Posts Tagged ‘Indiana’

Lawmakers Celebrate CTE Month, Progress on FY24 Remains Uncertain | Legislative Update

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers in the House and Senate have continued to formally recognize the importance of Career Technical Education (CTE) and celebrated February as CTE Month® in a number of ways. Elsewhere, appropriations leaders continue to work on federal funding measures, Advance CTE endorsed several new pieces of legislation and federal agencies released new equity plans. 

New Challenges Emerge in FY24 Funding Process

The Senate remained in session last weekend to pass a highly anticipated supplemental national security aid package. Following that action, the Senate adjourned and is not expected to return to Capitol Hill until February 26. Meanwhile, the House met for an abbreviated work period this week where Republican lawmakers impeached Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. This action in the House will trigger a trial in the Senate when lawmakers return later this month. Due to Senate rules that require addressing this issue upon their return, this upcoming trial may impact ongoing negotiations, largely occurring behind the scenes, on federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) spending, including the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations measure that funds the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and other programs administered and overseen by the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL).

At this time, it remains unclear how lawmakers will ultimately move forward with FY24 appropriations legislation beyond the upcoming expiration dates of current funding rapidly approaching on March 1 and March 8. Reportedly, appropriations leaders are currently negotiating potential “policy riders” that some lawmakers are seeking to attach to these funding measures, including Labor-HHS-ED. House lawmakers are currently scheduled to return after a recess period on February 28, leaving only a few days to determine a pathway forward. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE is continuing to advocate for robust funding for Perkins V’s formula grant program.

CTE Month Continues With Co-Chair Appearances and a New Senate Resolution

Yesterday, House CTE Caucus co-chairs Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) made an appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program to talk about the importance of CTE and the role it plays in the wider economy. The two leaders fielded questions from viewers and spoke at length about their experiences with CTE, the importance of the federal investment made by Perkins V and highlighted the immense value CTE programs provide to learners, especially by providing multiple pathways to postsecondary education, training and careers. These lawmakers also introduced the Counseling for Career Choice Act, bipartisan legislation that would strengthen career counseling services available to K-12 students. Advance CTE was proud to endorse this legislation upon introduction. In addition, House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) provided floor remarks celebrating CTE month and emphasizing the important role CTE programs have in providing learners with valuable and durable skills. 

On the other side of the Capitol, Senate CTE Caucus co-chair Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Todd Young (R-IN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced and passed a bipartisan resolution recognizing February as CTE month within the chamber. “This month and every month, let’s work to expand access to CTE, including by passing my JOBS Act to allow students to use Pell Grants for job training programs, and build an economy that works for everyone,” Senator Kaine remarked upon its passage. 

Advance CTE applauds all of these lawmakers for their ongoing leadership on this issue and extends our community’s deep appreciation for continuing to elevate and highlight the significant importance of CTE this month and throughout the year.

Bipartisan Childcare CTE Bill Introduced

Earlier this week, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Mike Lawler (R-NY) and Bonamici introduced the Early Childhood Workforce Advance Act. The legislation would provide new resources for CTE programs and aims to address significant workforce shortages in this critical sector of the economy. “The Early Childhood Workforce Advancement Act intentionally leverages CTE programs and ensures that these efforts are connected to ongoing state and local efforts to strengthen early educator workforce pipelines,” Advance CTE’s Executive Director Kate Kreamer shared upon the bill’s introduction. More information on the proposal can be found here.

ED Publishes Updated Equity Action Plan

At the beginning of the week, ED formally released its 2023 update to the Department’s existing “Equity Action Plan,” outlining new commitments to advance equity in education. ED identified five key focus areas: improving college access and completion rates for underserved students; ensuring equitable resources for learning recovery; expanding educational opportunities for justice-impacted individuals to improve outcomes; advancing equity in career and technical education; and increasing mental health resources in underserved communities. In the plan, ED notes that it hopes to improve data transparency with regards to Perkins V data, host a future webinar series on equity in CTE and propose broadened equity indicators as part of its priorities for potential legislative updates to Perkins V in the years ahead. Read the full plan here.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

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

Funding Career Technical Education: Incorporating Elements Into Funding Models to Address CTE Access, Completion and Program Quality

Wednesday, January 24th, 2024

Advance CTE released the 2023 State of CTE: An Analysis of State Secondary CTE Funding Models to highlight how states and the District of Columbia provide high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) through various secondary CTE funding models and approaches. This blog, the third in a series, describes ways states have incorporated elements into their funding models to address CTE access, completion and program quality. 

Overview

Advance CTE’s vision for the future of CTE calls on states to design equitable funding models that direct funding to where it is needed most. Funding is not just about budget sheets but about investing in and fostering an environment where every learner’s potential is unleashed. A state’s commitment to CTE is reflected in their financial decisions, and states are making changes to secondary CTE funding models to better serve and offer opportunities for all learners.

Background

Advance CTE conducted a survey with State CTE Directors in summer 2022 to better understand the extent to which states are currently incorporating elements into funding models to address CTE access, completion and program quality. Forty-six state leaders responded to the survey, and Advance CTE followed up with select state leaders in interviews to gather additional information about dimensions of equity.

Some of the most salient findings from the survey of State CTE Directors include:

65 percent reported state funds supported access to secondary CTE programs for all learners, 56 percent reported state funds supported completion of secondary CTE programs of study for all learners, 54 percent reported state funds supported access to equipment and resources in CTE classrooms, 47 percent reported state funds supported access to college and career advisement, and 44 percent reported state funds supported attainment of CTE certifications while in high school.

There remains room for innovation in states’ secondary funding models as almost half of states are not supporting funding in one or several of the dimensions of equity. Additionally, almost a fifth of State CTE Directors indicated their state funding does not reflect any of the dimensions of equity. States should continue to evaluate and incorporate changes to secondary CTE funding models to ensure all learners have access and success through CTE.  

Highlighted Practices

States such as Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico and Texas are linking state funding to state-approved CTE programs meeting quality standards. This move ensures access for learners regardless of their geographical location. 

Other states, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas, are incentivizing learner enrollment and success in certain CTE courses or programs aligned with state labor market needs. These states use varying weights (i.e., multipliers) based on program types or course levels, aligning educational goals with workforce demands. For example, Indiana allocates amounts based on the number of CTE credit hours generated by districts and the enrollment in apprenticeship programs or work-based learning.1

Recent shifts in foundational education formulas or bonus structures have also resulted in positive change. Massachusetts, for instance, introduced incremental funding to its formula for Chapter 70 (i.e., the major program of state aid to public elementary and secondary schools) under the Student Opportunity Act, benefitting English language learners and learners experiencing low income, including those in CTE programs.2 You can learn more about Massachusetts in the state case study accompanying this release.

In Texas, local education agencies (LEAs) can earn outcomes bonuses for learners meeting the state’s college, career or military readiness measures. This bonus is weighted for learners who are considered economically disadvantaged or who are enrolled in special populations thereby tailoring additional funds to cater to learner needs, especially within CTE programs.3 You can learn more about Texas in the state case study and read about additional examples in the Research Report accompanying this release.

Recommendations

State leaders should consider the following recommendations if they plan to leverage funding incentives and/or prioritize geographies, learner or program characteristics and/or program areas:

Funding structures must continually evolve to bridge resource gaps among different learners. State CTE Directors can help shape funding conversations so learners thrive in an ever-evolving CTE landscape.

Additional Resources

Be sure to read the other blogs in this series: Funding Career Technical Education: Secondary CTE Funding Basics and Funding Career technical Education: Using the 2023 State of CTE Funding Report Resources. In the next blog in this series, we will explore how states also make contributions to CTE programs through non-categorical programmatic appropriations to support unique elements of CTE.

Please visit Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center for additional resources about CTE funding. 

Dr. Laura Maldonado, Senior Research Associate

By Layla Alagic in CTE Without Limits, Research
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Achieving Inclusive CTE: Early Achievements and Upcoming Opportunities to Support Inclusive CTE

Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

In 2022, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, through the New Skills ready network initiative, released the Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool (AICTE). This tool adds a new resource to the data toolbox for state and local CTE and career pathways leaders to assess learner group data. The goal-setting tool enables leaders to analyze CTE learner group data in comparison to the broader student population. The purpose of the tool is to support leaders with their efforts to recruit, engage and support underrepresented learner groups to increase access to high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and career pathways. 

Over the past six months, four states, Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana and Utah, have participated in a technical assistance cohort to leverage the AICTE Goal-Setting Tool to evaluate the inclusivity of their system and establish goals to improve equitable access and outcomes for learner populations in their states. The cohort of technical assistance included two workshop sessions to review the tool and its analyses; ongoing support and coaching calls with each state team to guide the use of the tool in their states; and two Communities of Practice sessions to share promising solutions and discuss shared challenges. The two states that completed the pilot of the Goal-Setting Tool, Colorado and South Carolina, were also invited to attend the Communities of Practice sessions.

Lessons Learned

Over the course of the technical assistance cohort, key themes and lessons learned emerged from the states using the Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool:

Continue reading for detailed information on the lessons learned and examples from the states who participated.

The Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool Supports Perkins Performance Indicators: The AICTE Goal-Setting Tool analyzes data for 11 indicators across all learner populations. This level of analysis includes gender, race and ethnicity and special populations (English learners, Migrant learners, Economically Disadvantaged and Learners with disabilities). The disaggregated design of the Goal-Setting Tool supports users in drilling down specific areas for improvement and support. Utah is utilizing the tool to support one of its Perkins performance indicators: nontraditional participation. With the help of the AICTE Goal-Setting Tool, the team will leverage the data analysis to identify areas where their state and local leaders can make a greater impact to increase nontraditional participation and understand if the adjusted performance targets the state has set are reasonable to achieve.

As the team works towards achieving its Perkins performance goals, the Utah team will also conduct a state-level analysis of nontraditional participation for multiple years to compare the data and identify any changes in the groups over time. Additionally, the state team plans to conduct training to support local leaders with the use of the Goal-Setting Tool and allow them to enter their own data to identify opportunities for a more inclusive CTE system. The team will provide this training to local CTE leaders during the winter months of 2023 and will align the Goal-Setting Tool with their Opportunity Gap Analysis workbook and data.

With the assistance of the Goal-Setting Tool, the team shared that the greatest benefit is having more insightful data analysis in conjunction with their Opportunity Gap Analysis. According to the team, using the tools together offers a greater understanding of the CTE system and areas where learners need to be recruited, supported or engaged. 

The Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool is a Strong Companion in the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment Process: One of the many use cases for the Goal-Setting Tool is the examination of equity and disaggregated learner performance data as part of the Perkins V Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA). The Goal-Setting Tool takes a deeper dive into the CTE continuum to identify priority areas for Perkins plans. The team in Indiana is taking full advantage of the Goal-Setting Tool with their CLNA process by planning to include training on the use of the goal-setting tool in their next round of Equity Labs. Equity Labs are regional sessions held across the state to share the importance of equity and inclusivity in CTE programs and career pathways. 

The Goal-Setting Tool will support Indiana’s CLNA process by providing a tool to facilitate a deep dive into each district’s data. The state team plans to supply regional and district CTE leaders with the Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool to analyze data, set a goal to increase equity and inclusivity and implement a practical strategy to achieve the goal. 

To use the Goal-Setting Tool to its full potential in Indiana’s CLNA process, the team plans to provide local CTE leaders with ongoing support and opportunities for follow-up to ensure locals are leveraging root-cause analysis to better understand data trends. The state plans to leverage the tool for continuous monitoring of the practical strategies and interventions deployed to create a more equitable and inclusive CTE system.

The Achieving Inclusive Goal-Setting Tool Supports Data Tools Alignment: Each state selected to participate in the pilot and technical assistance cohort previously completed the Opportunity Gap Analysis Train-the-Trainer workshop, a workshop that prepares CTE leaders to provide comprehensive training on the importance of equitable access to high-quality CTE, demonstrates how to conduct a percentage point gap analysis to identify gaps among learner groups including race and ethnicity, gender and special populations and conducting a root-cause analysis to understand the implications on the data.

The AICTE Goal-Setting Tool is the next phase of data analysis work to support inclusive and equitable CTE systems: analyzing the current representation of learners in CTE programs compared to the learners that could be engaged, recruited and/or supported in CTE and setting goals to achieve a more equitable system. 

While these tools complement each other in their analyses and findings, participants using the tools identified the importance and value of ensuring the two tools work together and clearly communicating the alignment of the tools to their local-level CTE leaders and practitioners. Colorado is making progress leveraging both tools with their local-level CTE leaders and practitioners. To support the local-level use of the tools, the Colorado state agency provided the Opportunity Gap Analysis dashboard to their local-level teams. Then it provided guidance on using the AICTE Goal-Setting Tool. By leveraging the two tools together, locals were able to identify opportunity gaps in CTE enrollment and then further drill down on equitable access and inclusivity in every stage of the CTE continuum across specific CTE programs using CIP code-level data. Conducting analysis with CIP code-level data allows districts within a state an opportunity to identify where they have gaps. As districts continue to leverage both tools, they can work collaboratively with industry partners to expand access to CTE career pathway programs and work-based learning opportunities. 

To ensure alignment between the tools, the Colorado team launched both tools to every district and consortia to review regional data to account for small n-sizes. The Colorado team has held several sessions on data quality and interpreting the data dashboards. These sessions include guidance and support to identify trends in the data. The state team continues to offer support sessions and office hours to discuss all data-related issues.

As the team looks ahead, they plan to leverage the two tools in their Perkins state plan revisions. The team will begin regional meetings for the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA) to gather input for the state plan to ensure it includes robust and diverse perspectives especially when setting state performance targets. The state team will set Perkins performance targets leveraging both the Opportunity Gap Analysis dashboard and the AICTE Goal-Setting Tool. 

Looking Ahead

The Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool is a strong data analysis tool for CTE leaders and Advance CTE is committed to supporting states with the use of the tool to achieve more inclusive and equitable CTE systems. In the coming months, Advance CTE will launch a second round of technical assistance to guide participants through the use of the tool, provide individualized coaching and support for states using the tool and elevate the promising approaches and successes from the use of the tool. To learn more about this cohort of technical assistance and apply, please visit this form

If you have any questions about the Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool or the upcoming technical assistance cohort, please contact Haley Wing, Senior Policy Associate, Advance CTE at hwing@careertech.org

By Layla Alagic in Achieving Equitable and Inclusive CTE, Resources
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Advancing Equity in CTE: Administrative Policy Review – An Assessment of Equitable Practices

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

This is the final blog in a four-part series on the Postsecondary State Career Technical Education Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation (The Fellowship)

Overview  

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V*) includes provisions focused on providing access to and success in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs for members of special populations and subgroups, including major racial ethnic groups in each state. States are fulfilling these requirements in various ways. Below are a few examples of how states are applying an equity-minded lens to administrative policies and practices to improve CTE ecosystems by emphasizing equitable access to and learner performance in CTE programs. 

Ohio

Administration of a CTE program with an equity lens begins with ensuring all learners have meaningful access to and substantial engagement in high-quality CTE programming which requires making these actions a priority. Ohio has created and applied equity-minded leadership principles within several initiatives, leveraging funds and resources to provide local administrators with supports to develop and sustain equitable practices and policies. 

Indiana 

The application of equity-minded principles isn’t a one-time occurrence. It requires an ongoing systematic review of policies, practices and data to determine the effectiveness of the mitigating or transformational strategies being applied. Indiana engaged in this process by conducting a review of the CTE equity labs being offered in their state and using additional resources to measure goal attainment and to provide additional supports to local leaders. 

The state’s CTE team participated in equity lab debriefing sessions to improve their messaging on equity and access, awareness of using inclusive language and overall effectiveness of equity labs currently being offered with the assistance of the Great Lakes Equity Center. This work coincided with Indiana’s participation in the CTE Opportunity Gap Analysis Train-the-Trainer Workshop offered by Advance CTE. The workshop’s six months of community of practice monthly sessions conducted with nine states included completing one in-state workshop with workshop specific resources designed to support state leaders in examining their current policies and practices.

What’s Next

This blog series is a precursor to a forthcoming state CTE leadership pipeline toolkit due to be released in Fall 2023. The toolkit will provide a “plug and play” roadmap for states to use to create their own initiative to strengthen and diversify an equity-minded state leadership pipeline. The toolkit will draw upon Advance CTE’s experiences with facilitating the Fellowship and lift up vetted resources and techniques for states to apply. 

For additional support, check out Advance CTE’s resource Engaging Representatives of Learners with Special Population Status Through Perkins V.

*As amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Dr. Kevin Johnson, Senior Advisor 

View previous blogs in this series:

Blog 1: Advancing Equity in CTE: Making the Case for Diverse Leadership Pipelines in Career Technical Education

Blog 2: Advancing Equity in CTE: A Review on the Current State of CTE Leadership Programs

Blog 3: Advancing Equity in CTE: The Equity-Minded Leadership Framework

 

By Layla Alagic in Advancing Equity in CTE
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Legislative Update: House Advances FY24 Appropriations With Steep Cuts to Domestic Programs

Monday, July 17th, 2023

This week, lawmakers in the House advanced newly proposed funding legislation for the upcoming 2024 federal fiscal year (FY24). Elsewhere, Senators have introduced new data and research legislation that would improve career readiness opportunities for learners. 

House Appropriators Advance FY24 Labor-HHS-ED Legislation

Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill recently for a busy three-week work period ahead of Congress’ annual August recess. Topping the agenda is the need to address annual appropriations legislation for FY24 . The recent passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), which outlines topline spending caps for FY24 and FY25 that aim to roughly freeze federal funding at current FY23 levels, was widely expected to provide lawmakers greater clarity regarding how to move forward with this process.

Shortly after the passage of the FRA, however, House Republican leadership announced plans to move forward with a series of spending bills that further reduce federal spending to FY22 funding levels, rather than FY23 levels of investment as required by the FRA. Shortly after this announcement, Senate leaders outlined plans for FY24 which align much more closely with the requirements of the FRA. In practical terms, these divergent approaches to FY24 appropriations are putting Congress on a likely path towards conflict over the direction of federal spending later this year.

In recent weeks, the House and Senate appropriations committees have advanced legislation for roughly half of the dozen individual spending bills that compose the federal budget. Late last week, Republican leaders on the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee unveiled the text of their proposed FY24 Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill–annual legislation which provides funding for programs like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V).* This legislation proposes an overall cut of 28 percent to the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) budget when factoring existing appropriations that would be rescinded under the proposal and a 29 percent reduction in funding for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) budget. Despite these significant proposed reductions in funding, the legislation proposes to level-fund Perkins V’s basic state formula grant program at existing FY23 levels. 

Concerningly, however, the bill would dramatically reduce and in some cases entirely eliminate a slew of education and workforce development programs overseen by ED and DOL that intersect with or otherwise complement CTE. For instance, Title I funding from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) would be reduced by 80 percent, while core Title I funding for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) would be reduced by more than half of current funding levels. While Advance CTE appreciates Congress’ recognition of continuing to invest in Career Technical Education (CTE), these proposals would significantly disrupt the ability of schools, districts, and institutions to provide high quality learning opportunities for all students. In light of this, Advance CTE and partners issued a statement opposing this proposal and calling on the House to reverse course on this approach to FY24 funding. 

On Friday, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee marked up and advanced this legislation along party lines. Timing for comparable appropriations efforts in the Senate regarding their Labor-HHS-ED bill are still forthcoming. Regardless, both chambers will need to reconcile differences between these visions for FY24 funding in the coming weeks and months, before the formal start of FY24 on October 1. As these efforts continue to move forward, Advance CTE is closely monitoring the process and engaging with partners on Capitol Hill to ensure the funding needs of the CTE community are realized as part of the ongoing budget and appropriations process for FY24.

*As amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Senators Introduce CTE Data Bill 

Last Thursday, Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Young (R-IN), and Kaine (D-VA) introduced the Data for American Jobs Act (S. 2290). This legislation would make a series of updates to the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA) to increase the law’s focus on CTE and more closely align state data systems and related federal investments to increase data transparency and quality. “Achieving career success for every learner through CTE requires actionable, transparent and trustworthy data. Advance CTE is pleased to support the Data for American Jobs Act, which takes important steps to leverage national research efforts and resources to promote a better understanding of CTE and advances modernized and interconnected data infrastructure for states,” said Kate Kreamer, Advance CTE’s Executive Director, upon the introduction of the legislation. The legislation comes ahead of potential consideration of ESRA by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee expected later this Congress. 

P3 Pilot Applications Announced

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) issued a notice inviting applications for selection as a Performance Partnership Pilots for disconnected youth (P3). This pilot authority has been authorized by Congress since 2014 and is aimed at better supporting disconnected youth populations by allowing ED and other federal agencies to waive certain requirements of existing federal funding streams like ESSA, Perkins V, and other similar investments. In doing so, recipients of these funds can braid and blend federal resources more easily, allowing for greater coordination of services for these populations. More on the announcement, including how to apply, can be found here

Energy Department Announces School Infrastructure Funding

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $178 million in new grant funding it has made available to local school districts in 22 states via the Renew America’s Schools grant program. This grant program was created as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. The program aims to help schools and districts make improvements to facilities that improve energy efficiency and foster healthier learning environments. More information about the grants can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

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

Enhanced Collaboration Towards Implementation of High-Quality Career Pathways in Year Three of the New Skills ready network

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group (ESG) recently released an annual report and site snapshots for year three of the New Skills ready network initiative. The five-year initiative, part of JPMorgan Chase’s $350 million global New Skills at Work program and $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity, aims to improve student completion of high-quality, equitable career pathways to gain skills needed for the future of work, particularly among learners of color and other historically marginalized learners. 

As a partner in the New Skills ready network initiative, Advance CTE elevates the successes and lessons learned across the six sites as they work towards the implementation of high-quality, equitable career pathways. Over the course of the three years of the initiative, sites have made significant progress in the development and implementation of career pathways from defining the core elements of high-quality career pathways to improving the access and equity of high-quality career pathways. The policy and programmatic changes adopted across the six sites in the initiative are promising approaches and strategies that can be leveraged in other states and areas to enhance the design, delivery and implementation of high-quality, equitable career pathways.

Throughout year three of the New Skills ready network initiative, several key priorities emerged as trends for the six sites:

Across each key priority area, sites have leveraged cross-sector networks and partnerships to deploy promising practices that support their sites with the successful development and implementation of high-quality career pathways that meet the needs of learners and industry. Examples of achievement across the sites include the Columbus, Ohio, site leveraging an employer toolkit, created by the Ohio Department of Education, to help industry partners better understand the opportunities and challenges associated with work-based learning. 

The Indianapolis, Indiana, site expanded learner access to college and career advising by developing resources and supports for learners and finalizing frameworks that align career advising practices. For example, postsecondary partners published program maps for learners participating in agreements between Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Ivy Tech Community College. 

The Nashville, Tennessee, team has supported increased access to career pathways in HVAC and IT by engaging postsecondary partners like the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Nashville (TCAT-Nashville). The engagement with TCAT-Nashville has increased learner participation and interest in dual enrollment, and the site now has more than 300 learners enrolled in these opportunities.

Sites like Boston, Massachusetts, and Dallas, Texas, are expanding access to career exploration, advising and high-quality career pathways opportunities to middle grades learners. In year three, the Boston, Massachusetts, team expanded the rollout of their My Career and Academic Plan to middle grades learners to better prepare learners for career pathways, dual enrollment and early college experiences. The Dallas, Texas, team is currently designing a cybersecurity career pathway that will connect all partner institutions with learners and provide lab experiences at the University of North Texas – Dallas. Learners in Dallas, Texas, will be exposed to this high-wage, high-demand career pathway as early as middle school with opportunities to earn credentials. 

Project team partners in Denver, Colorado, are improving the learner experience when transitioning from secondary to postsecondary institutions. In year three, the site lead, The Attainment Network, supported secondary and postsecondary institutions with solutions to longstanding challenges in learner transitions including lack of data sharing, erroneous dual enrollment rosters and incorrect schedules for learners. The institutions are now leveraging IT automation to ensure each institution has access to timely information on learners’ schedules, enrollments and more. 

In addition to diving more into the aforementioned exciting developments, the site snapshots and year three annual report preview the work for year four in the New Skills ready network initiative. Each site has ambitious goals for year four including exploring new pathways sectors, engaging families and learners in the design and implementation of career pathways, sustaining and scaling career pathways as sites near year five of the initiative and more. 

Visit Advance CTE’s New Skills ready network series page to read the full annual report and a snapshot of each site’s innovative partnerships and early accomplishments across the four project priorities. Our New Skills ready network collection page provides additional resources for strengthening career pathways.

Haley Wing, Senior Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Publications
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Skills ready network highlight: Interview with JPMorgan Chase Vice President Deshaun Mars

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023

The New Skills ready network is part of JPMorgan Chase’s (JPMC) substantial portfolio in support of an inclusive economy and workforce. This five year commitment is part of the New Skills at Work initiative to prepare people for the future of work and their $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity. With dedication to building equitable career pathways, the New Skills ready network connects six sites —  Boston, Massachusetts; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Nashville, Tennessee — with local partners with the intentionality necessary to build a strong workforce ecosystem for all learners. 

As part of ongoing blog topics providing updates on this initiative, Deshaun Mars, Vice President, Global Philanthropy (Job Skills,) and Brice Thomas, Policy Associate engaged in a discussion to highlight JPMC’s view of the initiative and how this work advances JPMC’s philanthropic portfolio and ultimately building high-quality local and state career pathway systems. 

How does the work being done in the initiative support the rest of JPMC’s Global Ready Initiative (GCRI) job, skills, and philanthropy portfolio? 

As a firm, we are focused on creating a more equitable labor market, and we support policy solutions, organizations and initiatives that help upskill and train the workforce of today for future jobs.

More specifically, our Global Career Readiness Initiative prepares young people, particularly those from historically underserved backgrounds, to build skills and enter the labor force through quality jobs.  

This investment highlights the importance of intentional engagement between the education (K-12/higher ed) and business/employer communities to support students and arm them with the resources, skills and access to meaningful career pathways to help power the economy and workforce of the future.  

How do you see JPMC leveraging the work being developed through the initiative? 

Businesses are grappling with a challenging labor market – there are more job openings than qualified people to fill the roles. This investment helps fill that gap by increasing access to skills, training and resources for young people so they are better prepared to enter the labor force with the skills employers need most.  

We are learning how deep cross-sector relationships and partnerships can support young people, communities, and business outcomes. Within our own workforce, we are applying these same principles to transform how we prepare people to compete for well-paying jobs and successful careers.  

With multiple sites across the world, we’re able to share best practices and lessons learned to bolster engagement and strengthen the investment.  

How does JPMC plan to continue supporting the sites? 

Intentional collaboration and partnerships are key to the ongoing support of these sites. We are connecting our local market leaders and the firm’s work across other bodies of work to these partners to help them scale, build capacity and think long-term.  

Since we are past the midpoint of this initiative, what do you hope to see from the participating sites? 

Continue investing in building out the long-term infrastructure of career pathways so this work is not dependent on one funder.

As sites progress on implementation and sustainability, what encouragement would you share in their continued progress? 

We understand how difficult this work is. That is why we made a longer-term investment so our sites have the time to put the infrastructure in place to support and build the local economies of the future. 

The New Skills ready network has also supported the creation of several publications and resources designed to engage and support the field. Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center houses hundreds of reports, briefs and toolkits designed to advance high-quality CTE for our members. The State Work-Based Learning Innovation Tracker, for instance, compiles the work-based learning toolkits from all 50 states to serve as up-to-date models of best practices. Our latest resource from this initiative, the Credit for Prior Learning Messaging Toolkit, provides effective messages targeted to key audiences and strategies for dissemination to increase participation in Credit for Prior Learning among adult learners. 

JPMC, New Skills ready network, and Advance CTE remain committed to helping all learners have access to high-quality career pathways. 

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Achieving Equitable and Inclusive CTE
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Innovating State Systems through CTE Without Limits

Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) was released in March 2020 with the support of over 40 national organizations. In October 2021, Advance CTE launched a technical assistance opportunity called Advancing CTE Without  Limits, which sought to support states in a project to coordinate systems, improve equity goals, strengthen policy or otherwise align with a CTE Without Limits principle. The year-long Advancing CTE Without Limits project ran from March 2022 to March 2023. This blog series shares the details, outcomes and lessons learned from projects across the three participating Pushing the Limits state teams – Colorado, Nebraska and South Carolina. 

Over the past year, three states – Colorado, Nebraska and South Carolina – leveraged CTE Without Limits in their states to improve Career Technical Education (CTE) practice through technical assistance and strategic planning. Each state took a different approach and focused on a different CTE Without Limits principle, but ultimately each state centered its project around leveraging tools and resources already at its disposal to realign and refocus state practice for all CTE learners. All three states took an innovative approach to revitalizing existing policy and strategy and the alignment work vital to their year-long projects is already paying dividends. For more information about each state’s project check out the previous posts in this blog series.

This year, Advance CTE is continuing to help states innovate their state systems through CTE Without Limits. Earlier this year, we opened an application for technical assistance to help states specifically interested in strategic planning and alignment support. Four states – Indiana, Nevada, Oregon and Rhode Island – are working with Advance CTE and Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) coaches to build strategic goals, centered around a statewide theory of action, or revamp state plans for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). The initiative, Innovating State Systems through CTE Without Limits, will run from June 2023 to June 2024.

While previous technical assistance efforts were focused on individual state projects, this year’s project builds specifically on the strategic planning process. Each state will create a 12-month action plan and will have opportunities to begin to pilot some of the initiatives embedded in their new strategic plans. Each state will build a statewide team made of stakeholders within and outside of their CTE agency to ensure their strategic goals meet the needs of learners, families, educators and administrators statewide. Participating state team members will also engage in quarterly cross-state sharing sessions to discuss insights and lessons learned. 

Advance CTE Senior Advisor and project lead Eliza Fabillar hopes the value of this technical assistance opportunity will be clear: “The Innovating State Systems initiative will help participating states develop and implement strategic priorities to strengthen the career preparation ecosystem for all learners, which will lay the groundwork for continued quality implementation after the project period. Advance CTE members will also benefit from lessons learned, which will be shared with the CTE community.”

Kickoff meetings with each state’s State CTE Director have already started and progress will continue throughout the next year. Stay tuned for future updates about this project. 

For more information about CTE Without Limits, visit https://careertech.org/without-limits. To begin processes like this in your own state or locality, view our CTE Without Limits roadmaps and view this resource recap to see how to use these tools step-by-step. 

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate

By Jodi Langellotti in CTE Without Limits
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Midpoint Highlights of the New Skills ready network

Monday, October 31st, 2022

In February 2020, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced its New Skills ready network initiative, which bolsters the firm’s efforts to support an inclusive economic recovery. This effort is part of both their $350 million, five-year New Skills at Work initiative to prepare people for the future of work and their $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity. 

While there was a lot of excitement – and some uncertainty – about how exactly the work would unfold, we had no idea that, in just a few short weeks after the launch, the world would change as we knew it. Plans of in-person leadership team meetings, extended needs assessments that included focus groups of learners, industry partners and other key stakeholders, and network-wide convenings were all put on hold or adjusted due to the pandemic. 

While the ramp up may have slowed down and plans evolved, what never changed was the commitment of the six sites, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Advance CTE and our national partner, Education Strategy Group (ESG) to the ultimate vision of this initiative – to dramatically increase equitable access to and success in high-quality career pathways and experiences that lead to good jobs for all learners across these communities. This became even more important as the pandemic laid bare the deep and abiding inequities in our education system, workforce and society, particularly for learners and communities of color. 

We are now two-and-a-half years into the five-year initiative and there is a lot to celebrate! New Skills ready network is a bold and audacious initiative that aims to achieve both systems change at the ecosystem level while also improving programmatic opportunities for learners and industry partners in real time. It is no easy feat to build a career preparation ecosystem that engages and brings along K-12 districts, two- and four-year institutions, intermediaries, state agencies and industry partners – while also implementing new pathways, advising structures and other critical programmatic improvements at the school and institutional level. 

So what have we learned?

For more on site-specific progress, check out the:

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

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

Legislative Update: Congress in Recess Through the Midterms

Monday, October 24th, 2022

The last few weeks, lawmakers in Congress have remained in recess ahead of the upcoming midterm elections set to take place November 8. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has launched a new STEM initiative while other federal agencies have made several recent grant announcements regarding connectivity efforts and mental health. 

Congress Remains in Recess Ahead of Midterm Elections

Both the House and Senate are currently on an extended recess ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. While the chambers are formally out of session, they are holding pro forma sessions during this time to continue committee-level work on a number of existing agenda items. Before going on this extended recess, Congress was able to successfully pass short-term funding legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR). This CR extends current fiscal year 2022 (FY22) funding levels for all federal programs, including the Carl D. Perkins Act (Perkins V), through December 16. By that date, lawmakers will next need to act by either passing an additional funding extension at that time or completing work on a more comprehensive funding proposal for the federal government. 

The length of the CR is intended to provide Congress additional time to campaign ahead of the fast-approaching midterm elections November 8. It is broadly hoped that when the outcomes of these elections become clearer, lawmakers will be able to reach consensus during the “lame duck” session of Congress. As these efforts get more fully underway, Advance CTE will continue to work with its partners in Congress to secure robust funding levels for the Perkins V basic state grant program and other priority Career Technical Education (CTE)  funding streams. 

ED Launches “YOU Belong in STEM” Initiative

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently announced a new initiative aimed at encouraging learners to explore and pursue pathways in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. The effort pulls together a number of existing ED activities and related priorities highlighting various opportunities to promote STEM education for learners at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels. In the coming weeks, the Department intends to release additional guidance, technical assistance, and related information for how to deepen and expand on these efforts in the future. 

FCC Releases Additional Connectivity Funds

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced another round of Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF) funding totaling nearly $78 million. Authorized by the American Rescue Plan, the ECF provides funding to schools and libraries to purchase broadband plans and devices for students, school staff, and library patrons and has been a key Advance CTE federal policy priority since the start of the pandemic. These latest funding commitments are from the first and third application windows for the ECF program and will benefit nearly 175,000 students from Delaware, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Texas.  

ED Distributes Funding for School-based Mental Health

In the wake of several tragic mass shootings earlier this year, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S. 2938). The new law modestly tightened the nation’s gun laws while investing significant new funding into K-12 education to support safer schools and promote learner mental health. On Monday, October 3, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had published two grant funding opportunities as part of this legislation.

The first of these is the School-based Mental Health Services Grant program which will provide competitive grants to state (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs), along with consortia of these entities, to apply for funding to increase the number of school-based mental health services available to students. There is more than $144 million available for these grants. More information on how to apply, including related deadlines, can be found here. The second grant announcement is related to the Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration grant program. This competitive grant effort is intended to provide financial support to SEAs, LEAs, and postsecondary institutions to hire additional staffing capacity for similar purposes. Additional information regarding this initiative can be accessed here.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

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

 

Series

Archives

1