Posts Tagged ‘Federal Policy’

Legislative Update: House Remains Without a Speaker

Friday, October 20th, 2023

This week, House Republicans continued to struggle to identify and advance a new Speaker of the House following the surprising ouster of the former House Speaker last week. Since that time no clear contender has emerged after disagreement within the House Republican conference persisted this week.

House Republicans Struggle to Find Consensus on New Leadership

House Republicans continued to struggle this week to elect a new Speaker of the House. As shared previously, a group of House Republicans successfully removed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from this leadership role in recent weeks. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has been serving in an acting capacity since that time. However, McHenry’s role is limited in scope and authority meaning that the House, and as a consequence much of Congress, is presently unable to advance and enact legislation. Last week, current Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) won an internal Republican conference vote to be the House Republicans’ new Speaker-designate. Yet, his nomination was short-lived lived and Scalise pulled out of consideration after it became apparent that he would not have the requisite support within his own party to win a formal vote for the Speakership on the House floor.

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH), who was the runner-up in this earlier internal conference vote, has since been nominated by his party to be the new Speaker Designate — an informal first step that Republicans have taken to ensure that a candidate will have the necessary support to win the 217 votes necessary to become the next Speaker of the House. Since that time, however, Speaker-designate Jordan has lost two House-wide Speakership votes, and it remains unclear if he will be able to garner the necessary support within his conference to lead the chamber. A third vote was scheduled earlier today which resulted in Jordan losing additional support within the Republican conference. At the time of this writing, the situation remains extremely fluid.

Advance CTE is continuing to monitor this process closely and will continue to provide analysis on potential implications regarding federal funding and other issues of importance for the Career Technical Education community.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
Tags: , ,

Legislative Update: House Republicans Struggle to Find a New Leader

Friday, October 13th, 2023

This week, House Republicans continued to struggle to identify and advance a new Speaker of the House following the surprising ouster of the former House Speaker last week. Since that time no clear contender has emerged after disagreement within the House Republican conference persisted this week. 

House Republicans Continue Leadership Deliberations

Last week a group of House Republicans successfully ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from this leadership position. Since that time, Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has been serving on an acting basis in this role until the House formally elects a new Speaker. Following this surprising turn of events, Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) announced that they would both seek the support of the House Republican caucus to serve as the next Speaker. Earlier this week, House Republicans hosted a candidate forum for both Scalise and Jordan to make their case to colleagues regarding their respective candidacies. 

Following this forum, House Republicans reconvened to conduct an informal internal vote for a new Speaker before bringing this candidate to the full House for formal consideration. This effort was intended to facilitate broader consensus regarding a candidate before calling the House back into session and beginning the formal process of electing a new Speaker. Majority Leader Scalise narrowly won this internal House Republican caucus vote by a margin of 113-99 — making him the new Republican nominee to be the next Speaker of the House. However, with a slim margin of control in the chamber and a reluctance to rely on support from House Democrats, Scalise needed to secure at least 217 of the 221 House Republican members to formally become Speaker. 

Following this informal vote on Wednesday, Scalise continued to struggle to secure the support needed within his own party to move forward with a formal vote for Speaker. House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) is now the leading candidate for this leadership position. However, it remains unclear whether and how Jordan will be able to secure the votes necessary to be elected to this role. A formal vote for Speaker has not yet been scheduled at the time of this writing. Advance CTE is monitoring this process closely and will continue to provide analysis regarding potential implications regarding federal funding and other issues of importance for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community.  

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
Tags: , ,

Reshoring is Only Possible with High-Quality Career Technical Education

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

Many have heard of the term offshoring, moving production to another country to save on costs, but are you familiar with reshoring? Reshoring involves moving the production of goods back to the country where the business is located. There are several reasons for a company to make this decision, including new legislative or regulatory requirements; increasing costs due to changes in the country where the production was outsourced; or logistical reasons related to cost and time. While the reasons for reshoring may be varied, a strong Career Technical Education (CTE) system that prepares future workers is necessary to make reshoring possible for companies based in the United States. 

There has been an increasing push within the manufacturing industry to reshore more production back to the U.S. due to recent legislation at the federal and state levels. While there have been policies regarding federal purchasing that require domestic production, such as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), the Buy American Act and recently the Build America Buy America Act, there are now new policies being enacted focused on supporting private sector domestic sourcing. The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act of 2022 (CHIPS and Science ACT) is intended to increase more domestic production of semiconductors, but also to support the growth of new and emerging technologies such as quantum computing, AI, clean energy and nanotechnology. To facilitate this growth, the CHIPS Act authorizes $174 billion over the next five years for STEM programs, workforce development and research and development (R&D).

National and state policy are not the only reasons for manufacturers choosing to reshore, there are also cost and supply chain reasons. As the economies of nations around the world evolve, the savings from previously lower cost of production compared to domestic production is diminishing and almost negligible in some cases. Logistical issues have also prompted the drive to bring production back to the U.S. During the coronavirus pandemic, the fragility of the supply chain and transportation infrastructures was exposed. 

Supporting reshoring efforts requires access to a robust and highly skilled workforce and talent pool. This is where a high-quality CTE system that is accessible to all learners plays a critical role. Domestic manufacturing has many career pathways available to learners including those outside of what is traditionally considered as being a part of the sector. Business management, logistics, supply chain management, and many more in-demand careers are available within the umbrella of manufacturing. Learners need to have access to the education and training needed to prepare them for these in-demand career opportunities that provide self-sustaining wages.

To maximize’s CTE’s value in reshoring, employers must be informed on its alignment with reshoring-connected careers and be partners in designing CTE programs to meet skills needs. Advance CTE’s employer engagement fact sheet and messaging guidelines provide several recommendations on effectively engaging employers about the positive return on investment that CTE experiences provide for business and economic growth. The findings from the research provide CTE leaders with several suggestions to enhance employer participation, program quality and learner outcomes. 

This blog is the first in a series that will highlight promising state policies that connect the expansion of domestic manufacturing and CTE. The upcoming topics include curriculum and skill set development, programs of study alignment, and work-based learning programs that will all provide learners with the tools they need to be prepared to fill these high-skill, high-wage and in-demand jobs.

Paul Mattingly, Senior Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Legislative Update: Lawmakers Introduce Proposals to Expand Pell Grants for CTE Programs as CTE Month Begins 

Friday, February 3rd, 2023

This week lawmakers in both Chambers introduced proposals to expand federal Pell grant eligibility to high-quality, shorter-term Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. Elsewhere, the House and Senate CTE Caucuses are seeking support for a resolution in honor of CTE Month this February. Lawmakers have also finalized committee assignments for entities that will determine CTE funding and policymaking over the next two years.

Short-Term Pell Proposals Introduced

Earlier this week,  Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mike Braun (R-IN) reintroduced the Jumpstarting our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act (S.161)– legislation that would expand federal Pell grant funding eligibility to high-quality, shorter-term CTE programs that meet certain criteria. This legislation has been a longstanding federal priority for Advance CTE as a key way to provide more learners quality postsecondary pathways that lead to jobs in growing sectors of the economy. A bipartisan group of 36 Senators also co-sponsored the legislation upon introduction, underscoring the significant level of support the proposal continues to have in the chamber. A one-page summary of the bill can be found here.

Additionally, late last week House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC), along with several Republican colleagues, introduced the Promoting Employment and Lifelong Learning (PELL) Act (H.R. 496)– legislation that also seeks to expand federal Pell grant eligibility for certain short-term postsecondary CTE programs. This legislation differs from the JOBS Act in several ways and is a competing proposal to the bipartisan JOBS Act which is also expected to be reintroduced in the House this Congress. The text of the bill can be found here and a summary of the proposal can be accessed here

Be Sure to Encourage Congress to Support CTE Month Resolutions!

Co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Todd Young (R-IN), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are currently circulating a resolution designating February as CTE Month. These leaders are asking their colleagues to co-sponsor this resolution and Advance CTE encourages members to reach out to your Senators to encourage them to sign on to this resolution as soon as possible. 

Concurrent to these efforts, House CTE Caucus co-chairs Reps. Thompson (R-PA) and Bonamici (D-OR) are also circulating a resolution in the chamber for this same purpose and are seeking co-sponsors ahead of planned introduction on February 8th. However, the resolution will be open throughout the month to add more co-sponsoring members ahead of planned passage at the end of the month. Be sure to encourage your members of Congress to co-sponsor by clicking here!

Both of these resolutions are important ways in which CTE can be elevated amongst federal policymakers and allows Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education to continue to highlight the benefits CTE programs provide for learners and the need to continue to invest in these efforts. 

House Education Committee Lays Out Vision for New Congress

The newly renamed Education and the Workforce Committee—the House entity responsible for CTE policymaking—has continued to take important steps this week to organize and map out an agenda for the 118th Congress. Earlier in the week, House Democrats, led by Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), announced committee assignments for the new Congress. This comes after Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced her party’s members slated for the committee last week. Following these necessary first steps, Chair Foxx held an organizing meeting this week where the committee adopted a set of rules and a related oversight plan for the coming year. 

“Oversight will be a major priority for this Committee in the 118th Congress. . . Federal agency heads might as well get comfortable with this hearing room—they are going to be here a lot” Chair Foxx said, in part, at the outset of the meeting. The oversight plan includes a wide range of issues that will likely be focused on by the committee this Congress including an examination of how pandemic relief funding for education was used, as well as several workforce programs authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). In a separate interview this week, Chair Foxx also shared that she plans to prioritize higher education and workforce development legislation this Congress and is hopeful about finding consensus on short-term Pell grant proposals outlined above. Committee leadership has also shared that the Education and Workforce Committee will hold its first hearing of the new Congress titled, “American Education in Crisis”, scheduled for February 8th. 

Senate Organization Take Shape

On the other side of the Capitol, the 118th Congress has gotten off to a slower start than the House. This has been due, in part, to efforts to determine where newly elected Senators would be assigned for the coming Congress, particularly amongst Republicans who have six new members joining the caucus this year. Late last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced committee assignments for Democrats, including for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee—the entity with responsibility for K-12 education policymaking. 

Of note, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will chair the HELP committee, replacing longtime Chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) who will be leading the Appropriations Committee in the new Congress. In addition, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) will be joining the HELP Committee this Congress, filling a vacancy left by Sen. Jackie Rosen (D-NV) who has been assigned elsewhere. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) similarly announced assignments for committees in the upper chamber this week, including HELP. Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Tim Scott (R-SC) are set to leave the committee and will be replaced by freshman Sens. Ted Budd (R-NC) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Legislative Update: Lawmakers Return to Capitol Hill as Cardona Lays Out Vision for U.S. Department of Education

Friday, January 27th, 2023

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have continued to make important decisions regarding their respective chambers. Elsewhere, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona delivered a major speech outlining his plans for the department in the coming year, while a slate of Presidential Scholars has been released. 

118th Congress Continues to Take Shape

Earlier this week, both the House and the Senate reconvened after recessing for the recent Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Lawmakers in the House continued to make important decisions related to committee assignments this week, which will have lasting impacts on Career Technical Education (CTE) funding and policymaking for at least the next two years. Of particular note, House Republicans announced that Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) will lead the House Appropriations’ Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-ED) Subcommittee—the entity that determines the budgets for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL), including related programs. In addition, Republicans have named new members to this committee, as have Democrats recently, but both parties have yet to assign members to specific subcommittees, including Labor-HHS-ED. 

Elsewhere, House Republican Leadership announced that the newly renamed House Education and Workforce Committee will be smaller in size than previous Congresses. Led by Chair Virginia Foxx (R-VA), leadership announced assignments to this committee, which has oversight over CTE policymaking. The full roster of Education and Workforce Republicans will include a mix of new and familiar faces in the new Congress. House Democrats have yet to provide a list of members who will be on the committee this year, although leadership recently confirmed that Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) will serve as Ranking Member. 

In the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released Democratic committee roster assignments, including for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) and Appropriations Committees– the entities with responsibility for CTE policymaking and funding oversight respectively. Of note, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will chair the HELP committee, replacing longtime Chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) who will be leading the Appropriations Committee in the new Congress. In addition, Sen. Markey (D-MA) will be joining the HELP Committee this Congress, filling a vacancy left by Sen. Rosen (D-NV) who has been assigned elsewhere. Republicans have yet to announce similar committee assignments.  A needed “organizing resolution” is the next step in this process within the upper chamber, but Senators have not yet moved forward with this procedural requirement which is part of this delay. 

 As Congress works to organize, Advance CTE will continue to monitor these developments and engage with policymakers as the new 118th Congress continues to take shape. 

Secretary Cardona Lays out ED Priorities and Visits CTE Center

In a major speech on Tuesday, January 24, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona outlined his vision for the U.S. Department of Education for the coming year. The speech entitled, “Raise the Bar: Lead the World” highlighted several priority areas for the Department this year including efforts to boost academic excellence, improve learning conditions, and create more pathways to opportunities for learners.

Significantly, the speech highlighted the importance of CTE saying, in part, “We must challenge our myopic view that emphasizing the importance of career pathways is about limiting students, or the view that it’s four-year-college or bust. Advancing career pathways in high schools is about more options for students, not less. What it does is prepare them for the careers of today with options, and in some cases, their employer will pay for their future education. If we do this well, our graduates will be able to compete on a global stage. It’s my intention to Raise the Bar so we can lead the world in advanced career and technical education.” The full remarks can be found here

Following this speech further into the week, Secretary Cardona made a visit to Francis Tuttle Technology Center– an area technical center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma which has been featured in Congress previously– to tour the facility and highlight the importance of increasing access to CTE pathways programs. More on this visit can be found here.  

ED Announces 2023 Presidential Scholars Slate of Candidates

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced 5,000 learners who were named candidates to become U.S. Presidential Scholars—an initiative that annually recognizes 161 high school seniors for academic, technical and artistic achievements. As a reminder, in 2015 this program was expanded to include recognition of high-achieving CTE learners. A panel of educators and experts will review these candidate nominations and, using a variety of criteria including transcripts, test scores and portfolios of work, narrow down the list to approximately 600 semifinalists later this spring. Ultimately, the commission will select the final 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars for the upcoming 59th cohort in the program’s history, expected to be announced this upcoming May. More information on the program can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Jodi Langellotti in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , ,

Elevating the Story of Career Technical Education: June Meeting Series Day 3 Highlights

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

On June 22, Advance CTE hosted the third and final event in its three-part June Meeting Series. The day focused on the theme of “Elevate,” and offered knowledge about raising the profile of Career Technical Education (CTE), so that key stakeholders and the public support and engage with the field. 

The opening keynote session, “Breaking Through: Making CTE Resonate in a Noisy World,” was built around the fact that Americans are bombarded with thousands of messages a day, from advertising to social media to the news. That makes it difficult to build awareness of and support for CTE. The session provided insights on how to break through, by becoming expert storytellers, sharpening messaging and speaking directly to the issues that matter most. Panelists included Teresa Valerio Parrot, Principal of TVP Communications; Leslie Slaughter, Executive Advisor to the Office of Career & Technical Education, Kentucky Department of Education; and Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director of Advance CTE. 

Two key quotes from the panel included: 

The keynote session was followed by content-rich breakouts and discussions to build connections and knowledge. Each breakout session was aligned to one of the five foundational commitments of CTE Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education

Breakout highlights included:

“Quality: Maximizing Limited Time for Media Relations” elevated efficient methods to start and sustain meaningful relationships with local and regional media. Expert panelists included national reporters Derricke Dennis, Anchor and National Correspondent for ABC News, and Rebecca Koenig, Editor for EdSurge. Both encouraged attendees to understand the demands on journalists, and be mindful of their workflows when pitching stories.

“People are writing about education and others are writing about the workforce,” Koenig said, “but there is an opportunity to meet in the middle to tell stories about CTE.”

One practical tip Dennis offered: “Start your email subject line with the words ‘STORY IDEA.’” Something that simple can make him jump right to the email. 

He continued, “Real stories are worth repeating. CTE is really an American story which exists all around us!”

In “Systems Alignment: A View From the Hill: A Federal Policy Update,” attendees heard from an expert panel consisting of Advance CTE’s Policy Advisor, Steve Voytek, Dr. Alisha Hyslop of ACTE and José Miranda of the Associate of Community College Trustees. Topics ranged from current priorities in Congress to the midterm elections. 

Two key takeaways from the session included the effort to l extend Pell Grant eligibility to short-term workforce training programs is moving through Congress and there is likely to be an increase in the Perkins Basic State Grant funding.

In the breakout “Equity: Student Voices: What Clicks with Me,” secondary and postsecondary CTE learners shared how they learned about CTE, what it felt like/feels like to be a CTE learner, and barriers to full program participation and success. Panelists included Technology Student Association President Gowri Rangu, 2021-2022 Future Farmers of America Utah state officer Kenadee Stubbs and CTE alumni Kendall Brown from Alabama and Faith Lanzillo from New Hampshire. 

The panelists talked about overcoming the obstacles they faced and envisioned what we can do, as state leaders, to diversify and strengthen CTE enrollment.

The panelists agreed that mentorship is essential: they were able to see themselves in career paths through diverse ambassadors, learners and professionals, who helped them choose and stay on a career path. Some shared the obstacles they had to overcome, such as lengthy application processes and difficulty changing programs, but all expressed gratitude for having found a path to a fulfilling and rewarding career. 

“Public-Private Partnerships: Centering Equity to Address Our Talent Pipeline Shortages” focused on how industry needs to think differently about how they attract, hire and retain talent. Bridgette Gray and Kate Naranjo, leaders from Opportunity@Work, an organization committed to changing hiring practices across the nation, provided expert insights. Opportunity@Work is a strong advocate for  more skills-based hiring practices, a policy construct advocated for in CTE Without Limits. These practices have the benefit of broadening and diversifying the talent pool for the private and public sectors. Recently, the state of Maryland adopted a skills-based hiring strategy and can be a key tool to ensure a more equitable and diverse workforce. 

Skill-based hiring promotes hiring based on demonstrated competencies, lived experiences and credentials. Some years ago Advance CTE shifted its language in position description to allow for lived experience equivalency when assessing new candidates and position announcements do not generally list degree requirements. 

“Communicating With Data to Drive Policy and Practices and Inform Stakeholders” rounded out the breakout offerings. The session focused on the story CTE administrators are able to tell with data, which can invoke a sense of urgency in addressing the needs of learners and the economic ecosystem. Panelists included Josie Brunner, Data Strategist in the College, Career and Military Preparation Division at the Texas Education Agency; Scott U’Sellis, Data Manager at the Kentucky Office of Career and Technical Education; and Brennan McMahon Parton, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign. 

“The average person is not going to go looking for nine different tools,” U’Sellis said. “You need one tool that gives them the answer they want. Ask people, is this interesting data to you, does this help you find what you really want to know?”

Brunner boldly asserted that the storytelling power of data is full of potential: “We need our data to say to learners that no matter where you are in your career journey, there’s a place for you,” she said. 

Taking a step back, the panelists agreed that there is always a human element to the data, and that’s what can make storytelling so powerful. When looking at data, they noted that it’s easy to forget that data points represent whole people who are so much more than the data that represent them.

Further learning ahead

More than 200 people from across the country tuned in to the three-part June Meeting Series. The event will be complemented by Advance CTE’s Virtual Learning Series, a year-round webinar sequence for the general public and members. We also recently announced our first large in-person gathering since the pandemic started, our Fall Meeting, which will take place in October 2022 (more details coming soon)! 

Steve McFarland, Director of Communications and Membership

By Stacy Whitehouse in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Legislative Update: House to Consider Workforce Legislation Next Week 

Friday, May 13th, 2022

This week lawmakers in the House set the stage to consider the reauthorization of federal workforce development legislation, while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced plans to issue new rules regarding disability policy and the Biden Administration unveiled new connectivity efforts. 

House to Consider WIOA Next Week 

Next Monday, May 16, the House Rules Committee will meet to develop a rule for floor consideration of H.R. 7309– legislation that, if enacted, would reauthorize the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). As shared previously, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) sent a letter to lawmakers outlining remaining concerns with the proposal while also supporting many aspects of the legislation, particularly the proposed reforms contained in the bill related to the sharing of One-Stop Center infrastructure costs amongst partner programs like postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE). Advance CTE expects a floor vote sometime next week, where lawmakers in the House will consider a number of amendments to the underlying legislative proposal. A list of potential amendments to be considered can be found here

Education Department Announces Plans to Amend Section 504

Late last week, May 6, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that it intends to promulgate new regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Currently, Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability for programs and initiatives funded with federal dollars. These regulations apply to pre-K-12 and postsecondary institutions that receive federal grants as part of their operations. ED plans to gather public input from a wide variety of stakeholders ahead of issuing new proposed rules aimed at further protecting the rights of students with disabilities. 

Biden Administration Promotes Affordable Connectivity Efforts

On Monday, May 9, the Biden Administration held a series of events intended to promote federal efforts to make high-speed internet affordable for more Americans. The bipartisan infrastructure law passed by Congress last year, known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)—an initiative that provides subsidies to eligible households to pay for broadband internet services. This was a key legislative priority for Advance CTE during last year’s negotiations as a way to ensure more learners have access to vitally important broadband connections. Twenty internet service providers signed on to an agreement to cap household costs for these connections at no more than $30 per month.

The Administration has also launched GetInternet.gov—a website to assist individuals in accessing this benefit as part of these efforts. In addition to these announcements, Jessica Rosenworcel, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has recently proposed to allow federal E-rate funding to be used to install Wi-Fi on school buses. If enacted, this policy change would provide a new source of funding for additional student-focused connectivity efforts such as this. 

Guest Blog Post: Virginia State CTE Director Reflects on Secretary Cardona Teacher Appreciation Week Visit 

This week, Virginia State CTE Director David Eshelman penned a guest post on Advance CTE’s Learning that Works blog recapping U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Senator Tim Kaine’s (D-VA) visit to the RTR teacher residency program at Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia. This stop  launched a series of visits and events made by Sec. Cardona to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week as we shared last week.

Encourage Lawmakers to Join CTE Caucuses 

In conjunction with the House and Senate CTE Caucuses, Advance CTE and ACTE are working to encourage Senators and Representatives over the next several weeks to join their respective CTE Caucuses, if they have not done so already. To find out if your Members of Congress have joined their respective Caucus, you can review House and Senate membership lists. Membership in these caucuses is an important way for lawmakers to signal their support for CTE and the millions of learners across the country who enroll in these programs. To encourage your Senator or member of Congress to join, click here and scroll down to the request form corresponding to your needs.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Guest Post: Virginia State CTE Director Reflects on Secretary Cardona Teacher Appreciation Week Visit

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

On Monday, May 2, 2022, Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) kicked off Teacher Appreciation Week at Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia. As the State Director for Career, Technical, and Adult Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, I am reminded almost daily of the challenges school division administrators face to fill vacancies throughout the entire teaching profession. Filling teacher vacancies, particularly in critical needs areas, like Career and Technical Education (CTE), is mission critical to meet workforce demand. I was excited for Virginia to be chosen as a model to highlight the urgent need for a robust educator workforce, and how CTE  programs with robust supports that bridge secondary and postsecondary institutions can fill that need. 

This event highlighted the Richmond Teacher Residency (RTR) program. The teacher residency program is very similar to an apprenticeship. The power of the model was demonstrated during this visit,  where multiple graduates shared the impact of this program for their career. 

Despite overwhelming research that teacher quality is the most important school-based factor in student achievement — and that teacher impact on student learning is cumulative and long-lasting — historically marginalized students are typically taught by the least prepared, least experienced, and least effective teachers. RTR addresses this issue by preparing and retaining high-quality teachers to ensure that every student gets a quality education.

RTR is a school-based teacher preparation program that integrates research with practice to equip participants, known as residents, with the knowledge, skills, and experience to be effective in high-needs and hard-to-staff classrooms.  Participants emerge with a graduate degree in education from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a teacher’s license, and a full year’s experience with a strong mentor teacher. Tuition is fully covered, and residents receive a $5,000 stipend with additional stipends available for those teaching in science and math fields. 

The outcome? Residents who are ready to step into the classroom as impactful teachers. Residents who are ready to take student learning to the next level. Residents who are ready to lift up communities — one classroom at a time. This program requires at least a three year commitment. One student highlighted has remained with his school for ten years.

In 2011-2012, the program began as the Richmond Teacher Residency Program serving only Richmond City Public Schools. In 2018, the program’s name was changed to RTR as  it expanded outside of Richmond city boundaries. With RTR, learning knows no boundaries. Now, RTR is serving four Virginia school divisions: Chesterfield County Public Schools, Henrico County Public Schools, Petersburg Public Schools and Richmond City Public Schools.

Our partnership with VCU will continue to grow. Up to this point, VCU has only offered a graduate level teacher residency program. VCU has not started at the high school level yet, but other states have through their teachers for tomorrow and educators rising programs. These classes are an introduction to teaching. Some instances have dual enrollment, so the credits can then apply to a degree in education. Currently, VCU is working on an undergraduate residency program where students would be in a school for a full year while they are getting their degree. I would love to see this program incorporated at the secondary level through Virginia teachers for tomorrow and educators rising. 

According to Kim McKnight, Director of the Center for Teacher Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University and executive director of RTR Teacher Residency, the program is only as strong as your weakest resident or mentor teacher, so it is critical to do an extensive interview, application, and matching process. Residents are the next generation of teachers and mentors grow a teacher in their classroom, so it is important they are both properly trained and have the dispositions needed for a career in education. A lesson learned is a shared cost investment from school divisions, state funding, local philanthropy and any other business partners will help for long-term financial sustainability. This model began with large federal grants but a shared cost is critically important.

Highlighting a program like RTR was a great way to kick off Teacher Appreciation Week in Virginia. As a relatively new CTE state director, it does not take long to figure out the importance of partnerships from secondary, postsecondary, higher education, and business and industry. Virginia is very fortunate to have the support from Senator Tim Kaine. Sen. Kaine is not only a supporter of RTR from its inception but a clear advocate for Career and Technical Education, understanding its role in meeting future workforce demand throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. 

Visit the RTR Residency web page for more information about the program. 

 

David Eshelman, Director, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Virginia Department of Education 

Kim McKnight, Director of the Center for Teacher Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University and Executive Director, RTR Teacher Residency

By Stacy Whitehouse in Communicating CTE
Tags: , , , ,

Legislative Update: Congress Set to Return Next Week

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

This week lawmakers in the House have continued to circulate a Dear Colleague letter in support of funding for the Carl D. Perkins Act (Perkins V) and the high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs it supports. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) signed an agreement with the Austrian government related to apprenticeships while the Congressional CTE Caucuses continue to grow. 

Congress Set to Return Next Week

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers in Congress have been in respective states and districts for their annual springtime recess. Both the House and Senate are scheduled to return next week to resume work on a host of issues. Chief among these agenda items is continued work on the federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget and appropriations process. These efforts formally began with the release of President Biden’s FY23 budget request a few weeks ago. Lawmakers are in the process of analyzing and considering aspects of this request, which will include opportunities for the heads of federal agencies—including U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona—to testify before relevant Congressional committees regarding the contours of the budget request.

Next week, Secretary Cardona is scheduled to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies about the Biden Administration’s FY23 funding requests for programs overseen by the U.S. Department of Education, like Perkins V). As a reminder, CTE Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter in the House calling for robust funding for Perkins V as part of this process. Advance CTE encourages its members to contact your members of Congress soon and ask them to sign-on to this important letter to ensure a strong funding result as part of the wider federal budget and appropriations process this year. To do so, click here

Federal Agencies & Austria Sign Apprenticeship MOU 

Late last week, the heads of the U.S. Departments of Labor (USDOL), Education (ED), and Commerce, along with the Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Dr. Margarete Schramböck announced that their respective agencies had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) in the United States among Austrian companies. In 2020, Austria invested $17.8 billion in the U.S., primarily in the IT, software, and industrial equipment sectors. Federal agencies have signed similar MOUs in recent years with Germany and Switzerland, each aiming to increase awareness about RAPs and related career pathway opportunities. Read the signed MOU here

Encourage Lawmakers to Join CTE Caucuses 

In conjunction with the House and Senate CTE Caucuses, Advance CTE and ACTE are working to encourage Senators and Representatives over the next several weeks to join their respective CTE Caucuses, if they have not done so already. To find out if your Members of Congress have joined their respective Caucus, you can review House and Senate membership lists. Membership in these caucuses is an important way for lawmakers to signal their support for CTE and the millions of learners across the country who enroll in these programs. To encourage your Senator or member of Congress to join, click here and scroll down to the request form corresponding to your needs.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , ,

Legislative Update: Equity Plans Unveiled by Federal Agencies as FY23 Efforts Get Underway

Friday, April 15th, 2022

This week House Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucus co-chairs began circulating a Dear Colleague letter aimed at securing robust funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V). In addition, federal agencies unveiled equity action plans outlining planned efforts to advance equity throughout the federal government. 

FY23 Perkins V Funding Letter Being Circulated for Sign-on 

It has been quiet on Capitol Hill this week, with lawmakers in both chambers currently in states and districts for the annual springtime Congressional recess. Both the House and the Senate are expected to return later this month during the week of April 25. With the release of President Biden’s federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget request to Congress earlier this month, it is widely anticipated that lawmakers will focus attention on the FY23 budget and appropriations cycle when they return. 

Ahead of these efforts, House CTE Caucus co-chairs Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) are leading a “Dear Colleague” letter to be sent to the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittees. The letter requests robust funding for Perkins V in the House’s forthcoming FY23 appropriations bill. This letter is an important way for members to gauge support for programs like the Perkins basic state grant program as they make critical funding decisions for how to allocate finite federal resources as part of this process. 

While the President’s FY23 request was disappointing, Advance CTE and its partners are working with Congress to ensure Perkins V is provided the funding necessary to ensure access to all learners have access to high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. We are therefore encouraging you to get in touch with your members of Congress and ask them to sign-on to this important Dear Colleague letter. To do so, click here

Biden Administration Unveils Equity Agendas

On Thursday, April 14, federal departments and agencies collectively released “Equity Action Plans”. These plans are part of President Biden’s January 20, 2021 executive order aimed at advancing equity and support for underserved communities throughout the federal government. As part of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) also unveiled its specific equity action plan which broadly aims to undertake work in five main areas:

The full plan can be found here

Encourage Lawmakers to Join CTE Caucuses 

In conjunction with the House and Senate CTE Caucuses, Advance CTE and ACTE are working to encourage Senators and Representatives over the next several weeks to join their respective CTE Caucuses, if they have not done so already. To find out if your Members of Congress have joined their respective Caucus, you can review House and Senate membership lists. Membership in these caucuses is an important way for lawmakers to signal their support for CTE and the millions of learners across the country who enroll in these programs. To encourage your Senator or member of Congress to join, click here and scroll down to the request form corresponding to your needs.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , ,

 

Series

Archives

1