Senate CTE Caucus Holds Perkins Briefing, Senate Committee Continues HEA Hearings

Last week Congress passed a short-term funding measure, the Senate held a hearing on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the U.S. Senate Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucus hosted a briefing. Read below to learn more about these events and upcoming congressional hearings this week.

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Fund Government Through February 8 

As we reported, Congress needed to come to a spending agreement by January 19 in order to avoid a government shutdown. After a three-day shutdown, Congress passed a continuing resolution on January 22 to keep the government funded until February 8. Due to the budget caps for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), Congress applied a 0.68 percent across-the-board cut. This cut impacts education programs that are advance funded, including the the Perkins Basic State Grant. However, Congress has the opportunity to nullify these cuts when they come to a final agreement for the FY18 spending bills and Advance CTE will advocate for such action as Congress works to finalize these bills.

Congressional Staff and Partners Fill the Room for Perkins Briefing

On January 23, the Senate CTE Caucus held a briefing, Perkins CTE and How Reauthorization Can Improve Programs. During the briefing, Kimberly Green, Advance CTE’s Executive Director and Alisha Hyslop, the Director of Public Policy at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), presented on the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) to over 70 attendees. They provided an overview of the law and shared how the federal investment in Perkins supports CTE systems across the country. In addition, both panelists highlighted state and local examples of implementation and how reauthorization could improve programs.

Senate Continues Hearings on Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA)

On January 18, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing, “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency“, the second in a series of hearings on reauthorizing HEA (the first was held in late November and focused on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)). Witnesses highlighted how the current federal financial aid system could be streamlined. On January 25, the Senate HELP Committee conducted a hearing, “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Access and Innovation,” which focused on innovations in postsecondary education and included discussions of competency-based education, distance education, online learning, accreditation and more. The next Senate HELP Committee hearing, “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Accountability and Risk to Taxpayers” is scheduled for January 30 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time and you can watch it live online here.

House Committee on Education and the Workforce Holds Hearing on January 30

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will be holding a hearing, “Protecting Privacy, Promoting Policy: Evidence-Based Policymaking and the Future of Education,” on Tuesday, January 30 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch the hearing live online here.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

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