stronger last year, and that over 2 million private sector jobs were created, while the unemployment rate fell in 48 states. However, there is still work to be done and the President’s budget outlines the steps his administration intends to take to address unemployment and the skills gap.

As we told you after the President’s State of the Union address, he plans to create an “economy built to last,” founded on strengthening manufacturing, energy, education, and skills training for individuals. Secretary Solis outlined the proposed programs in the President’s budget that would help address these issues. For example, the Community College to Career Fund would help community colleges to partner with business and industry to develop training programs for workers to enter high growth and high demand industries that meet the needs of local employers.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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