Posts Tagged ‘US Department of Education’

CTE Month Gets Underway, FY24 Negotiations Continue | Legislative Update

Friday, February 2nd, 2024

This week marks the formal start of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month® which lawmakers have started to formally recognize on Capitol Hill. Elsewhere appropriations leaders continue to negotiate full-year funding for the current fiscal year. 

Congress Continues to Negotiate FY24 Budget

This week, appropriations leaders continued negotiations on federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) funding for the U.S. Department of Education and other agencies. As shared previously, lawmakers recently extended federal funding on another short-term basis through March 1 and March 8 of this year to allow more time for negotiations on this critical issue. Lawmakers have reportedly come to an agreement on allocations for each of the dozen spending bills that compose the federal budget, known as 302(b) allocations. This includes the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill which provides funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act’s (Perkins V) state grant program along with other important federal investments in education and workforce development. 

While the specific allocations have not yet been made public, this agreement represents a critical next step in the wider FY24 process and is an indication that these discussions are progressing toward an expected resolution ahead of the upcoming funding deadlines in early March. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE and partners are continuing to advocate for a strengthened investment in Perkins V’s formula grant program. 

CTE Month Kicks-Off 

Yesterday, House CTE Caucus co-chairs Representatives Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) formally introduced a Congressional resolution recognizing February as CTE month. “We are pleased to support the 2024 Career Technical Education Month resolution as a celebration of CTE’s contributions to our learners and communities, and applaud the leadership of the House CTE Caucus, led by Representatives Thompson and Bonamici, to highlight CTE’s central role in advancing economic opportunity for every learner across the nation,” Advance CTE’s Executive Director, Kate Kreamer, said upon introduction. The House caucus is currently circulating this resolution for additional support. Be sure to ask your representative to co-sponsor this year’s CTE month resolution.

In addition, co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus led by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), R. Michael Young (R-IN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ted Budd (R-NC) are leading a similar CTE Month resolution in the chamber. More information on the status of this resolution can be found here with our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Be sure to encourage your senators to support this effort if they have not done so already! 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

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

FY24 Funding Progress Slows, U.S. Department of Education Announces Career-Connected Grants | Legislative Update

Friday, January 26th, 2024

This week lawmakers struggled to make progress on federal appropriations for the current fiscal year while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced new career-connected high school grants. Elsewhere, federal agencies formally unveiled a significant new regulatory proposal related to apprenticeships. 

Congress Extends FY24 Funding for Another Month

As shared last week, Congress passed an additional short-term extension of federal funding, known as a continuing resolution, which extends FY23 funding levels for federal programs through March 1 and March 8 later this year. The “laddered” CR is intended to provide lawmakers more time to negotiate full-year appropriations for federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) which began last October. Of note for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community, funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), which is included in the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill, is set to expire on the latter of these two dates in March. 

While this development is an encouraging step in the wider FY24 process, appropriations leaders must still establish individual allocations for each of the dozen bills that compose the federal budget. Known as 302(b) allocations, lawmakers have continued to struggle this week to successfully negotiate these funding levels including for the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill. Until 302(b)s are determined, lawmakers cannot move forward with negotiations on program-level funding, including for Perkins V’s basic state grant program and other important investments in education and workforce development. It remains unclear how lawmakers will come to a resolution on this important issue with current reports indicating that little progress has been made this week. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for robust funding for the foundational federal investment made by Perkins V. 

U.S. Department of Education Announces Career-Connected High School Grants

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited the Advanced Technical Center—an area career technical school located in Washington, DC and recently featured in the Washington Post for its impact on chronic student absenteeism in DC. During the visit, Secretary Cardona announced a slate of new grants as part of his agency’s career-connected high school initiative

Advance CTE has previously highlighted that the activities authorized under this new discretionary grant program can already be funded using resources from Perkins V’s basic state grant program. In announcing 19 grant awards in total as part of this effort, which will benefit 17 states, the agency indicated that it received 160 applications for this funding totaling nearly $850 million. These applications for funding demonstrate significant unfilled demand for CTE programming which can only be addressed through a strengthened systemic investment via Perkins V’s state grant program. “The Biden-Harris Administration is going to keep on fighting to provide every student in every community with career-connected learning,” Cardona said as part of the announcement. More information on these grants can be found here

DOL Moves Forward With Apprenticeship Regulations Impacting CTE

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) formally published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) last week which is intended to significantly update and overhaul the existing regulatory framework for registered apprenticeship programs. As shared previously, this NPRM also includes a new “CTE Apprenticeship” component with implications for state CTE agencies and systems. Yesterday, DOL hosted a webinar providing a high-level overview of this proposal. An archived webcast, including related presentation materials, can be accessed here. Comments on the NPRM are due March 18 and can be submitted through this comment portal.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

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

Legislative Update: Congress Returns from Recess

Friday, December 1st, 2023

Congress returned this week from its Thanksgiving recess with a list of important agenda items that must be addressed before the end of the year. Elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Education announced new funding for full-service community schools while federal agencies announced the availability of free COVID-19 testing kits for schools. 

Agreement on Full-year FY24 Funding Remains Elusive

Prior to Thanksgiving, Congress passed another short-term extension of federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding. The continuing resolution (CR) bifurcated the 12 individual spending bills that fund federal operations into two separate groups, each with a different expiration date. Of note for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations component of this legislation would extend funding for programs like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) through February 2, along with seven other funding bills, while four other funding measures are set to expire on January 19 of next year.

With these new funding extensions now in place, lawmakers must still work to negotiate full-year FY24 funding legislation. However, lawmakers appear to be currently prioritizing other items on the legislative agenda before turning to this important issue. As these efforts take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for the significant funding needs of the CTE community as part of the wider FY24 appropriations process. 

ED Announces New Community School Funding

On Tuesday, November 28, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the distribution of roughly $74 million in new funding for full-service community schools — comprehensive K-12 schools that are intended to provide more holistic and comprehensive wraparound services and related supports to learners and families to improve wider outcomes. “I am proud that the Biden-Harris Administration is expanding the number of community schools across the country as an evidence-based strategy to Raise the Bar in education and to deliver on our commitment to support students, families, and whole communities,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stated as part of the announcement. The new round of funding will target schools in four new states, including Idaho, Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio. Read more in the press release.

COVID-19 Test Kits Available for Schools 

This week the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new effort to distribute COVID-19 testing kits free of charge to schools across the country. “The Biden-Harris Administration remains a committed partner with schools in keeping our students and teachers safe and healthy,” said ED’s Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Roberto Rodriguez as part of the announcement. Read more in the press release.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

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

Legislative Update: Congress Passes Last-Minute Funding Extension

Monday, October 2nd, 2023

After weeks of fruitless negotiations on Capitol Hill the last few months regarding a pathway forward on full-year federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) appropriations, lawmakers emerged with a temporary deal to avert an expected government shutdown this past weekend. Elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently published anticipated postsecondary regulations. 

Lawmakers Narrowly Avert Government Shutdown

In a surprising turn of events Saturday morning, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced a 45-day legislative extension of federal funding to provide Congress more time to negotiate a pathway forward on longer-term appropriations legislation. For the last few months, Speaker McCarthy and his leadership team have repeatedly indicated that they would not allow the House to consider such an extension, known as a continuing resolution (CR), without significant spending and policy concessions demanded by conservative factions within the House Republican caucus. However, Speaker McCarthy abruptly set these demands aside Saturday morning, several hours before a government shutdown was set to begin, and introduced a CR that would simply extend current FY23 funding for federal programs and operations for the next 45 days. 

This measure was subsequently advanced by the full House of Representatives on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis, 335-91. Following a contentious debate in the House, the bill was quickly sent to the Senate, where it was advanced by a margin of 88-9, before being sent to President Biden and signed into law. 

In the short term, this legislation prevents a government shutdown and will provide more time for lawmakers to continue to negotiate a pathway forward on full-year FY24 funding. However, with 90 House Republicans voting no on the measure, and with concessions Speaker McCarthy was forced to give earlier this year to conservative lawmakers in his party, this group of lawmakers may seek to force a vote to remove McCarthy from this leadership role as these efforts continue to get underway. Equally as important, Democrats’ and Republicans’ respective visions for FY24 funding still remain significantly far apart– despite the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) which established, in part, a framework intended to facilitate the passage of a full-year FY24 funding measure this year. 

Consensus on FY24 funding is likely to prove contentious in the weeks ahead. As these negotiations progress, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for the passage of full-year FY24 appropriations legislation, including a strengthened investment in CTE via the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act’s (Perkins V) basic state grant program as proposed by the Senate earlier this year. 

ED Finalizes Gainful Employment Rule

Earlier this year, ED proposed a new iteration of gainful employment (GE) rules– regulations that apply to certain postsecondary programs and are intended to ensure that learners are able to pay back federal financial aid obligations. Advance CTE and partners submitted comments to the department during this time and encouraged the agency to consider alternative ways to measure learners’ earnings as well as other suggestions to improve the proposal. Following this comment period, which attracted more than 7,500 responses from the public, ED published a preview of its final GE rule which will be formally published in the Federal Register on October 10. 

The final rule mirrors this earlier proposal closely and would apply to postsecondary career education programs that are otherwise eligible for aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The rule includes a debt-to-earnings measure that would compare learners’ debt burdens to their total and discretionary income. In addition, the final rule includes a high school earnings measure which would compare the earnings of those that complete a program with the median earnings of a high school graduate in their state. If a program fails on the same measure twice within a three-year period, it would lose eligibility to receive Title IV funding. 

In addition, the rulemaking also includes a new financial value transparency framework (FVT). This component of the rules package is intended to provide learners and families with greater information and insights into the value proposition of enrolling in a postsecondary program prior to enrollment. The FVT would proactively disclose information related to program costs and potential return on investment with learners prior to receiving federal financial aid. This is intended to prevent learners from enrolling in a program that has the potential to leave them with unaffordable debt obligations. The FVT would also require learners to proactively affirm that they understand these risks prior to enrolling and using federal financial aid.

The final GE rules are set to go into effect July 1, 2024. The FVT requires the collection of new student outcomes information over the next two years and is expected to come into full effect mid-2026. However, as with previous ED regulatory efforts on this issue, there is a strong possibility that litigation may delay the implementation of one or both components of this rules package in the future. Advance CTE is continuing to analyze this proposal for wider implications for the CTE community and will be closely monitoring its implementation in the coming months. Additional information related to this rulemaking can be found in this factsheet

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

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

Advance CTE 2023 Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Diamond Sponsor, CompTIA – The DNA of a Winning CTE Program

Monday, October 2nd, 2023

Tech organizations are in a constant race to find skilled and qualified workers who can keep up with ever-evolving demands. Skills and confidence gaps can throw a wrench in the works, making it tough for companies to meet their needs and for individuals to reach their full potential. That’s why addressing and tackling these gaps requires a well-thought-out plan that sets everyone up for success.

Angel Piñeiro, vice president of strategic academic relationships at CompTIA, shares a case study about how a technology company solved a skills and confidence gap problem by building a diverse future workforce pipeline with the largest school district in the country.

The Problem

In 2013, a large public school district, encompassing 1.1 million students and 1,800 schools, put out a contract to support their entire infrastructure. At the time, Piñeiro was the senior vice president of a national technology firm that won the multi-million-dollar contract. The problem was that they had two months to accomplish the following:

•         Hire 200-230 professionals, including technicians, engineers, dispatchers and more

•         Provide personnel with security clearances

•         Integrate the school district’s service desk into their firm’s service desk

“We managed to do it, but I will never, ever be put in that situation again,” Piñeiro said. To avoid running into the same problem in the future, Piñeiro needed a program in place that would create a pipeline of skilled and certified workforce.

The Solution

Faced with the challenge of rapidly recruiting skilled IT professionals, the initial solution was to work with local training providers, talent recruitment companies and college graduates. However, Piñeiro’s team realized that these approaches were not only expensive but also lacked the scalability needed to meet the demands of large-scale contracts. They also needed a solution that was efficient and repeatable – it needed to work for everybody.

Then, it clicked.

“There are schools in the cities. There are schools in the suburbs. There are schools in the rural areas. There are schools everywhere. So why not work with the schools?” Piñeiro said. After determining the key stakeholders they needed to work with, Piñeiro’s team came up with the DNA of a successful CTE program.

Innovation

The company adopted a visionary approach to address a significant hiring issue prevalent in the information technology sector. By collaborating closely with public schools, it ensured the program would be scalable, repeatable, and sustainable. The company recognized the program as a return on investment that directly influenced its bottom line. Today, the program tackles the well-known challenges in suburban and rural areas where resources might be scarce.

For more information, reach out to the CompTIA Workforce Solutions Team, Angel Piñeiro at apineiro@comptia.org

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
Tags: , , , , ,

Funding Career Technical Education: Using the 2023 State of CTE Funding Report Resources

Thursday, September 21st, 2023

Advance CTE’s newly released 2023 State of CTE: An Analysis of State Secondary CTE Funding Models highlights 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 second in a series, describes ways to use the website and supporting resources. 

Overview

This resource builds on baseline research conducted in 2014 by RTI International, with the support of Advance CTE, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education, and is generously supported by the Walton Family Foundation. Advance CTE is committed to supporting states as they design equitable funding models that direct funding where it is needed most, as described in Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits). Expanding knowledge about funding models and approaches for state secondary CTE is critical for state leaders to provide high-quality CTE for diverse learners. The website consists of an executive summary, research report and three case studies, interactive national funding landscape map and downloadable state-by-state funding table. Below are tips on using and sharing this research with your colleagues and stakeholders, with links to the resources in each header.

Executive Summary

Read the executive summary to get a background of CTE funding foundational basics, a project overview and recommendations for revising and implementing more equitable funding models. This is a great resource for you to pass along to policymakers, legislative staff, state budget staff, partner agencies or local CTE leaders in your state. Consider adding the summary as a pre-reading assignment or an agenda item during your next meeting about state funding.

Research Report and Case Studies

The research report provides a 50-state landscape of state secondary CTE funding, highlights key trends in state funding models, and provides recommendations to advance equitable, learner-centered funding designs. You can learn about some of the ways states made adjustments to their models in the past decade and read examples of how states have designed elements of their funding models to address CTE program quality, access and completion. Case studies from Massachusetts, North Dakota and Texas showcase how three states implement different categorical funding models. 

These case-use examples provide ideas for you to maximize the website and supporting resources in conversations about CTE funding. 

National Funding Landscape Map

The interactive map provides a comparison of secondary CTE models across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Identify your state’s funding model and then compare it to other states with the same funding model. You can also compare your state’s allocation to other states with similar demographics and CTE learner participation numbers. Use the information for benchmarking purposes when discussing – or advocating for – secondary CTE funding in your state. 

State-by-State Funding Table

The state-by-state funding table provides descriptions of each state’s funding approach, allocations from fiscal year 2022 and sources for legislative and regulatory documents. You have the option of downloading the table for additional analysis. Run keyword searches in the descriptions for “enrollment” or “average daily membership” or “ADM” to identify how states structure funding around learner enrollment. Run a keyword search for “grants” to identify which states are using competitive or one-time grants to support secondary CTE. Compare models and approaches from 2012 and 2022 to identify states that have changed their model and/or approach in the last decade. This is helpful information to reference if your state is considering or is in the process of changing its secondary CTE funding model and/or approach. 

ACTION: Bookmark the website for easier future access, watch the explainer video and share this blog with your colleagues. 

Be sure to read the first blog in this series, Funding Career Technical Education: Secondary CTE Funding Basics, which provides a background on CTE funding and describes various models and approaches states use to fund secondary CTE. In the next blog in this series, we will explore how states have incorporated equity elements into their funding models to address CTE program quality, access and completion.

You can read more about funding in the following Advance CTE resources:

Dr. Laura Maldonado, Senior Research Associate

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

Legislative Update: New CTE Innovation Grants Announced As Congress Remains On Recess

Friday, August 18th, 2023

Congress remains on its annual August recess this week while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announces new innovation funding and the Biden Administration seeks to prioritize cybersecurity for the education community. 

FY24 Funding Likely to Top the Congressional Agenda Next Month

Lawmakers remained in home states and districts this week as part of Congress’ annual August recess. Congress is expected to return in the early part of September where it is widely expected that federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) funding for the federal government will be the top priority. Recently, Democratic and Republican leaders have indicated the likely need to pass a short-term stopgap spending legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), to provide more time to negotiate full-year FY24 appropriations legislation for programs like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V*) and other related education and workforce development programs. In recent weeks, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) sent a letter to Congressional appropriators urging them to enact funding legislation recently advanced by the Senate which would provide a $40 million increase for Perkins V’s basic state grant program. 

We encourage the wider CTE community to reach out to their lawmakers during this recess period to urge them to support this legislation as Congress continues to negotiate full-year FY24 funding. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for robust funding for the CTE community as part of the ongoing FY24 budget and appropriations process.

ED Solicits Applications for Career Connected High Schools

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) finalized priorities and selection criteria for the Perkins V Innovation and Modernization grant program. These definitions, selection criteria, and requirements will be used by a panel of peer reviewers in the coming months to select approximately 10-20 projects and award approximately $1-1.5 million in funding over a 12 month period. Applicants that are eligible to apply for this funding include consortia of a wide range of entities including local education agencies, area technical centers, institutions of higher education and state education agencies among many others. Grant funding is required to be used for four main strategies, which ED identifies as “keys” to its wider Career-Connected High School initiative, which include career and postsecondary advisement, dual or concurrent enrollment, industry-recognized credentials and work-based learning. 

Interested applicants are encouraged to notify ED of their interest to apply for grant funding by September 13 with applications due by October 13, 2023. More information regarding the program, including how to apply, can be found here

First Lady Jill Biden Hosts K-12 Cybersecurity Summit

Last week, First Lady Jill Biden joined U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, school administrators, educators, and education technology providers from across the country for the Back to School Safely: Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools. As part of the event, the Biden Administration released three infrastructure briefs authored by the Office of Educational Technology. The briefs are part of a nationwide effort to create more secure and resilient digital ecosystems. Read the full White House press release here. Together these efforts, along with a Back to School Safely: Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools at the White House, are intended to unite leaders from the Biden Administration, education, industry, and advocacy groups to make advancements on the crucial issue in fortifying cybersecurity resilience throughout the educational continuum. The archived event can be found here.

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

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

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

Legislative Update: House Examines Skills-Based Hiring as Senate Sets Spending Toplines

Friday, June 23rd, 2023

This week, the Senate has continued to make progress on federal appropriations legislation while lawmakers in the House explored skills-based hiring efforts underway across the country. Meanwhile, federal agencies have announced the availability of new grants aimed at supporting tribal education. 

Senate Appropriators Set Funding Framework

As previously shared, the legislative agreement Congress and President Biden reached in recent weeks, known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), extends the nation’s borrowing authority for the next two years. Of significance for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community, the FRA establishes new spending caps for that same period of time for federal fiscal years 2024 (FY24) and FY25. In a recent development last week, House Republicans announced their intention to move forward with individual spending bills that, taken together, provide much less funding for domestic programs, like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V)*  than required by the FRA. This sets up a likely scenario where the House and Senate propose radically different funding levels for the upcoming federal fiscal year, set to formally begin on October 1, 2023.  

Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee, led by Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), recently met to establish topline spending caps, known as 302(b)s, that align with the FRA. The committee considered these proposed 302(b) allocations yesterday and advanced them along party lines as Republicans on the panel remained concerned regarding funding levels for defense programs. Broadly the Senate’s 302(b) allocations are intended to provide roughly the same amount of funding for education and workforce development programs, like Perkins V, at current federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) levels. In practical terms, however, the differences between the House and the Senate’s proposed visions for FY24 funding may prove challenging to reconcile as the October 1 deadline for FY24 draws nearer.

As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE will be closely engaging with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to ensure that the significant 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

House Explores Skills-based Hiring

On Thursday, June 22, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing titled “Competencies Over Degrees: Transitioning to a Skills-based Economy.” The hearing focused on changes that could be made to reorient systems of education, workforce development, and employment to strengthen approaches and programs that provide skills needed for further economic opportunities and to better reward the attainment of these competencies in the labor market. The hearing also highlighted the issue of the “paper ceiling”–the issue of increasing numbers of workers being overlooked for jobs they would otherwise qualify for because they lack a four-year degree. 

Witnesses and lawmakers explored a wide array of issues in this context, including potential changes to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and federal apprenticeship legislation to facilitate this vision for the future. In addition, House CTE Caucus Co-chair Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) highlighted the need for further investment in CTE and noted that many programs in his district have waiting lists for learners– indicating that demand for CTE pathways is continuing to exceed current supply. An archived webcast of the hearing, including witness testimony, can be found here

ED Announces New Native Language Grants

Last week, The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the availability of approximately $8 million in new funding intended to support several federal initiatives aimed at better supporting Indigenous learners. “Our efforts to Raise the Bar for multilingual learners includes strengthening and revitalizing Native languages and the recruitment, retention, and leadership of Native educators,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said as part of the announcement. The new grantmaking is aimed at three separate ED initiatives that together are aimed at increasing the capacity of Indigenous communities to serve learners, preserve Native languages, and promote educator recruitment and retention efforts through the nation. More information regarding these grants can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

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

Legislative Update: FY24 Funding Continues to Take Shape

Friday, June 16th, 2023

This week, congressional leaders continued to look ahead to next steps for the 2024 federal budget and appropriations process ahead of important deadlines this fall and early next year. Elsewhere, lawmakers in the House examined innovative approaches to postsecondary education.

House Republicans Propose Significant Cuts to Domestic Spending

After months of on-and-off again negotiations, congressional leaders and President Biden recently reached a deal to suspend the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt obligations. The agreement, known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), extends the nation’s borrowing authority for the next two years and, importantly for the Career and Technical Education (CTE) community, establishes new spending caps for that same period of time for federal fiscal years 2024 (FY24) and 2025 (FY25). The FRA was signed into law by President Biden on June 3, following intense negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. Upon the release of the agreement, House Republican leadership touted the FRA saying, in part, “The Fiscal Responsibility Act does what is responsible for our children, what is possible in divided government, and what is required by our principles and promises.”

More recently, however, House Republicans have signaled that they intend to move forward with FY24 spending bills that do not conform to the spending cap requirements contained in the FRA. In a recent development earlier this week, the top House Republican appropriator, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), announced that she plans to move forward with a series of spending bills that reduce federal spending to FY22 levels, rather than FY23 as required by the FRA. Recent press reports have indicated that the committee is planning to advance spending legislation for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education spending bill, where the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (Perkins V) and other education programs derive funding from. The bill could potentially include an up to $60 billion cut to funding for this portion of the federal budget—a nearly one-third reduction in funding over current levels of investment.

In the Senate, Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) have indicated that they plan to move forward with FY24 spending proposals in the coming weeks that do conform to the FRA. This puts Congress on a likely path towards another future disagreement over federal spending later this fall, with the chambers potentially moving forward with spending proposals that are dramatically different. This will have the practical effect of making reconciling the differences between the chambers’ proposals even more challenging ahead of the start of FY24, set to begin on October 1. As a reminder, a mandatory, across-the-board sequester cut of one percent to all federal spending would be applied should Congress not reach agreement on full-year FY24 funding  by January 1 of next year. As these efforts continue, Advance CTE will be closely monitoring these developments and engaging with partners on Capitol Hill to ensure the funding needs of the CTE community are realized as part of this ongoing budget and appropriations process for FY24. 

House Examines Postsecondary Innovation

On Wednesday, June 14, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing titled “Postsecondary Innovation: Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s Opportunities.” The hearing focused on the need to fundamentally rethink many aspects of postsecondary education, with witnesses and lawmakers discussing at length the important role career development and planning has both before, during, and after postsecondary experiences to ensure learner success. In addition, the importance of dual and concurrent enrollment opportunities was highlighted extensively during the hearing as was the need to fully invest earlier on in the educational continuum—a key strategy emphasized during the hearing to prepare students earlier on for their future endeavors. A webcast archive of the hearing, including witness testimony, can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

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

Legislative Update: Congress Looks Ahead on Funding

Friday, June 9th, 2023

This week, Congress plans next steps on appropriations while lawmakers examine the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent budget request. Elsewhere, federal officials have announced the availability of new grant funding for school infrastructure projects.

Congress Looks to Next Steps for Funding

As shared previously, lawmakers recently advanced and President Biden signed into law the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA)—legislation that suspends the debt limit through 2025 and establishes new spending caps for that same two-year period of time. A summary of the FRA can be found here. The spending caps contained in the bill will freeze current federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding levels for the upcoming FY24 appropriations process and will allow for a one percent increase in domestic discretionary programs, like federal investments in Career Technical Education (CTE), for FY25. In addition, the FRA includes a provision that strongly encourages Congress to pass all 12 federal appropriations bills before the end of the calendar year. If lawmakers are unable to reach that goal, an automatic spending reduction would be applied to the entire federal budget until full-year appropriations legislation has been passed.

With the new appropriations framework now signed into law, Congress is expected to begin marking up individual spending bills in the coming weeks and months. However, less than a week after passage, recent reports indicate that House Republicans may attempt to move forward with spending bills that use lower spending caps than those contained in the FRA. A specific timeline for lawmakers in both the House and Senate to advance Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations legislation, which provides funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V; as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act), has yet to be determined. 

As these efforts continue to take shape, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has provided additional clarity regarding nearly $400 million in rescinded pandemic aid funds that were also included as part of the FRA. In a recent letter to Education Stabilization Fund grantees, ED has made clear that K-12 education funds that have already been obligated and sent to states will not be included in these amounts. Advance CTE is monitoring these developments closely and will continue to engage with partners in Congress to secure needed investments in CTE as part of the upcoming FY24 budget and appropriations process and beyond.   

House Education Committee Examines Department of Labor FY24 Budget

On Wednesday, June 7, the House Education and the Workforce Committee (E&W) held a hearing examining the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and, relatedly, its recent FY24 budget request to Congress. Acting Secretary of Labor, Julie Su, was the sole witness at the hearing whose confirmation is currently stalled in the Senate. The over three-hour-long hearing focused on a wide array of topics including how to align and coordinate CTE and workforce development systems and related programs, extensive discussion on apprenticeship programs, including ways to expand and grow these models into nontraditional fields such as teaching, and a host of other issues related to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which is due for reauthorization. A webcast archive of the hearing, including statements and testimony, can be found here

ED Announces School Infrastructure Grants

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued a notice inviting K-12 schools and districts to apply for roughly $40 million in new funding to support school building and related infrastructure improvement projects. ED anticipates making 8-13 awards, between $3 and $5 million each, to support these efforts. In addition, ED is planning to set aside an additional $2 million for the creation of a National Center on School Infrastructure to provide technical assistance and best practices to states and schools as part of this wider initiative. More information about the grants, including how to apply, can be accessed here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

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

 

Series

Archives

1