Legislative Update: CTE and Workforce Development in the Next Stimulus Bill and Reporting the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

The federal government continues to work on the next COVID-19 (Coronavirus) stimulus bill and provide guidance on previous ones. Read below to learn more about how Career Technical Education (CTE) can be included in a future Coronavirus package and new information about reporting use of funds for the third stimulus. 

Analysis Continues of the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act

Last week, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA), which Advance CTE is in full support. This bill provides funding and flexibilities for CTE and workforce development programs during Coronavirus with a $15 billion investment that includes $1 billion for CTE programs and activities, as well as $2 billion to re-implement the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. Last week’s Legislative Update outlined many of the major provisions of RAWA, including the implications for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and some of the flexibilities for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

Some of the additional standout WIOA activities include: 

  • $2.5 billion for employers to provide incumbent worker training;
  • $500 million for states and intermediaries to support existing or expand registered apprenticeships; 
  • $500 million for National Dislocated Worker Grants, to go to training and temporary employment as a result of Coronavirus;
  • $2.5 billion for State Dislocated Worker Grants, to be used for necessary rapid response through Fiscal Year 2022; 
  • $2.5 billion for employers who are offering incumbent worker training; 
  • Increasing the percent of funds that local workforce boards can use for transitional jobs to 40 percent; and 
  • The Governor and local workforce boards can include Coronavirus as a consideration when deciding whether to allow 75 percent of wages to be reimbursed during participation in on-the-job training. 

The WIOA and Perkins V funds in RAWA must be used to supplement, and not supplant state or local funds. If this bill passes, it is imperative to carefully document that the use of funds is supplement and not supplant especially since it can be expected that Coronavrisu will change typical state and local funding structures.

The full programmatic funding breakdown included in RAWA is as follows: 

  • National Dislocated Worker Grants: $500 million;
  • State Dislocated Worker Grants: $2.5 billion;
  • Youth Workforce Investment Activities: $2.5 billion;
  • Adult Employment and Training Activities: $2.5 billion; 
  • Wagner-Peyser/Employment Service: $1 billion;
  • Job Corps: $500 million;
  • Native American Programs: $150 million;
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers: $150 million;
  • YouthBuild: $250 million;
  • Reentry and Employment Opportunities: $350 million;
  • Registered Apprenticeships: $500 million;
  • Adult Education and Literacy: $1 billion;
  • Community College and Industry Partnership Grants: $2 billion;
  • Department of Labor Administration: $90 million;
  • Career Technical Education: $1 billion; and
  • Department of Education Administration: $10 million.

You can view the press release highlighting our full support of RAWA from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) here. We encourage you to  let your representative know that you support including CTE in the next Coronavirus relief bill by following the quick prompt here. The full bill can be viewed here and a summary of each section here

Department Announces that Colleges Must Publicly Share Use of Stimulus Funds

The U.S. Department of Education announced that institutions receiving Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) – authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – must report information about the funds on a publicly accessible website. The public-facing report must include how much money the institution received, how many students are receiving Emergency Financial Aid grants, how the institution decided which students would receive these grants and any directives that were attached to the funding. 

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

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