Legislative Update: FY14 Perkins Estimates, FY14 Budget, ESEA Hearing

FY 2014 Perkins Estimates

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education shared state-by-state budget tables for all programs under its jurisdiction. This includes estimates for both FY13 and FY14.  At the time of the release, the tables included incorrect information for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). The tables have now been updated and can be found here. Perkins information can be found on page 21.

The FY13 estimates reflect sequestration reductions. It is important to note that the estimates for FY14 assume the President’s budget request is approved, which restores funds to pre-sequestration levels and for Perkins, assumes enactment of the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education. This proposal withholds $100 million in funds from the states to create an innovation fund managed by the federal government. The authority to withhold these funds and create the innovation fund would have to be enacted into law before it could occur; therefore, NASDCTEc recommends against using the FY14 estimates for planning purposes.

For more information on the President’s FY14 budget proposal and its potential impact on CTE, revisit this blog post and this blog post.

FY 2014 Budget Update

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for the creation of a budget conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate budgets. As reported in previous blog posts, the House budget would lead to an 11.7 percent reduction in nondefense discretionary spending for FY14 which would result in significant reductions to Perkins funding. The Senate budget would repeal the sequester and restore funding to Perkins and other nondefense programs.

This week, Senators Reid and Patty Murray (D-WA) attempted again on the Senate floor to appoint conferees on the Budget Resolution. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objected. Staff will continue to monitor any progress made on the FY14 budget.

House ESEA Hearing Discusses CTE

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been eligible for reauthorization for more than six years, and members of Congress are again looking at how the expired law can be updated and improved. This week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing called “Raising the Bar: Exploring State and Local Efforts to Improve Accountability” to discuss the federal role in accountability for education.

CTE became part of the discussion when Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) highlighted the importance of preparing students who are both college and career ready by aligning CTE and academic courses. Education stakeholders who provided testimony at the hearing included Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, John White, and Superintendent of Northfield, Minnesota Public Schools, Chris Richardson. White and Richardson agreed that better alignment between CTE and traditional academic courses is necessary. White described Louisiana’s efforts to include more measures – including dual enrollment credit, employment attainment, and Advanced Placement scores – in addition to using proficiency and graduation rates.

Another panelist, Eric Gordon of Cleveland Metropolitan School District in Ohio, discussed his district’s commitment to preparing students for postsecondary education and careers through CTE.

The discussion at this hearing on academic and technical skill integration illustrates the need for greater alignment between ESEA and Perkins. Some Members of Congress have indicated that ESEA reauthorization will begin in late summer, and staff will continue to provide details as they become available.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

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