State Policies Impacting Funding

March 9th, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages. The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

  • Funding;
  • Access and equity;
  • Data, reporting and/or accountability;
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning; and
  • Industry-recognized credentials.

Funding
Policies that address significant changes in CTE funding, such as increasing or decreasing allocations, creating a scholarship or grant program, or investing in a pilot program have been categorized by this topic. Twenty-four states enacted 51 policies in 2021 that affected CTE funding, making funding the most common policy category for the ninth year in a row. Below are a few state policy actions from this category: 

  • Colorado created an energy sector career pathway and established the Strengthening Photovoltaic and Renewable Careers (SPARC) Workforce Development Program. The goal of this program is to create capacity for training, apprenticeship and education programs in the energy career pathway, with a goal of increasing employment in this sector.
  • Delaware established and expanded multiple statewide scholarship programs, including the Focus on Alternative Skills Training (FAST) Program and the Elevate Delaware program. These programs provide up to $10,000 each to eligible Delaware residents toward tuition for non-degree credential programs that provide industry-recognized skill training and certification.
  • Kansas established the Kansas Promise Scholarship Program, administered by the Kansas State Board of Regents. The program serves as a last-dollar scholarship to assist learners with financial barriers that may prevent them from completing a two-year associate degree program or CTE certificate program aligned to in-demand careers and credentials.

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate

State Policies Impacting Industry-Recognized Credentials

March 2nd, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages. The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

  • Funding;
  • Access and equity;
  • Data, reporting and/or accountability;
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning; and
  • Industry-recognized credentials.

Industry-recognized Credentials
Policies that address the attainment of credentials recognized by industry, including micro-credentials, such as badges, and educational Degrees are categorized by this topic. Nineteen states enacted 33 policies affecting industry-recognized credentials. Policies in this area are designed to increase or incentivize the attainment of certifications, credentials or degrees aligned with labor market information or industry need. Below are a few state policy actions from this category: 

  • Idaho established a workforce readiness and CTE high school diploma. The law outlines the requirements for learners to earn the diploma, such as passing technical skills assessments and workplace readiness assessments, demonstrating CTE competency standards, and earning a badge or an industry-recognized credential.
  • Louisiana created the M.J. Foster Promise Program, which provides financial assistance of up to $3,200/year to a learner enrolling in a two-year or shorter postsecondary program aligned to a state-recognized in-demand, high-wage occupational field and leading to an industry-recognized credential. 
  • Texas established the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) program. This program awards grants to an eligible agency, such as a junior college, technical institute or local chamber of commerce, to create, redesign or expand training programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials and create pathways to employment for learners in accordance with local workforce needs. 

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

State Policies Impacting Data, Reporting and/or Accountability

February 23rd, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages. The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

  • Funding;
  • Access and equity;
  • Data, reporting and/or accountability;
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning; and
  • Industry-recognized credentials.

Data, Reporting and/or Accountability

Policies that address data and research activities that support CTE, including the use of labor market information and the inclusion of career readiness indicators within accountability systems have been categorized by this topic. Twenty-three states enacted 37 policies that address data, reporting and/or accountability. Below are a few state policy actions from this category:

  • Hawai‘i enacted a law requiring the State Board of Career and Technical Education to oversee and review data processes related to industry-recognized credential attainment and publish an annual report to all stakeholders. The law also dictates that the Department of Education must share industry-recognized credential data through the statewide longitudinal data system and expands requirements to store and analyze CTE data in this data system.

  • Maryland defined terms such as industry certificate, license, industry certifier and vocational certificate, among others, to ensure consistency in data collection and reporting for the Maryland Longitudinal Data System. The law also requires that licensing authorities and industry certifiers comply with the data requirements, data security plan and implementation schedule for the Maryland Longitudinal Data System.

  • Missouri enacted the Students’ Right to Know Act, which requires that the state Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development provide an annual report on in-demand jobs in the state; the average cost of public institutions of higher education and vocational schools; completion rates of apprenticeship, high school credential and CTE programs; and the average starting salary for graduates of public institutions of higher education and vocational schools, among other data.

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

State Policies Impacting Access and Equity

February 16th, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages.  The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

  • Funding;
  • Access and equity;
  • Data, reporting and/or accountability;
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning; and
  • Industry-recognized credentials.

Access and Equity

Policies that address each learner gaining access to and being successful in high-quality CTE programs have been categorized by this topic. Twenty-seven states enacted 45 policies related to access and equity that implement changes aimed to expand access to CTE for historically marginalized learners, including learners of color and learners with special population status such as learners with disabilities, learners who are economically disadvantaged, participants in fields of study that are non-traditional for their gender, single parents and out-of-workforce individuals. This category also includes middle school CTE programming and diversity in the CTE educator workforce. Below are a few state policy actions aligned to access and equity:

  • Illinois directed districts and community colleges to ensure access for individual learners with disabilities to postsecondary CTE and dual credit courses. The law requires that dual credit opportunities be supported under the learner’s Section 504 plan or in their Individualized Education Plan.
  • Virginia expanded the conditions for receiving benefits under the Virginia Initiative for Education and Work, a program for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients, and benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to include participation in educational activities that lead to a postsecondary credential from an accredited institution of higher education or other postsecondary school.
  • Washington required that all state community and technical colleges develop, in collaboration with diverse stakeholders, strategic plans to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges must develop a model faculty diversity program to aid in the recruitment and retention of faculty from diverse backgrounds.

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

State Policies Impacting Industry Partnerships and Work-based Learning

February 10th, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages. The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

  • Funding;
  • Access and equity;
  • Data, reporting and/or accountability;
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning; and
  • Industry-recognized credentials.

Industry Partnerships and Work-based Learning

Policies that address the engagement of industry to drive student learning through work-based learning or other means are categorized by this topic. Twenty-three states enacted 36 policies that addressed industry partnerships and work-based learning. Below are a few state policy actions aligned to industry-recognized credentials:

  • Indiana passed legislation establishing a course catalog for lifelong learning to document all work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities statewide and directing the state Commission for Higher Education, the Department of Education and the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to prepare model guidance for postsecondary enrollment in work-based learning experiences. 
  • Oklahoma expanded eligibility for apprenticeships, mentorships and internships to include high school sophomores 16 and older. The law also allows school districts to obtain liability insurance for students participating in apprenticeships, mentorships and internships and enables the State Board of Education to develop rules to determine if these experiences are eligible for academic credit toward graduation requirements.
  • Wyoming allowed learners aged 16 to 18 who are enrolled in a school district, community college or technical school to enter into an agreement with an employer to participate in a work-based learning experience that leads to course credit and/or compensation from the employer. A student learner who enters into a student training agreement with an employer is considered an employee covered under that employer’s workers’ compensation program.

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

Increasing Apprenticeship Opportunities Through State Policy

November 18th, 2021

Preparing to enter the workforce is no easy task, especially as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to transform the world of work. It is critical that apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship programs exist to allow learners of all ages to participate in significant work-based learning opportunities that connect their learning with on-the-job skills that they can leverage as they grow in careers of their choice. Pre-apprenticeship programs, for example, demonstrate significant benefits, including creating more equitable access to high-wage, in-demand careers and improving the success of apprenticeship programs more holistically. In the past year, at least 19 states enacted legislation impacting work-based learning opportunities, including expanding access to apprenticeships, allowing credit to be earned for out-of-school-time learning, and increasing transparency in communication about apprenticeships. The following policies represent a small sample of pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and work-based learning policies already passed in 2021:

  • Arkansas SB491 establishes definitions for pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship to support statewide coordination of these models. The law also requires a member representing the Division of Career and Technical Education to be added to the Arkansas Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.
  • Colorado HB1007 creates a state apprenticeship agency within the Department of Labor and Employment to grow apprenticeship programs in high-demand occupations and oversee the quality of existing apprenticeship programs. A state apprenticeship council is also created to oversee Registered Apprenticeship programs and consists of representation from Career Technical Education (CTE).
  • Indiana HB1549 creates a catalog of work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship opportunities statewide to help provide more information to Indiana residents, among other education-related matters.
  • North Dakota HB1478 enables a school board to allow learners in grades 6-12 to earn course credit through educational opportunities such as work-based learning, pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, internships and industry certifications with a sponsoring entity such as a business, for- or non-profit organization or trade association.
  • Tennessee HB0842 requires each public high school to designate an apprenticeship training program contact. The Department of Education will then compile and publish an aggregate contact list of all program contacts statewide on an annual basis.
  • Texas SB1095 directs school districts to notify each parent of a ninth grader or above about the availability of CTE or other work-based education programs available in the district including internships, externships or apprenticeship programs.

Advance CTE’s 2021 Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) calls for a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation ecosystem that allows learners to participate in aligned and connected work-based learning systems, like industry-aligned apprenticeships. Visit our CTE Without Limits landing page for our call to action and the Learning that Works Resource Center for more resources surrounding work-based learning, including pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

Highlighting Equity in State Policy

August 25th, 2021

State leaders, particularly state legislators, have a unique role to play in ensuring equitable access to high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, access and technology gaps have been laid bare, revealing inequities in opportunities for marginalized learner populations. While policies addressing access and equity concerns remained a high priority for legislators in years past, 2021 has been no different; this year to date, almost 30 pieces of state legislation have passed in 17 states addressing this issue. Enacted policies focus on elevating learner voice, examining historically inequitable systems and removing barriers to entry, or providing financial support for historically underrepresented populations. The following policies represent a small sample of equity-focused policies already passed in 2021:

  • Colorado SB119 affirms the value of increasing access to industry-recognized credentials for high school students, especially in the wake of COVID-19. The law also requires districts to communicate specific information about work-based learning opportunities and industry-recognized credentials to students and families, and requires the state Department of Education to submit an annual report and communicate similar data to districts.
  • Louisiana SB148 creates the M.J. Foster Promise Program, which provides financial assistance up to $3200/year to a low-income learner enrolling in a two-year or shorter postsecondary program in a high-demand, high-wage occupational field aligned with Louisiana’s workforce priorities and leading toward an industry-recognized credential. 
  • Oregon SB623 directs the State Workforce and Talent Development Board to establish a Committee for Continuous Improvement to conduct an assessment of the Oregon workforce development system. The assessment must incorporate input from historically marginalized groups and other stakeholders and focus on identifying barriers, improving experiences and access to programs, and improving alignment between agencies and nonprofit organizations to ensure individuals impacted most by COVID-19 are prioritized and served.
  • Virginia HB1820 expands allowable work activities for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to include participation in educational activities that lead to a postsecondary credential from an accredited higher education institution or other postsecondary school. The credential could include a program resulting in a degree or accredited industry-recognized credential, certification or license.
  • Washington SB5194 recognizes the disparate impacts faced by “first-generation college-attending students, students with disabilities, and underrepresented minority students” when applying for or remaining in postsecondary programs, specifically at community and technical colleges. The law announces legislative findings of a need to expand investment in community and technical colleges to guarantee equitable access and requires that all community and technical colleges must submit biennial plans to achieve racial diversity, equity, and inclusion starting July 30, 2022. 

Advance CTE’s 2021 Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) commits to “All dimensions of equity, including educational, racial, socioeconomic, gender and geographic, and meeting the unique needs of each individual learner,” and promotes many of the same actions connected to these legislative outcomes, including elevating learner voice, supporting equity audits and realigning systems to increase access and funding for marginalized learners. Visit our CTE Without Limits landing page for our call to action and the Learning that Works Resource Center for more access and equity resources.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2020 Year in Review

February 26th, 2021

On the state and federal level, COVID-19 (coronavirus) fundamentally changed the conversation about education, significantly disrupting and refocusing state legislatures. Despite this, Career Technical Education (CTE) adapted to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus, continuing to deliver high-quality programming nationwide across all learner levels despite significant disruptions to education delivery. Because the pandemic was on the forefront of federal, state and local governments’ agendas, fewer policies and budget provisions for CTE were enacted than in previous years; in calendar year 2020, 31 states enacted or passed 67 policy actions related to CTE and career readiness.

Today, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released the eighth annual State Policies Impacting CTE: Year in Review report, examining 2020 legislation, executive orders and budget provisions that significantly changed funding. With research support from the Education Commission of the States, Advance CTE and ACTE reviewed state activity, cataloged all finalized state policy actions and coded activity based on the policy areas of focus. In 2020, states most frequently addressed the following topics: 

  • Funding
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning 
  • Access and equity
  • Dual/concurrent enrollment, articulation and early college 
  • Data, reporting, and/or accountability 

The policy areas that states focused on in 2020 were similar to previous years. In 2019, funding, industry partnerships and work-based learning and access and equity were also in the top five key policy trends; however, in 2020, dual/concurrent enrollment, articulation and early college and data, reporting and/or accountability replaced industry-recognized credentials and governance in the top five key policy trends. Many CTE relevant bills and budgets, including those that increased state funding for CTE, were passed before the pandemic. However, due to unforeseen spending cuts, many state budgets (or supplemental budgets) enacted this year decreased state CTE funding for FY2021. This trend is expected to continue and even worsen as economic challenges continue for many states. 

States have found creative ways to keep support for CTE at the forefront of their legislative agenda. Some states, like Louisiana, have already appropriated state funding for rapid response training to assist employers with training and reskilling that will result in quickly acquired industry-recognized credentials. Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, and Ohio have all also enacted legislation creating programs to bolster work-based learning and workforce development programs strengthening learners, workers, and employers alike. Finally, states like Tennessee have relaxed requirements or sponsored wrap-around supports to strengthen CTE and dual enrollment programs. 

Because of the critical importance CTE plays in workforce and economic development, it is expected that more CTE-related policies will be enacted in the coming years to support up-skilling and reskilling efforts during economic recovery. This indicates a continued commitment from state leaders to advance CTE. To view previous years’ Year in Review reports, click here

Advance CTE and ACTE will be joined by state leaders on March 2 from 3:00-4:00 PM to discuss policy actions for 2020 and potential trends for 2021. Register today

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

States Enact Policies to Support Work-based Learning Opportunities for Students

March 18th, 2020

As the legislative sessions move forward, states have passed laws to examine and increase work-based learning opportunities for learners.

Some states, such as New Jersey, plan to launch pilot programs to expand access to work-based learning opportunities. In New Jersey, the state legislature passed S3065 in January to direct the Commissioner of Education to establish a three-year youth apprenticeship pilot program. The program will allow high school and college students to develop critical employability skills while earning a high school diploma or postsecondary credential. Employers participating in the program must pay the apprentice and offer an industry-recognized credential upon the completion of the program. 

Other states are leveraging graduation requirements to incentivize work-based learning opportunities for students. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam signed HB516 into law in March. The law requires the Virginia Board of Education to include options for students to complete a high-quality work-based learning opportunity or a dual enrollment course in its high school graduation requirements. 

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee signed HB736 into law in March to examine opportunities available to learners. The law requires the Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) to study and report on whether community schools are providing on-the-job training opportunities to learners by working with community partners or businesses. Specifically, the law directs OREA to examine the number of learners participating in on-the-job training opportunities provided by community schools and whether these opportunities have resulted in students obtaining employment after high school.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Governors Celebrate and Commit to Advancing CTE in 2020 State of the State Addresses

February 10th, 2020

Over 35 Governors have delivered their State of the State Addresses, presenting their policy agendas for 2020 to their state legislatures. Many of these governors used this opportunity to highlight successes related to Career Technical Education (CTE) and to make commitments that would help to advance the field.

Many governors leveraged their State of the State Addresses to address CTE funding. In Maine, Governor Janet Mill acknowledged that there has not been significant funding for CTE program equipment since 1998 and asked the Maine Legislature to fund equipment upgrades for CTE programs. In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds celebrated expanding high-school registered apprenticeships and proposed $1 million in funding for work-based learning coordinators. Governor Doug Ducey also called for more CTE related funding in Arizona, proposing funding for CTE trade programs aligned with high-demand careers.

Other governors celebrated their states’ work-based learning efforts. In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis celebrated his administration’s expansion of apprenticeships. Similarly, in Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee recognized the new investments in youth apprenticeships launched by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam noted the role apprenticeship programs play in helping Virginians develop skills needed for careers.

Governors also used the State of the State Addresses to announce and celebrate initiatives. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy proposed Jobs NJ, which aims to align the state’s education system to meet workforce needs and address racial equity gaps in the workforce. In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee celebrated the state’s Career Connect Learning initiative, which was launched in 2017 to connect Washington youth to career-connected learning opportunities aligned with in-demand, high-wage careers.

In total, more than 16 governors celebrated or made commitments to foster CTE in their states during their State of the State Addresses. Advance CTE will continue to monitor the State of the State Addresses as they happen for their relevance to CTE.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

 

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