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Posts Tagged ‘WIA’

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 Education Committee Passes WIA Reauthorization Bill

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

CapitolCongress Reaches Agreement on Student Loan Interest Rates

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to link interest rates on student loans to economic factors; if the economy improves, interest rates would rise. The bill, an amendment to the Higher Education Act (HEA), has already been approved by the U.S. Senate and will likely soon be signed into law by President Obama.

Once enacted, the new law would impact postsecondary students and their families starting this fall with interest rates of:

The White House notes that the new loan rates would immediately impact 11 million borrowers and reduce average undergraduate interest costs by $1,500.

Though the amendment successfully passed the House and the Senate, the topic of student loan interest rates is likely to emerge again as the reauthorization of HEA begins to take shape this fall.

Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

The House Education and the Workforce Committee asked education stakeholders to submit their views on policies that should be included in the upcoming reauthorization of HEA. NASDCTEc has worked with members in the higher education community to identify our broad priorities for HEA, which include improving data alignment between key pieces of legislation, reducing barriers to financial aid for traditional and non-traditional postsecondary students (including reinstating the Ability to Benefit option), and ensuring access to Title II funds for Career Technical Education (CTE) teacher preparation and professional development.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) also expects to announce a call for public input on HEA reauthorization soon.

Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act

After a brief markup of the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (WIA), or S. 1356, the Senate HELP Committee approved the bill by a vote of 18-3. An amendment to increase the accountability of Job Corps programs was included. The bill will next be considered by the full Senate.

NASDCTEc is pleased that Congress is moving forward with the reauthorization of WIA and has taken into consideration several areas that are important for CTE, including promoting programs that result in industry-recognized postsecondary credentials and align with the needs of local economies.

However, the bill passed by the HELP Committee included an area of major concern– a funding infrastructure mechanism for One-Stop programs under WIA – that would negatively impact CTE by siphoning funding from the Carl D. Perkins Career Technical Education Act (Perkins). Read more about this issue and our concerns in this blog.

As the bill moves to the full Senate, please encourage your networks to contact your Senators. Ask them not to use Perkins funds for WIA infrastructure, and urge them to maintain current law.

FY 2014 Updates

At the end of this week, Congress leaves for summer recess without having reached agreement on FY 2014 spending bills, total spending levels, or what to do about sequestration. When they return to Capitol Hill in five weeks, members will have just three weeks to reach an agreement on these issues to avoid a possible government shut down on October 1, 2013.

On a conference call this week held by the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, Chairman Mark Begich (D-AK) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) spoke of the damage caused by sequestration and its negative impact on the economy and the middle class. The Senators encouraged listeners to use the Congressional recess wisely by contacting Congress members to specifically describe how sequestration is hurting constituents in their state or district. NASDCTEc urges you to contact your Congress members and tell them how sequestration is damaging CTE programs and your local economy.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: House Postpones Markup of Perkins Funding Bill

Friday, July 26th, 2013

House Postpones Markup of Perkins Funding BillCapitol

A markup that was scheduled this week for the House of Representatives’ FY 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-Education) appropriations bill, which includes Perkins funding, has been postponed by the House Appropriations Committee until further notice.

Earlier this month, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Labor-HHS-Ed bill, which would restore Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (Perkins) funding to pre-sequestration levels. The Senate bill provides a $3.52 billion, or 5.4 percent, increase for discretionary education spending compared to FY 2013. In stark contrast, the overall funding level for the approved House Labor-HHS-Ed bill is 19 percent below current funding levels and is expected to contain deep cuts to many programs.

Experts project that, due to disparate proposals from each chamber, the FY 2014 appropriations process will not be easily resolved. Congress is required to pass a funding measure by the end of September. Please take the opportunity to contact your Representative to let them know why Perkins funding needs to be maintained and how it would impact Career Technical Education (CTE) programs across your state and district.

Senate Introduces Bipartisan WIA Legislation

This week, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) officially introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The Workforce Investment Act of 2013, or S.1356, contains some positive elements for CTE, including prioritization of career pathways and programs that lead to industry-recognized credential and high-demand jobs. Unfortunately, the bill also proposed to fund One-Stop infrastructure and other activities from state allocations of One-Stop partners.

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 individuals deciding how to split overall funding between secondary and postsecondary CTE. The bill proposes a 1.5 percent contribution, or $17 million overall, that would come from Perkins administrative funds, and would result in a 30 percent cut to the administrative funds that are available to most states. This has been a longstanding issue and will likely continue to be a sticking point as WIA reauthorization progresses.

NASDCTEc provided input to the committee on this issue prior to the release of the bill, and we will continue to work with committee staff to address this significant issue. Please contact your Senators to let them know how the One-Stop infrastructure proposal would negatively impact CTE in your state. Ask them to oppose this method for supporting WIA infrastructure and, instead, to carve out administrative funding in WIA to pay for its own infrastructure.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has scheduled a markup of the WIA bill next Wednesday.

Senate Passes Bill on Student Loans

The Senate passed a bill this week that would allow students to lock in currently low interest rates on student loans. In future years, fixed rates would depend on current market conditions. The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, or S.1334, passed by a vote of 81 to 18 and will next go to the House for approval.

Of interest for CTE stakeholders, Senators Patty Murray and Al Franken (D-MN) introduced an amendment that would, in part, restore the Ability to Benefit provisions of the Higher Education Act for certain students enrolled in evidence-based career pathways programs. While the amendment was not included in the final version of the Senate bill, there is opportunity for it to resurface in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Senate Confirms New Labor Secretary

Last week, the Senate voted to confirm President Obama’s pick for labor secretary, Thomas Perez, on a party-line vote of 54-46. Prior to this role, Perez served as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. As labor secretary, Perez replaces Hilda Solis, who held the position from 2009 through January 2013.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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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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15 States Eligible for WIA Incentive Grants

Friday, June 7th, 2013

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Education have jointly announced that the following states are eligible to apply for incentive grant awards as authorized through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA):

States were selected based on their performance-related goals in: employment after training and related services, retention in employment, and improved literacy levels.

Eligible states may apply for a share of the $10 million available to be used through June 30, 2015. The funds will support workforce and education activities as authorized under Title IB and Title II of WIA or under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. To qualify, states must have exceeded performance levels for WIA (Title IB and Title II) for the 2011 program year.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News
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Revised Legislative Update: CR, Meeting with Senate HELP Committee, Houses Passes WIA Reauthorization

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

FY13 Continuing Resolution – Proposed 0.098% Across the Board Cut



The Senate is considering a continuing resolution (CR) that proposes an across the board cut of 0.098%. Because the CR is for FY13, this across the board cut would get applied to funding before and in addition to the planned 5% across the board sequestration cut.

What does the CR mean for Perkins? It seems likely that the proposed across the board cut of 0.098% will be approved and if so, it would apply to Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) FY13 funding as well as all other federal education and workforce programs. For Perkins, FY13 is the funding states get beginning July 1, 2013. Therefore, if this CR is passed, it would mean that OVAE would have to revise and re-issue the funding tables states received on March 8, 2013.

Next Steps on the CR: The Senate will continue to debate the CR on Monday, March 18 at 2 p.m. E.T. When the CR is passed and signed by the President, which is expected to happen, NASDCTEc will provide a further update detailing out the specific impact on Perkins funding.

Meeting with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee Republicans on Perkins

NASDCTEc made outreach to Democrat and Republican staff from the House and Senate Committees charged with taking up the reauthorization of Perkins. This week, NASDCTEc met with a representative of Senator Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who indicated the Senator’s strong interest that Perkins be reauthorized as soon as is practicable so CTE can contribute most effectively to the economic recovery and the education of the nation. However, this staff member also noted the reality that the reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) technically are in the queue and should be completed first as WIA was due for reauthorization in 2003 and ESEA was due for reauthorization in 2007, whereas Perkins was due for reauthorization in 2012. NASDCTEc will continue to meet with Committee staff and share any movement in the interest or scheduling of reauthorization. In addition, these staff have been invited to be part of a panel at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting.

House Approves Measure to Reauthorize Workforce Investment Act


On Friday, March 15, 2013, the House approved its measure to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), H.R.803, also known as the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act (SKILLS), by a vote of 215 to 202. An amendment by Representative Tierney (D-MA-6) which would have strengthened the role of community colleges in workforce investment boards was defeated 227 to 192.  A comprehensive summary of H.R. 803, detailing the impact on CTE, will be made available to NASDCTEc members next week. The passage of this bill is the first step in reauthorization; the Senate still needs to consider its reauthorization proposal for the WIA.

 

 


By David in Public Policy
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Senate Hearing Focuses on College Affordability; Witness Calls for Streamlining Federal Reporting Requirements

Friday, September 14th, 2012

At a hearing this week — Improving College Affordability: A View From the States – members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee heard from higher education stakeholders about the obstacles that keep postsecondary education out of reach for many students. Dr. Camille Preus, Commissioner of the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, spoke about how the Federal government can encourage and support states in making postsecondary education more affordable:

The federal government also could help states in their efforts to be more efficient by aligning the various reporting requirements that it imposes on institutions of higher education. These requirements differ for various programs, such as the HEA and the Workforce Investment and the Carl D. Perkins Act, and these in turn differ from information that states themselves require. A concerted effort needs to be undertaken to eliminate these inefficiencies. Many community colleges have only one individual who is responsible for meeting all reporting requirements. Sometimes states becoming directly involved in providing needed information. In addition, the federal government needs to be much more aggressive in ensuring that appropriate state educational entities have access to data that will enable them, in concert with institutions, to identify the earnings of students after they have left institutions. These data in turn will help colleges to maximize resource allocation.

In the context of better aligning workforce and training programs, NASDCTEc has also recommended that common measures across programs such as WIA, Perkins, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and Adult Education would provide more interconnectivity in the workforce system as programs collaborate and work together to ensure the alignment of goals. Our recommendaitons also call for data sharing across federal programs in order to ease the burden that programs and providers face in collecting accountability information, and foster an environment of collaboration and efficiency in the workforce and education systems.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Workforce Wednesdays: Get Involved!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Join NASDCTEc and the more than 40 other national organizations that make up the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce for “Workforce Wednesdays,” each Wednesday in August.

CTE and workforce development programs are an important part of the nation’s economic recovery and job creation effort, yet our nation’s investments in the skills of its people are at risk. Non-defense discretionary programs—including education and workforce programs—face at least $55 billion in funding cuts as of January 2013 due to the Budget Control Act, and efforts to protect funding for defense programs could double the size of these cuts. Key policymakers have even proposed eliminating dozens of federal workforce programs. It is critically important that we help policymakers understand why investments in CTE and workforce development programs are important and how these investments impact their local communities.

Participate in Workforce Wednesdays by taking action—it can be as simple as calling your Senators or Representative or, even better, arranging a site visit  — but just take action on one or more Wednesdays during the month of August. Stand united with NASDCTEc and the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce in support of adequate funding for CTE, adult education and workforce training programs!

Members of Congress will be in their home districts during the month of August.  Contact your Senators and Representative today to arrange an in-district meeting, a site visit, or engage in a direct conversation with in-district staff to let them know where you stand on funding for CTE and training programs. Or let your local community know why these investments matter by submitting an op-ed or letter to the Editor to your local paper. What you do isn’t as important as that you do something, so take action as part of Workforce Wednesdays in August!


RESOURCES

Find Your Members of Congress

Advocacy Tip Sheet

FY13 Funding Request Sheet

Leave Behinds and One-Pagers

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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