Posts Tagged ‘Federal Policy’

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: , , , , , ,

Equip, Empower, Elevate: Advance CTE’s 2021 Annual Report

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

In June 2021, the Advance CTE and The Center to Advance CTE’s Boards of Directors unanimously approved a new three-year strategic plan with three key strategic priorities — to EQUIP Advance CTE to lead with a focus on quality and equity, EMPOWER members to realize the CTE Without Limits vision, and ELEVATE high-quality and equitable CTE.

As we reflect on 2021, we are excited to share the collective progress we made towards accomplishing these strategic priorities. In 2021, Advance CTE and its members: 

Looking ahead to 2022:

View Advance CTE’s 2021 Annual Report: careertech.org/who-we-are 

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director 

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Announcements
Tags: , , , ,

Legislative Update: FY22 Omnibus Signed Into Law

Friday, March 18th, 2022

This week President Biden signed a full-year spending package for the current fiscal year, providing several increased investments of note to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community. In addition, Advance CTE continues to encourage its members and partners to support legislation to improve learner access to Pell Grants for high-quality, short-term postsecondary CTE programs. Finally, be sure to encourage your Senators and Representatives to join the House and Senate CTE Caucuses if they have not already done so! 

President Biden Signs FY22 Omnibus Into Law

As we shared last week, Congress successfully passed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package which provides full-year funding for the remaining six months of the current 2022 federal fiscal year (FY22). This spending package provides support for federal education and workforce development programs, including the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). On Tuesday, March 15, President Biden formally signed the legislation into law. The legislation provides an additional $45 million for Perkins V’s basic state formula grant program (an increase of nearly 3.5 percent). The legislation makes a host of other notable investments to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community, including increased investments in apprenticeship expansion efforts, career education programs at community colleges, and other important funding beneficial to expanding CTE opportunities to more of the nation’s learners. 

With the FY22 funding process now complete, the FY23 budget and appropriation process can now formally begin. This process typically begins with the release of the President’s budget request to Congress, which Advance CTE expects to be released in the coming weeks. Once the Biden administration’s budget request is published and sent to Congress, lawmakers will formally begin efforts to craft the necessary spending bills (12 in total)  that compose the federal budget. Ahead of these efforts, the Senate confirmed Shalanda Young to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week by a margin of 61-36. This agency is tasked with leading the formulation of the Biden Administration’s FY23 budget request and will be a key stakeholder in future FY23 federal appropriations negotiations this year. As these efforts and more continue to take shape, Advance CTE is working to ensure robust investments in CTE. 

In the meantime, be sure to check out Advance CTE’s updated Perkins funding resource reflecting the new investments made by Congress in FY22. 

Sign-on to Support Pell Grants for High-Quality CTE Programs

Advance CTE and its partners have continued to advocate for the enactment of the JOBS Act– legislation that would make long-overdue improvements to the federal Pell Grant program by expanding eligibility for high-quality shorter-term postsecondary CTE programs. As lawmakers continue to negotiate and craft forthcoming legislation to increase the competitiveness of the American economy, this reform would significantly enhance the nation’s ability to provide pathways for workers and learners to earn valuable postsecondary credentials needed in today’s economy. 

To help ensure lawmakers understand the importance of this legislation and the role it has in ensuring that postsecondary education is truly working for everyone, Advance CTE encourages state and local CTE affiliates, including individual nonprofit CTE institutions serving postsecondary learners, to sign-on in support of this letter ahead of anticipated legislative action later this year. Please share and add your support by the end of this month! 

Encourage Lawmakers to Join CTE Caucuses 

In conjunction with the House and Senate CTE Caucuses, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education 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. 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 Legislation
Tags: , , , , ,

Legislative Update: Full-Year Spending Package for FY22 with CTE Implications

Friday, March 11th, 2022

This week Congress passed a long-awaited full-year spending package for the 2022 federal fiscal year (FY22). The legislation provides encouraging increases for programs of interest to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community. In addition, Advance CTE encourages its members and partners to sign-on in support of the  Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, legislation that would make much-needed reforms to the federal Pell grant program. Finally, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has made a number of new announcements, including the availability of new discretionary grant funding. 

House Passes FY22 Omnibus Spending Legislation With CTE Funding Increase

After relying on a series of short-term funding extensions (known as Continuing Resolutions or CRs) for the first six months of FY22, Congress is finally on the precipice of enacting a full-year, comprehensive spending legislation. In the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 9, lawmakers in the House unveiled a $1.5 trillion FY22 omnibus spending bill which combines all 12 regular appropriations bills covering the entirety of the federal government and related programs for the current federal fiscal year into a single legislative package. Initially, this package also contained additional supplemental aid to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and to meet unaddressed needs from the pandemic.

Late Wednesday night lawmakers in the House passed this omnibus package, via separate votes, on a bipartisan basis—after stripping out additional pandemic aid due to lack of support but leaving the Ukrainian aid in place—sending the package to the Senate for further consideration. Late last night the Senate took up and passed the omnibus by a margin of 68-31. With current federal funding set to expire late today (March 11), Advance CTE expects President Biden to sign the legislation into law imminently, so as to avoid a lapse in federal appropriations. 

Overall, the legislation provides an additional $2.3 billion for the U.S. Department of Education (ED)– a 3.2 percent increase over 2021 federal fiscal year (FY21) levels. The FY22 omnibus also contains a number of new investments of note to the CTE community. These include $45 million in additional funding for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act’s (Perkins V) basic state grant program. This new level of investment brings total Perkins V state grant funding to $1.38 billion (a 3.4% increase compared to FY21 levels). In addition, the omnibus provides $60 million in additional funding (a 5 percent increase) for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants contained in Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The bill also increases the maximum award amount for Pell Grants by $400, bringing this new total to $6,895 per grant.

The omnibus also provides roughly $500 million in additional funding for the DOL, representing an increase of 3.6 percent for the agency. Significantly, the legislation provides $50 million in additional funding to expand registered apprenticeship programs (a 27 percent increase), bringing total funding for this purpose to $235 million for FY22. Overall, the legislation increases funding for programs authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) by $249 million, bringing the total for these activities to $5.66 billion (a roughly 4.6 percent increase compared to FY21). Finally, $50 million of the overall funding being provided to WIOA is dedicated specifically to expanding career training and education programs offered at community colleges, including consortia of other eligible postsecondary institutions. 

Advance CTE applauds these and other critically important investments made through this legislation and will continue to provide the CTE community with additional updates regarding this legislation’s impact on states, districts, schools, and institutions in the future. In the meantime, Advance CTE’s federal policy agenda can be found here

Lend Your Support to Pell Grant Modernization 

Advance CTE and its partners have continued to advocate for the enactment of the JOBS Act – legislation that would make long-overdue improvements to the federal Pell Grant program by expanding eligibility for high-quality shorter-term postsecondary CTE programs. As lawmakers continue to negotiate and craft forthcoming legislation to improve the competitiveness of the American economy, this reform would drastically enhance the nation’s ability to provide pathways for workers and learners to earn valuable postsecondary credentials needed in today’s economy. 

To help ensure lawmakers understand the importance of this legislation and the role it has in ensuring American global economic competitiveness, Advance CTE encourages state and local CTE affiliates, especially nonprofit CTE institutions, to sign-on in support of this letter ahead of anticipated legislative action later this year. 

DOL and DOT Sign MOU 

On Monday, March 7, the DOL and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) formalizing their commitment to collaborate in two main areas: 

This MOU is intended to support the ongoing implementation of the bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed last year. A press release on the announcement can be found here

DOL Grant Opportunities

Over the past few weeks, DOL has published the following discretionary grant opportunities which may be of interest to the CTE community:

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Brittany Cannady in Legislation
Tags: , , , ,

 

Series

Archives

1