Posts Tagged ‘Senate Appropriations Committee’

Legislative Update: Teacher Pay and Healthcare Workforce Shortages a Focus as Senate Agenda Begins to Unfold

Friday, February 24th, 2023

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have largely been on a recess period while the Senate has continued to take steps to organize within the chamber. Elsewhere, leaders in the Senate have drawn attention to the issue of teacher pay while also examining workforce shortages within the healthcare industry. 

HELP Committee Holds Healthcare Shortage Hearing

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) held a hearing on February 16 to examine persistent workforce shortages within the healthcare industry. Witnesses included an array of postsecondary institutional leaders, many of whom emphasized the importance of quality career advisement starting in high school and middle school. The hearing also emphasized the importance of early career exposure, to help put more students on pathways leading to careers in the healthcare industry. Witnesses highlighted the impact of high-quality work-based learning opportunities, particularly apprenticeships, as a useful strategy to meet ongoing workforce challenges in the sector. An archived recording of the hearing can be found here.     

Senate HELP Committee Chair Sanders Hosts Teacher Pay Town Hall

Last week, Senator Sanders (I-VT) held a town hall with leaders of the two largest teacher unions, as well as Senator Markey (D-MA) along with several teachers, to raise awareness about the issue of teacher pay and to tout forthcoming legislation that would create a nationwide minimum salary for K-12 teachers. “Raising teacher salaries to at least $60,000 a year and ensuring competitive pay for all of our teachers is one of the most important steps we can take to address the teacher shortage in America and to improve the quality of our public school system in America,” Sanders said during the event. An archived webcast of the town hall can be found here.

Senate Appropriations Committee Takes Shape

Last week, the new Chair joined by the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations committee—Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) respectively— announced the leaders for the individual subcommittees that compose the appropriations committee and oversee federal funding for the 12 spending accounts that make up the federal budget. Of note for the CTE community, Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus, along with Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), will serve as Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee—the entity that oversees and determines annual investments in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and other federal education and workforce programs of interest to the CTE community. More information on the announcement can be found here.

Secretary of Labor Walsh Resigning 

After serving as U.S. Secretary of Labor for the last two years, Marty Walsh has announced that he will be resigning from this position in mid-March. In a goodbye letter to his Department, Walsh acknowledged U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Julie Su saying, in part, “. . .Julie is an incredible leader and has been central to our success as a team and as a department. With the kind of leadership and talent assembled across the department, I am confident there will be continuity and the work will be sustained.” Walsh is leaving the department to lead the National Hockey League’s Players’ Association as the group’s next Executive Director. 

Encourage Congress to Support the Short-term Pell Grant Expansion

As shared previously, 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. Most recently companion legislation has been introduced in the House (H.R. 793) by Representatives Bill Johnson (R-OH), Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-DE), Michael Turner (R-OH) and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ). 

This legislation is a key and longstanding federal policy priority for Advance CTE as it is an important way to expand learner access to high-quality CTE program opportunities at the postsecondary level. Along with our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE),  we encourage you to reach out to your members of Congress to ask them to support this vitally important legislation and to share this information with your wider networks. 

To contact Congress about the JOBS Act, click here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

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

 

Series

Archives

1