Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Department of Education’

Legislative Update: Congress Continues Busy Lame Duck Session

Friday, December 9th, 2022

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have continued to work on a number of pressing issues, including funding legislation for the current 2023 federal fiscal year (FY23). Elsewhere the contours of the upcoming 118th Congress– set to convene in January– are continuing to take shape as additional elections are finalized and leadership decisions are made. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released new guidance related to STEM education. 

Lawmakers Struggle to Find Agreement on FY23 Funding

This week, Congress continued to work on a number of important agenda items lawmakers hope to complete during the current lame duck session of Congress. Topping this list, is the need to fund the federal government and related programs beyond December 16—when current stopgap funding legislation is set to expire. This legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), has provided an extension of FY22 funding levels for federal operations and programs, like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), through this date later this month. Lawmakers are still negotiating topline spending totals for the major components of the federal budget. As a reminder, discretionary spending is split between defense and non-defense funding. Democratic lawmakers broadly favor additional non-defense spending, while Republicans are supportive of larger amounts of funding for the military.

This disagreement— how much to allot for both of these spending categories—has remained one of the primary obstacles for Congress to advance full-year spending legislation needed to avert a government shutdown and lapse in appropriations for programs like Perkins V. As this disagreement persists, lawmakers will likely be forced to pass another short-term extension of existing FY22 funding levels to provide themselves more time to negotiate a final deal. It is unclear whether lawmakers will find consensus on this important issue prior to the start of the next Congress, set to begin on January 3, 2023, but both sides are working earnestly to finalize a deal prior to the holidays. 

As these efforts continue, Advance CTE will continue to engage with partners on Capitol Hill to impress upon lawmakers the importance of full-year funding and to encourage greater investments in Perkins V and funding streams of interest to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community in the coming year. 

Democrats Solidify New Senate Majority

As shared previously, the long-awaited midterm elections took place last month which resulted in Republicans retaking control of the House. While nearly all of these electoral races had been resolved, a final Senate runoff election in Georgia between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and challenger Herschel Walker took place. After the polls closed Tuesday evening, Sen. Warnock (D-GA) was declared the winner of this election. With Sen. Warnock’s electoral victory, Democrats will have a 51-49 majority in the Senate as part of the upcoming 118th Congress. This majority will further solidify Democrats’ control of legislative and nomination processes which, over the last two years, had relied on Vice President Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes when the chamber deadlocked. 

Significantly, this slim Democratic majority in the 118th Congress will also mean Democrats will have majorities on individual Senate committees, including the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee which oversees CTE policy, in the coming Congress. With these majorities on committees, Democrats will be able to move nominees and certain legislation that had previously been bogged down by disagreements between the parties over the last two years. Despite these positive developments for Democrats Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an incumbent Democratic Senator from Arizona, announced that she is leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent. Although this complicates Democrats’ newfound Senate majority somewhat, Sinema shared in an interview today that she will not caucus with Republicans which means Democrats are still likely to have a firmer grip on the Senate in the coming two years. 

House Republican Leadership Continues to Take Shape

Elsewhere incoming House Republican leaders are continuing to make decisions regarding who will lead committees of jurisdiction in the coming Congress, including those that will oversee CTE policy next year. Of note, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) was granted a waiver by House Republican leadership recently to run to lead the House Education and Labor Committee next Congress. This waiver will allow Foxx to run for chair, but she is likely to be challenged by one or more other Republican members vying for the position. Advance CTE will continue to monitor this and other developments as the 118th Congress continues to take shape.

ED Issues New STEM Guidance

On Wednesday,  December 6, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) sent a Dear Colleague letter to state educational agencies, local educational agencies, and other stakeholders providing information on how existing federal funds can be used to  support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The letter aims to provide guidance on using funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), as well as other relevant funding streams and legislation, such as Perkins V, to support innovative, equity-focused K-12 STEM education and related activities. It also provides suggested examples and best practices for how to maximize the use of these resources. The letter goes on to emphasize the importance of STEM education in helping students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare them for a rapidly evolving labor market. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Lawmakers Return to Capitol Hill as Advance CTE Hosts Assistant Secretary Amy Loyd and the Biden Administration Works to Address Teacher Shortages

Friday, September 9th, 2022

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have returned from their annual August recess to address upcoming federal funding deadlines. Meanwhile, Advance CTE hosted Assistant Secretary Dr. Amy Loyd to launch its fall policy conversation series while the Biden Administration makes a series of announcements related to teacher shortages, new U.S. Department of Education (ED) nominees, and more. 

Lawmakers Return to Capitol Hill

Federal legislators have been in home states and districts since early August as part of Congress’ annual summertime recess. This week lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill and are facing a fast-approaching deadline at the end of the month to pass federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding legislation. For most of the year, Democrats and Republicans have been unable to find consensus on the 12 individual spending bills that compose the federal government and which are due annually by September 30. Given this lack of agreement, lawmakers have re-focused their attention this week on negotiating shorter-term, stop gap funding legislation, known as a Continuing Resolution (CR). This legislative measure will simply extend current FY22 funding levels for all federal operations and programs, like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), for a specified amount of time. 

At the moment, lawmakers are negotiating the length of time this CR will cover and what, if any, additional provisions—beyond the extension of FY22 funding levels—will be included. Advance CTE currently anticipates that this CR will last until after the upcoming midterm elections set for November. As these talks continue, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for robust investments in Perkins V’s basic state grant program and other programs of interest to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community. 

Advance CTE Hosts Discussion with Assistant Secretary Dr. Amy Loyd 

On Wednesday, September 6, Advance CTE’s Executive Director Kimberly Green hosted Dr. Amy Loyd — the recently confirmed Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at ED — for a wide ranging discussion regarding her pathway to CTE and her plans for the office’s future direction. The conversation highlighted Dr. Loyd’s unique career and educational experiences, which began in New Mexico, and her wider work on CTE policy as a state, local, and national leader. In particular, Loyd emphasized the importance of culturally responsive instruction and the need for CTE programs to reflect the communities they serve. A recording of the discussion can be found here

President Biden Nominates New Head for RSA

Late last Friday, September 2, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Danté Quintin Allen to be the next Commissioner of the Rehabilitative Services Administration (RSA) at ED. The RSA is tasked with supporting states to deliver vocational rehabilitation and related services for individuals with disabilities to ensure they are able to find and sustain employment, live independently, and integrate with the wider community, and fully participate in the labor market. Allen currently serves as the Executive Director for CalABLE—a statewide program in California that provides savings and investment plans for individuals with disabilities. More information on the announcement can be found here. A date for further consideration in the Senate of Allen’s nomination has not yet been set. 

Cardona Announces Back-to-School Tour

On Wednesday, September 7, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the department will be undertaking a back-to-school bus tour beginning next week. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, First Lady Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Douglass Emhoff, and a number of other high-ranking USED officials will be participating in the week-long, multistate bus tour which will includes stops in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Starting September 12, the tour is intended to highlight a number of the Administration’s efforts to support states, schools, students and families during the new school year. More about the tour can be found here

Biden Administration Announces Additional Actions to Address Teacher Shortages

Late last month,  the Biden Administration announced a series of additional actions aimed at addressing persistent nationwide teacher shortages. These efforts include new partnerships with the private sector to help increase awareness about career pathways leading to the teaching profession and the creation of new jobs portals to help facilitate connections between prospective candidates and teaching opportunities. In addition, the Administration highlighted  “Grow Your Own” CTE programs to prepare the next generation of educators as a key recommended strategy for more states and communities to consider when addressing teacher shortages. 

Notably, the Administration also announced that the next round of apprenticeship expansion grants—  $100 million in discretionary funding provided to DOL to promote and expand registered apprenticeship programs for priority populations and targeted economic sectors—will focus primarily on programs providing pathways to the teaching profession. More on this announcement can be found here.  

DOL Announces New Community College Grants 

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled the most recent round of Strengthening Community Colleges Training (SCCT) grants. Administered by DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), these grants are intended to bolster community colleges’ ability to deliver high-quality skills development programs that lead to in-demand industries and related careers. “These grants are designed to empower community colleges to ensure their curriculum meets the needs of employers in their communities and equips workers with valuable skills,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh stated as part of this announcement. More information on these grants, including the most recent awardees, can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Congressional Democrats’ Reconciliation Bill Signed Into Law as President Biden Makes Significant Announcement on Student Debt

Friday, August 26th, 2022

Over the last few weeks, President Biden signed another significant legislative package ushered through Congress by Democrats while apprenticeship programs celebrated an important anniversary as the Administration took further action on student loan debt. 

Inflation Reduction Act Signed Into Law

As shared previously, congressional Democrats recently announced that after a year and half of on-again-off-again negotiations they had finally found agreement on a legislative package that would make significant new investments in healthcare and climate change while raising revenues to offset the federal deficit by roughly $306 billion. Dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376), Democrats in Congress were able to advance this legislation using the budget reconciliation process– a legislative maneuver that allows lawmakers to approve legislation via a simple majority vote (and thus avoiding a likely Republican filibuster in the Senate). Previous versions of this proposal, known last year as the Build Back Better Act, envisioned significant new investments in Career Technical Education (CTE) and workforce development, but lawmakers were unable to come to consensus on these and many other initiatives originally included in this package. 

While the package does contain some modest investments in workforce and education, primarily focused within the climate provisions of the package, potential opportunities for the CTE community regarding these new sources of funding will become clearer in the months ahead as the law begins to be implemented by various federal agencies. This more streamlined bill was cleared by the House in recent weeks and signed into law by President Biden on August 16. More information about the bill can be accessed here

Registered Apprenticeships Celebrate 85th Anniversary

This month marked the 85th anniversary of the enactment of the National Apprenticeship Act (NAA)– federal legislation first passed and last updated by Congress in 1937. Also known as the Fitzgerald Act, this legislation created the federal system of registered apprenticeship overseen and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). In recognition of this milestone DOL has launched a new “ApprenticeshipUSA” brand to cultivate a better understanding amongst the public regarding registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs). Additionally, the agency has launched an online dialogue about the future of RAPs, soliciting feedback for how to improve these programs and related systems. This online portal for public input will remain open through September 5, 2022 and can be accessed here

As a reminder, National Apprenticeship Week is fast approaching (November 14-20), so be on the lookout for more updates from DOL in the coming weeks ahead for how to promote RAPs in local communities throughout the nation.     

President Biden Takes Executive Action on Student Debt 

On Wednesday, August 24, President Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona unveiled the Administration’s plans to forgive up to $10,000 of federal student loan debt for borrowers making $125,000 or less annually. The plan would provide up to $20,000 in similar forgiveness for those who previously received a federal Pell grant and meet the same income eligibility requirements. In addition to this executive action, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced newly proposed regulations regarding how individuals pay back federal student loans in the future. Among these proposed changes are new plans to forgive loan balances after 10 years of payments for loan balances of $12,000 or less. ED estimates that this change would have the practical effect of allowing nearly all community college borrowers to be debt-free within 10 years. 

The White House’s factsheet on this executive action can be found here. Information regarding ED’s newly proposed income-driven repayment rules can be accessed here

CTE Research Network Grant Application Opportunity 

Last week, ED published a new grant opportunity inviting qualified applicants to lead the CTE Research Network. Authorized under the national activities section (Sec. 114) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and overseen by ED’s National Center for Education Research under the Institute of Education Sciences, the CTE research network is dedicated to researching various topics impacting CTE of national importance. Applications for this grant opportunity are due by February 23, 2023. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Senate Confirms OCTAE Leadership and Cardona Testifies on FY23 Budget

Friday, June 10th, 2022

This week the Senate confirmed Dr. Amy Loyd to be the next head of the federal office overseeing Career Technical Education (CTE) while U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testified about the Administration’s federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget request as his Department convened an event on learner pathways.

Senate Confirms New OCTAE Leader

On Wednesday, June 8,  the Senate voted 57-42 to confirm Dr. Amy Loyd to be the next Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education. In this position Dr. Loyd will lead the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) within the U.S. Department of Education (ED)—a posting that oversees CTE, including the implementation of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V). Following the vote, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona issued a statement saying, in part, “I am thrilled by the Senate’s confirmation of Amy Loyd, whose expertise in the intersection between education and workforce development will make her an excellent assistant secretary [of OCTAE].” Following the confirmation vote Wednesday evening, Advance CTE and the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) published a joint statement of support

“As key legislation and funding negotiations with implications for Career Technical Education (CTE) and workforce development persist in Congress, it is crucial for leaders at the intersection of education and work to have a seat at the table. Dr. Loyd’s confirmation as OCTAE Assistant Secretary provides the field with an exceptional advocate for equitable access to high-quality CTE and an experienced leader with a deep understanding of not only the needs of local, regional and state CTE leaders, but also historically marginalized communities through her work at JFF and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council in Alaska. Her leadership at OCTAE will be instrumental in preparing our nation’s workforce to obtain and advance in high-skill, high-wage and in-demand careers. We congratulate Assistant Secretary Loyd on her confirmation, and look forward to working with her to ensure federal policy fully leverages CTE programs and career pathways as high-quality, equitable avenues for each learner to achieve success in the jobs of the future.”

Advance CTE looks forward to working with Assistant Secretary Loyd in this capacity to advance the organization’s federal policy priorities and ensure strong CTE leadership within ED moving forward.   

Cardona Testifies on Budget as FY23 Funding Efforts Move Forward

On Tuesday, June 7, the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hosted U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to testify about the Administration’s fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget request for the U.S. Department of Education. The hearing focused on a wide range of issues, including CTE which was touched on by both Senators Braun (R-IN) and Baldwin (D-WI) during questioning. Sen. Baldwin in particular noted that the Administration’s proposed “career connected high schools” initiative would serve only a small subset of communities throughout the nation and asked how ED planned to ensure that support for high-quality CTE programs would be made available to a greater number of states by supplementing, rather than supplanting, existing federal support for CTE. Cardona answered, in part, that ED plans to “. . . continue to advocate and find ways to support [CTE] programs and find ways to make whatever new money is available eligible to those who are already doing this work.” An archived webcast of the hearing, including Secretary Cardona’s testimony, can be accessed here

In other FY23 funding news, Sens. Blumenthal (D-CT), Baldwin (D-WI), and Kaine (D-VA) recently led a Dear Colleague letter in support of robust funding for Perkins V’s basic state grant program. This letter garnered the support of 38 Senators and was shared with Senate appropriations leadership as the FY23 funding process gets underway in the chamber. Meanwhile, lawmakers in the House advanced a key procedural measure this week to begin debate on the 12 individual appropriations bills that compose the federal discretionary budget. This measure sets an overall $1.6 trillion budget limit for FY23—the same amount that was requested in President Biden’s most recent budget request—which will allow appropriators to begin to allocate this proposed amount among forthcoming spending bills. Advance CTE expects this work to begin later this month, likely beginning next week, ahead of the July 4th Congressional recess. As these efforts get underway, we will continue to advocate for a robust investment in Perkins V’s basic state grant program to meet the significant funding needs of the CTE community. 

Career Connected Learning Event 

Last week, June 1, ED convened a virtual event with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to discuss the Department’s new “career connected high schools” initiative proposed as part of the Administration’s FY23 budget request. The event also featured remarks from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who shared  the Administration’s wider career connected learning strategy moving forward which will focus on five core pillars: 

  1. An overarching belief that every student should have a pathway to college and the preparation they need to get a head start while still in high school;
  2. Work-based learning to help students gain real-world knowledge, skills, exposure, and learning experience they’ll need to enter and succeed in careers; 
  3. Industry credentials to help students make progress to earning in-demand, industry-recognized credentials that can give them a leg up in today’s workforce and launch careers more quickly; 
  4. College and career advising and navigation to equip students with better information to make thoughtful decisions and lay groundwork for what comes after high school; and
  5. Systems, strategies, and capacity building to create a system that eliminates transition barriers and creates new capacities to support student success. 

An archive of the event, including additional information, can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Congress Increases Nation’s Debt Limit

Friday, December 17th, 2021

This week Congress formally raised the nation’s borrowing authority while Congressional Democrats have continued to struggle to advance a forthcoming domestic spending package, known as the Build Back Better Act (BBBA), before the end of the year. Lawmakers are expected to recess soon for the remainder of the year and are expected to return in early January 2022.  

Congress Increases Nation’s Debt Limit

On Thursday, December 16, President Biden signed legislation to increase the nation’s borrowing authority, known as the “debt ceiling,” by $2.5 trillion. As a reminder, the debt ceiling is the total allowable amount that the federal government is legally permitted to borrow to pay for expenses already incurred. This increase is expected to provide sufficient borrowing authority until sometime in 2023. Congressional Republicans had been withholding their support for further action on this issue, arguing that Democrats should simply pass the measure without their support. However, this would not be possible given the Senate’s required 60 vote threshold to pass legislation capable of withstanding a filibuster.

Late last week, lawmakers reached an agreement to exempt the debt limit extension from the Senate’s filibuster rules, allowing for passage in the chamber without Republican support. Lawmakers crafted a narrow, bipartisan legislative package that temporarily suspended the Senate’s filibuster authority for a single bill that would increase the nation’s borrowing limit by this agreed upon amount. Using this procedural maneuver, Senators were able to clear the bill by a majority vote. On Tuesday, December 14, the Senate (50-49) and the House (221-209) passed a $2.5 trillion dollar debt limit increase and President Biden subsequently signed it into law later this week.

BBBA Negotiations Continue

Democratic lawmakers are continuing to negotiate the president’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act (BBBA). Congressional Democrats hope to pass this legislation via the Congressional budget reconciliation process which allows certain legislation to pass by simple majorities in both chambers of Congress, thus circumventing a likely Republican filibuster in the Senate. The legislation would provide significant new investments for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), including $600 million for the law’s basic state formula grant program, $100 million for its Innovation and Modernization competitive funding stream and a slew of other Career Technical Education (CTE) and workforce development investments of interest to the CTE community. 

Over the weekend, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee posted new text of the BBBA ahead of discussions with the chamber’s parliamentarian that have continued throughout the week. Discussions with the parliamentarian process are a formal process used to determine which provisions may, or may not, be included in the BBBA to align with Congress’ budget reconciliation process. However, opposition from Senator Joe Manchin (R-WV) has remained a key obstacle to the bill’s passage. As this delay continues, it is increasingly likely that the Senate will recess for the holidays for the remainder of the month of December and resume consideration of the BBBA when Senators return to Capitol Hill on January 3, 2022. President Biden has, more recently, conceded that Democrats are unlikely to pass the BBBA prior to the end of the year and has said he is still committed to passing the bill through the Senate “as early as possible.” 

ED Announces New Innovation and Research Grants

On Monday the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced $182 million in new grant awards for 30 school districts, institutions of higher education, and other entities to participate in the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program. Authorized as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the EIR program is intended to provide funding to create, develop, and otherwise implement evidence-based and innovative approaches to improving student achievement and attainment. The full list of grantees can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Brittany Cannady in Legislation
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COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Education: Part Three

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

dThe U.S. Department of Education added a page to its website with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources and updates for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. You can access this information at www.ed.gov/coronavirus. The page will be continuously updated by the Department. Below are brief overviews of what can be found in some of the newest materials. Advance CTE will continue to share posts with a breakdown of the resources, so keep checking the blog!

Education Stabilization Fund Implementation

The recent stimulus legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)  included more than $30 billion in funding to support K-12 and postsecondary programs and learners affected by Coronavirus. On Monday, the Department released a centralized page of resources related to administering these funds. 

Last week, the Department unveiled guidance on disbursement of the first set of funds to help support postsecondary learners that have been affected by Coronavirus. It is expected that in the coming days and weeks, guidance on other funding provisions of the CARES Act will become available.

Updated Guidance for Interruption of Postsecondary Programs of Study 

The Office of Postsecondary Education updated its COVID-19 FAQ and Guidance for interruption of study related to Coronavirus. This guidance, currently remaining in effect until June 30, 2020 “unless otherwise specified,” includes changes that are being implemented based on provisions in the CARES Act. Some of the new guidance includes:

Guidance on Donation or Loan of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Medical Supplies

On Tuesday, the Department released a memo that gives guidance on loaning or donating certain medical supplies or equipment, if that equipment was originally purchased using funds from a Department grant program. The memo indicates that donating PPE or medical supplies to health providers that have been purchased with funds provided by the Department are allowed. Some of the guidance also includes:

Samuel Dunietz, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

By admin in COVID-19 and CTE, Legislation, Uncategorized
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COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Education: Part Two

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

dThe U.S. Department of Education added a page to its website with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources and updates for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. You can access this information at  www.ed.gov/coronavirus. The page will be continuously updated by the Department. Below are brief overviews of what can be found in some of the materials on issues with civil rights and students with disabilities. Advance CTE will continue to share posts with a breakdown of the resources, so keep checking the blog!

By admin in Legislation, Resources
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COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Education: Part One

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education added a page to its website with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources and updates for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. You can access this information at www.ed.gov/coronavirus. The page will be continuously updated by the Department. Below are brief overviews of what can be found in some of the K-12 materials. Advance CTE will continue to share posts with a breakdown of the resources, so check back here for future blogs!

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

By admin in COVID-19 and CTE, Uncategorized
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CTE Research Review

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013Spotlighting effective apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are increasingly gaining attention from policymakers and employers as an effective tool to fight the skills gap and provide workers with higher wages and employment outcomes. Through a recent series of white papers, Center for American Progress (CAP) is adding its voice to those calling for more and better apprenticeships in the United States.

The DC-based think tank recently spotlighted five innovative apprenticeships including programs in Vermont, South Carolina, Washington and Michigan.

In Washington, apprenticeships have proven to be a smart public investment. For every $1 the state invests in apprenticeships, taxpayers receive $23 in benefits, according to one state study.

Although there is clearly more than one way to structure a program that engages multiple employers, CAP offers a few lessons learned from these five successful examples:

NACTE final report released

The U.S. Department of Education has released the long-awaited final report of the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education (NACTE).

The report focuses on the new features of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV). Although the NACTE is charged with evaluating the implementation and outcomes of Perkins IV, the actual report stops short of providing insight into the effectiveness of the new law. The evaluation period covered only the early years of Perkins IV and as such can only shed light on the new law’s early implementation. Also much of the outside data used in the report comes from before the new law was passed.

The NACTE spotlighted four major areas:

Programs of study: As a new feature in the 2006 law, the NACTE found that programs of study (POS) have been implemented in widely varying ways both within and across states. Also, states played a larger role in POS development on the secondary level, whereas higher education institutions tended to take the lead when developing postsecondary POS.

Funding: Despite sustaining a total funding loss of 24 percent between fiscal years 2007 and 2014, states continued to become creative with the funding levers available to them. For example, states increasingly began using the reserve option to facilitate further funding to rural areas or those serving large numbers of CTE students. Also, in fiscal year 2010, states divided their Perkins money to secondary and postsecondary grantees by a split of 64 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Of the funds allocated to postsecondary CTE, three-fourths of that money went to community colleges.

Accountability:  Though at least three-fourths of states met 90 percent of their performance targets in 2011-12 for secondary and postsecondary CTE, researchers said the flexibility in the Perkins accountability system makes it difficult to draw valid cross-state comparisons. They also raised questions about the validity of some student outcome data.

CTE programs and participation: The NACTE found that nearly all public high school students attended a high school that offered CTE instruction and 85 percent of graduates had completed one or more CTE courses. While the number of high school students taking three or more CTE credits in the same field was much smaller (19 percent), the most common subject areas were business, communications and design and computer and information sciences. At the postsecondary level, more than 8 million students sought a CTE degree or certificate in 2011-12. The most popular fields were health sciences and business.

In addition to mandating the NACTE report, Perkins IV also required an independent advisory panel be formed. The panel prepared its own report with findings and recommendations to Congress. The panel recommended:

Calling CTE a part of America’s long-term solution to economic recovery and sustained prominence, the panel said CTE must continue to reposition itself as a pathway into postsecondary programs that links degrees and credentials to occupations.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By admin in Research
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Administration announces $500 million in community college grants to expand job training

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor this week announced $500 million in community college grants to develop and expand innovative training programs through local employer partnerships. The Labor Department is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.

The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which is intended to promote skills development and employment opportunities in fields including advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care. All states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive at least $2.5 million in funding for community college career training programs, according to the Labor Department.

The grants are the second installment of a $2 billion, four-year initiative. In total, 297 schools will receive grants as individual applicants or as members of a consortium. The grants include awards to community college and university consortia totaling $359,237,048 and awards to individual institutions totaling $78,262,952.

Learn more about the grant program at http://www.doleta.gov/taaccct.

Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager

By admin in News
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