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Posts Tagged ‘veterans’

Catching Up With … State Legislatures (Part 5)

Friday, July 25th, 2014

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

Credentials

Florida lawmakers added a few more provisions to the state’s Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE), adding to the major changes from last year’s session. The law now requires school boards to inform parents of the projected return on investment should their child complete an industry-recognized certification during high school versus completing one after graduation. It also directs the state Department of Education and Workforce Florida, Inc. to begin collecting return-on-investment information for industry-certified CTE programs and career-themed courses as part of its broader collection of student achievement and performance data. The law creates two new features as well – CAPE Acceleration and CAPE Innovation – which will take effect in the 2015-2016 school year, and further incentivizes school districts to offer industry-recognized credentials for articulated college credit.

In a separate bill, the legislature also permitted computer science courses to count for one high school graduation requirement in math or science if the course is deemed of sufficient rigor and a related industry certification is earned. Similarly, a computer technology course in 3D rapid prototype printing with a related industry certification may satisfy up to two math requirements.

In an effort to support and integrate technology in the classroom, the same legislation also provided that grades K-12 will give students the opportunity to earn digital tool certificates and grade-appropriate, technology-related industry certifications.

Military experience for academic credit

Washington and Utah joined a growing number of states that will now offer academic credit for veterans’ military experience as well as in-state tuition. The Connecticut General Assembly directed the state’s licensing authorities to certify, waive, or award certain licenses, examinations or credit to veterans or National Guard members who have military experience similar to the existing requirements.

In Washington, a new law requires the state’s higher education institutions to adopt policies that would award academic credit for military training applicable to the student’s certificate or degree requirements. Meanwhile, Utah lawmakers modified a 2013 law to require that veterans receive college and career counseling before the credit is awarded. According to an analysis by the Education Commission of the States, seven state legislatures also passed similar laws in 2013 related to prior learning assessments for veterans.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Legislation, Public Policy
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Executive Order Increases Oversight for Colleges Serving Veterans

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Over the last several years, the for-profit education sector has been under the microscope here in DC. The Senate HELP Committee launched an investigation and held a series of hearings on deceptive marketing practices and student outcomes. The U.S. Department of Education issued rules on program integrity and gainful employment. Now President Obama has issued an Executive Order that would provide greater oversight for institutions of higher education that serve veterans and their families. While the Executive Order is aimed at protecting veterans “from aggressive and deceptive targeting” primarily by for-profit institutions, it could impact not-for-profit institutions that serve veterans as well.

More specifically, the Executive Order would require institutions to disclose more transparent information about financial aid and student outcomes, require the Department of Defense regulate recruiting practices at military installations, trademark the term “GI Bill,” establish a centralized complaint system for students, and improve support services.

For more information, see the White House press release.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: FY12 Draft Suballocations, Urban Jobs, Investing in Innovation, Hiring Heroes

Friday, May 13th, 2011

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers released a draft of suballocations for FY12. These suballocations are the spending limits for each of the appropriations subcommittees. The Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (commonly referred to as Labor-HHS-Ed) sets the funding levels for all education, including Perkins, and workforce related programs. The proposed spending limits for Labor-HHS-Ed are 11.6 percent below the FY2011 amount and 23 percent below the President’s FY2012 budget.

According to Rogers’ FY12 markup schedule, the Labor-HHS-Ed bill will be the second-to-last markup with the subcommittee markup on July 26 and the full committee markup on August 2. The Labor-HHS-Ed bill will reach the House floor in September at the earliest before it eventually moves to the Senate.

It will be essential for all CTE advocates to take the next few months to make a concerted, consistent and broad-based effort to let Congressional leaders know the importance of Perkins funding. NASDCTEc is launching an aggressive advocacy plan during the summer months and will be rolling out opportunities and resources for you to use in your efforts to raise visibility and support for CTE and Perkins funding.

Urban Jobs Act

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) introduced S. 922, the Urban Jobs Act, to increase employment opportunities for at-risk youth. The bill, an amendment to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, would authorize the Secretary of Labor to provide grants for urban job programs. Nonprofit organizations would receive funding to carry out programs to prepare youth for employment, especially high school dropouts or youth who have had any encounters with the criminal justice system.

Investing in Innovation for Education Act

Sen. Mark Begich (AK) introduced S. 895, the Investing in Innovation for Education Act (also known as the “i3” bill), to promote innovative ideas proposed by school districts and organizations that show a record of increasing student achievement. Begich proposes to make permanent the i3 competitive grants funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The new bill has a special focus on rural areas, requiring 25 percent of funding to go to grantees from rural areas. Begich suggests that the bill will “level the playing field” by giving students the chance to benefit from innovation regardless of where they live.

Hiring Heroes Act of 2011

Sen. Patty Murray (WA) and 14 co-sponsoring Senators introduced S. 951, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, to address the high unemployment rate (over 27 percent) among young veterans and to help them find work. Senator Murray stated that, “For the first time, this bill will require that our service members get the training they need to translate the skills they learned in the military into the working world.” The bill would require broad job skills training and a transition assistance program requirement for returning service members. The bill would also create new direct federal hiring authority to provide jobs for returning service members when they leave the military, and veteran mentorship programs would be improved.

By Kara in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Veterans’ Training Bill, Appropriations, America COMPETES

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Veterans’ Training Bill Passed; Expands Eligibility to Area CTE Centers

Late last week the House passed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 by a vote of 409-3, after it was cleared by unanimous consent in the Senate earlier in the week. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. This bill will allow veterans to use their benefits at educational institutions that do not award associate or higher degrees, such as area career technical schools, career schools, and apprenticeship programs. This would be a change from the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, which does not allow participants to use funds at a non-degree granting institution. The new eligibility provisions will go into effect on October 1, 2011. This is a tremendous victory for CTE and a recognition of the high quality programs that our area CTE centers offer!

Congress Passes Short-Term Continuing Resolution

The House on Tuesday passed a continuing resolution (CR) by a vote of 193 to 165 that would fund the government and all federal programs at FY10 levels through March 4. The Senate approved the bill earlier on Tuesday by a vote of 79-16. With the shift in power in the House, and the weakened Democratic hold over the Senate, there is sure to be a more partisan fight over spending as expiration of the CR draws near in March. Soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner (Ohio) has already said that he wants to roll back federal spending to 2008 levels.

America COMPETES Act Passed by Congress

The House this week passed the America COMPETES Act by a vote of 228 to 130, after it was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate last week. The bill now heads to President Obama for his signature. The goal of the bill is to improve the competitiveness of the United States by investing in innovation through research and development. There are a variety of provisions in the bill that will impact STEM education, such as the coordination of federal STEM education efforts, grants to increase the number of STEM teachers, and other improvements in STEM education. Because Congress wanted to pass this bill before the current session of Congress ends, the House had little choice but to accept the Senate version of the bill which scales back funding from the original House bill and reauthorizes the bill for three years instead of five.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Education Jobs, Veteran’s Training Bill, For-Profit Recruitment, STEM Education Bill

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Education Jobs Clears the Senate

The Senate voted yesterday to pass the Murray-Harkin amendment, which includes $10 billion for education jobs and $16.1 billion for federal Medicaid payments. The amendment passed 61-39, with Senators Collins and Snowe the only Republicans to join all Democrats in voting for it. The House is scheduled to convene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday for a vote on the bill..

Veteran Employment Assistance Act

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs approved S. 3234, Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010, which would improve employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The bill will now be reported to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate HELP Hearing on For-Profit Schools

On Wednesday the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on “For-Profit Schools: The Student Recruitment Experience.” The Committee heard from Gregory Kutz of GAO who recently conducted an investigation into the recruitment process at proprietary schools and found that the abuses are systemic and that oversight is lax. Joshua Pruyn, a former admissions representative at Westwood College, also testified about enrollment quotas imposed on reps, awards given for enrolling students, and the psychological games they were encouraged to play with prospective students.

21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA) introduced H.R. 6078, the 21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act. This bill would amend ESEA to provide grants to LEAs to encourage girls and underrepresented minorities to pursue studies and careers in STEM.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: SECTORS Act, DIPLOMA Act, Veterans Training Bill

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

SECTORS Act Passes House with Bipartisan Support

Earlier this week House of Representatives passed H.R. 1855, the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act on a unanimous voice vote. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Loebsack (IA) and Platts (PA) in the House and Senators Brown (OH), Murray (WA) and Snowe (ME) in the Senate. The SECTORS Act would amend the Workforce Investment Act and establishes a new Industry or Sector Partnership Grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Grants would allow recipients to establish or expand industry or sector partnerships that lead collaborative planning, resource alignment, and training efforts across multiple firms for current and potential workers within the targeted industry cluster. The bill must now be approved by the Senate. You can reach your Senator at (202) 224-3121 to voice your support.


DIPLOMA Act Aims to Increase College and Career Readiness

Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) introduced S. 3595, the Developing Innovative Partnerships and Learning Opportunities that Motivate Achievement (DIPLOMA) Act which aims to strengthen student achievement and graduation rates and prepare young people for college, careers, and citizenship through innovative partnerships that meet the comprehensive needs of children and youth. States would receive funding that would be used in part to administer competitive grants to local consortia to assess community needs, coordinate existing funding streams, and provide services. Career technical education is specifically mentioned as a permissible of funds by the local consortia.

Among the other permissible use of funds allowed by this bill are multiple pathways to graduation (including dual enrollment programs, early college high schools, dropout prevention strategies, and dropout recovery strategies), job training, career counseling, and internship opportunities.


Senate Committee Looks at Veteran’s Bill

On Wednesday the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to examine improvements to S. 3447, the Post 9/11 GI Bill. This bill would make changes to the Post-9/11 GI bill which currently provides education funding and benefits to veterans. S. 3447 would allow veterans to use their benefits at educational institutions that do not award associate or higher degrees. This would be a change from the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, which does not allow participants to use funds at a non-degree granting institution. This bill would allow veterans to attend postsecondary education institutions that do not grant associate or higher degrees, such as area career technical schools, career schools, and apprenticeship programs. The Committee is scheduled to hold a markup of pending legislation on August 5, 2010, during which Chairman Akaka (HI) intends to bring the bill up for a vote

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: ESEA, Veterans’ Training, Education Jobs Fund

Friday, June 18th, 2010

ESEA Work Continues Slowly in Congress

On Wednesday Democrat and Republican leaders of the House and Senate education committees met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Melody Barnes, the White House Domestic Policy Adviser, to discuss the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Education Week blogged about the meeting, reporting that Congress is working in a bipartisan manner to get the bill done, but that no one in the meeting would commit to a timeline. While Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) had previously stated his desire to get a draft done by Memorial Day, no firm deadlines came out of this meeting. What I have been hearing from Hill staffers in recent weeks is that Congress intends to release a draft this year, but there is not enough time on the legislative calendar to markup a bill, so the earliest ESEA could be reauthorized is next year.

Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act


Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI), chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, recently introduced S. 3447, the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 which would make changes to the Post-9/11 GI bill which currently provides education funding and benefits to veterans. S. 3447 would allow veterans to use their benefits at educational institutions that do not award associate or higher degrees. This would be a change from the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, which does not allow participants to use funds at a non-degree granting institution. This bill would allow veterans to attend postsecondary education institutions that do not grant associate or higher degrees, such as area career technical schools, career schools, and apprenticeship programs. A hearing has been scheduled for July 21 by the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to review the legislation.

Proposed Education Jobs Fund Faces More Obstacles

As Democrats work to secure votes and offsets for the proposed education jobs fund (which would be attached to the emergency war supplemental), time may be running short. “I am becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of progress on the supplemental and strongly urge Congress to complete its work on the request as quickly as possible,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Appropriations Committee during testimony Wednesday.

A proposal to use unspent ARRA funds as an offset to the $23 billion education jobs fund seems unlikely. Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (HI) had previously opposed Republican attempts to use stimulus funds to offset spending, and will likely oppose Democratic attempts to do the same now. Because of the push to offset spending (to secure more votes), the fund will probably be smaller than $23 billion. Sen. Tom Harkin (IA), chair of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, told CQ, “We probably won’t get the full $23 billion, but we may get something.”

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Veterans Training Act

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Last week Senator Blanche Lincoln introduced S. 3171, Veterans Training Act which would provide Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program benefits to include educational institutions that do not award associate or higher degrees.  This bill is a companion to the one introduced in the House by Rep. Joe Sestak in October.  This would be a change from the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, which does not allow participants to use funds at a non-degree granting institution. This bill would allow veterans to attend postsecondary education institutions that do not grant associate or higher degrees, such as area career technical schools, career schools, and apprenticeship programs.

By Nancy in Legislation
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