Posts Tagged ‘Education and the Workforce Committee’

House Lays Out Next Steps for FY25 | Legislative Update

Friday, May 24th, 2024

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers in the House laid out next steps for the the federal appropriations process while Congressional leaders elsewhere made announcements related to artificial intelligence (AI) and workforce development. Elsewhere, lawmakers are considering a new Farm Bill proposal while a new cohort of Presidential Scholars was recently announced. 

House Lays Out Roadmap for FY25 Appropriations

House Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-OK) announced in recent weeks preliminary allocation totals for each of the 12 individual appropriations bills that compose the federal budget for the upcoming 2025 federal fiscal year (FY25). Known as 302(b) allocations, these topline funding totals are used by appropriations leaders on the committee to craft FY25 funding legislation later this year. This includes the Labor-HHS-ED funding bill which provides support for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) among other education and workforce development programs. The proposed 302(b) allocation for the Labor-HHS-ED funding bill is significantly lower than the total provided for this component of the federal budget in FY24. This means that the House Appropriations Committee is likely to propose significant cuts to domestic programs falling under this legislation as the Committee put forward last year.

In addition, Chair Cole released a tentative schedule to consider each of the dozen appropriations bills. The Labor-HHS-ED measure is expected to be considered at the subcommittee level on June 27 and by the full Appropriations Committee on July 10. This week the full House Appropriations Committee approved these 302(b) allocations on a party line vote 32-21. Similar announcements are still forthcoming in the Senate. As these efforts take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for the significant funding needs of the Career Technical Education (CTE) community and other key education and workforce priorities this year.  

Senate Releases New AI Roadmap

A bipartisan group of Senators led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Senator Todd Young (R-IN), released a long-anticipated report regarding AI. The report or “roadmap” lays out a vision for future federal policymaking efforts, including a set of recommendations for Congress and the Biden administration to consider as AI technologies continue to mature and expand in their use. The report covers several policy areas including workforce development, encouraging the development of career pathways that lead to opportunities in AI. The roadmap also recommends that policymakers consider new regulatory frameworks to mitigate the potential negative impacts AI technologies may have on incumbent workers and ways to promote worker skills training opportunities in this area. Broadly, the report calls on the federal government to invest at least $32 billion on an annual basis to support the further development of AI technologies, promote wider innovation, and ensure wider equitable adoption and use of these emerging technologies.

View the AI Roadmap

Department of Commerce Unveils Workforce Policy Agenda

Recently the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced a Department Administrative Order (DAO) that establishes a workforce policy agenda for the agency. The agenda is intended to assist DOC in the ongoing implementation of several broad federal investments including the CHIPS and Science Act which contains several workforce development components to support the legislation’s broader aims of developing a more robust advanced manufacturing and semiconductor capacity here in the United States. The DAO lays out a set of principles to guide workforce development investments as well as wider Biden administration goals of developing quality employment opportunities for a broader cross-section of Americans.

Read the DAO

House Examines HHS FY25 Budget

Last week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing to examine the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The hearing featured testimony from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra who spoke to the Biden administration’s recent federal fiscal year 2025 (FY25) budget request. Secretary Becerra responded to a wide range of questions including the importance of policies and investments supporting access to quality childcare as well as wider healthcare workforce needs.

View an archived webcast of the hearing, including the Secretary’s written testimony and related opening statements from lawmakers

CTE Presidential Scholars Announced

This week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars announced the 60th cohort of U.S. Presidential Scholars—an initiative that annually recognizes 161 high school seniors for academic, career and technical and artistic achievements. The selection process takes into consideration a number of criteria including transcripts and test scores. Each year, this program features 20 CTE scholars for their outstanding achievements and recognizes related accomplishments.

View the full list of scholars 

House Agriculture Committee Plans Vote on Federal Nutrition Programs

The House Agriculture Committee considered the 2024 Farm Bill this week, a $1.5 trillion legislative package that includes significant changes to federal agriculture and school nutrition programs. The legislation, unveiled by Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson (R-PA) earlier this week, includes major components of the Creating Access to Rural Employment and Education for Resilience and Success (CAREERS) Act (H.R. 7015)—legislation that Advance CTE supported and endorsed earlier this year. Advance CTE has expressed support for the inclusion of the CAREERS Act among other aspects of the proposal. The committee considered the legislation yesterday and approved measure by a margin of 33-21. 

DOL Unveils New AI and Worker Well-Being Principles

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a set of principles on AI and worker well-being. The principles were developed in response to an earlier Executive Order (EO) from President Biden on AI last year and are intended to support workforce development professionals and employers in the deployment, development, and subsequent use of AI and related technologies. The principles focus particularly on mitigating potential negative impacts on workers of AI while balancing the need for innovation and economic growth.

Read the principles 

Steve Voytek, policy advisor

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Congress Returns to a Busy Work Period | Legislative Update

Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Over the last few weeks lawmakers reconvened following a short recess period to address a number of critical issues, including the ongoing budget and appropriations process. Lawmakers have also held hearings with the leaders of federal agencies regarding the Biden administration’s recent budget requests and other policies and priorities. In addition, the Biden administration has made new regulatory announcements on a few issues of importance to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community.

House Holds DOL Oversight Hearing

On Wednesday, May 1, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing to examine the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Acting Assistant Secretary Julie Su testified on behalf of the agency and the discussion focused heavily on a multitude of new regulations the Department has proposed or implemented recently. Lawmakers appeared to be particularly skeptical of DOL’s recently proposed apprenticeship regulations which, among other proposed changes, would create a new programmatic structure for apprenticeship programs in K-12 and postsecondary education settings known as Career and Technical Education Apprenticeships (CTEAs). 

Long-time CTE Caucus co-chair Rep. G.T. Thompson (R-PA) questioned Su extensively on this topic and raised significant concerns regarding the Department’s proposal, the impact it could potential have on learners and CTE programs, and questioned the broader reasoning for this proposed programmatic structure. As a reminder, Advance CTE recently submitted substantial comments in response to this regulatory proposal and have been continuing to monitor and engage with stakeholders on this issue. A full recording of the hearing, including witness testimony, can be found here

Senate Examines ED’s FY25 Budget Request

Earlier this week, April 30, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testified before the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) Subcommittee regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s federal fiscal year 2025 (FY25) budget request. In both of their opening remarks, Chair Baldwin (D-WI) and Ranking Member Capito (R-WV) highlighted the importance of CTE and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), including the need to strengthen investments in these efforts and noting the need to expand access to CTE opportunities for more learners. In addition, the hearing focused heavily on ED’s ongoing challenges in implementing a newly revamped Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and lawmakers questioned Caronda on a number of other topics including the importance of student mental health and newly finalized Title IX regulations. An archived webcast of the hearing, including Cardona’s written testimony, can be found here.

Title IX Rule Finalized

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) published revised Title IX regulations intended to provide new protections against sex discrimination. “These final regulations clarify Title IX’s requirement that schools promptly and effectively address all forms of sex discrimination,” said ED’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon as part of the announcement. The new rules are scheduled to come into effect August 1, 2024 and codify new protections for LGBTQ students, staff, and others against discrimination, including on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, the regulations will allow school districts to use a more uniform grievance process to address all forms of reported discrimination. More information regarding these new rules and implications for the CTE community can be accessed here

DOL Unveils New Rules on Overtime Pay

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new regulation related to worker eligibility criteria for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The long-anticipated rules will have significant implications for employers across the country, including for schools, districts, and institutions. These new requirements are set to go into effect January 1, 2025. The regulations will increase current salary thresholds, currently set at $35,568, for workers entitled to time-and-a-half pay when working more than 40 hours in a week, to $43,888. By July 1, 2025, this threshold is set to increase to $58,656. DOL estimates that this will benefit approximately four million workers nationwide. More information on this announcement can be accessed here

Antisemitism Bill Advanced in the House

Lawmakers in the House considered and advanced the Antisemitism Awareness Act (H.R. 6900)—legislation that would codify the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism within existing civil rights legislation. This legislative proposal would also encourage the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to use this definition when conducting civil rights investigations when seeking to determine whether a complaint was motivated by antisemitism. The legislation was cleared by lawmakers in the House on a wide bipartisan margin of 320-91 late yesterday. Next week, the House Education and Workforce Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on antisemitism in K-12 schools.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Championing Career Technical Education: Highlights from CTE Month 2024

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

Each February, the Career Technical Education (CTE) community celebrates CTE Month to raise awareness of opportunities and impact achieved for every learner and leader through its programs.

This year’s CTE Month celebrations showcased the continued significance and success of CTE across the nation. Below, you’ll find highlights from this month, featuring events from states, partners, policymakers, and other champions of CTE!

Federal CTE Champions 

On February 8, Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Fox (R-NC) spoke on the House Floor to celebrate CTE Month, stating, “By equipping students with the competencies they need to be successful on the job, career and technical education programs give participants an invaluable head start.” Watch here

Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) Recognize February as Career and Technical Education Month

Co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus Reps. Thompson and Bonamici spoke on the importance of career technical education on Capitol Hill.  Watch on C-SPAN Read the press release

 

 


State CTE Champions 

Arkansas CTE Day at the Capitol

Throughout the month of February, Arkansas held regional CTE showcases to highlight local programs that serve as a bridge between K-12 and higher education, with the first one taking place at the Capitol Rotunda alongside Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Read the full press release

 

Maine’s CTE Month Showcase

Maine kicked off Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month at the State House with a showcase featuring learners, instructors, and directors from 15 of the state’s 27 CTE centers. The showcase featured learners’ advanced skills in areas from biotechnology and hospitality to welding and graphic design. Notably, every instructor and director at the event reported an increase in “non-traditional students” participating in CTE programs. Read more about the kick-off

 


CTE Champions in Schools

Secretary of Education Cardona Joins President Biden’s Investing in America Tour

On February 21, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Tour. The visit featured a tour of CCRI’s advanced manufacturing lab, a roundtable discussion with educational leaders, and dialogues with learners. Additional discussions took place with CCRI’s President Rosemary Costigan, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee, and U.S. Representative Gabe Amo. 

Cardona applauded CCRI’s intentional alignment of education with workforce needs, especially with the state’s Latine population as a Hispanic-Serving Instituion. The event demonstrated Rhode Island’s commitment to inclusive and high-quality CTE programs that serve both learner and industry – “I wanted a new career path, something where I could earn my diploma and show my kids it’s not too late to go back…I had my kids at a young age and was always focused on providing and making sure they had what they needed before I could go back to school. To finish will be a big accomplishment, not just for me but for them, too” said Fredy Vasquez, 38, a learner in the Advanced Manufacturing and Design degree program. Read more about Cardona’s visit and CCRI

 

DACCTE Celebrates Poster Contest Winner

Delaware Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education (DACCTE), along with partners from the Department of Labor and Department of Education hosted a poster contest to showcase the talent represented in CTE classrooms every day. The winning poster was used to celebrate CTE Month in Delaware. Read more on DACCTE’s CTE Month activities


CTE Champions on Social Media

#ThisisCTE Social Media Campaign


The Oregon CTE Youth Advisory Council launched a #ThisIsCTE social media campaign to highlight CTE programs and initiatives across the state and increase CTE awareness. 
View on Facebook | View on X (Twitter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSDE CTE Month Myth Busting

The Maryland State Department of Education (MDSE) conducted a social media campaign dispelling common myths about CTE.

 


To continue to advocate for CTE year-round, explore our resources to reach learners, families, employers, and policymakers:

…and follow us on LinkedIn for the latest on CTE information, resources, research and more!

By Layla Alagic in CTE Without Limits, News
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Legislative Update: Congress Advances New Legislation While Apprenticeship Regulations Are Unveiled

Friday, December 15th, 2023

This week both the House and Senate considered and advanced several pieces of legislation with implications for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community. Elsewhere the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published proposed regulations that would overhaul the existing framework for registered apprenticeship programs and significantly expand the scope of these rules in relation to CTE programs funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V).  

House Education and Workforce Committee Advances WIOA Reauthorization

This week the House Education and Workforce (E&W) Committee marked up and advanced H.R. 6655, A Stronger Workforce for America Act (ASWA). The legislation would reauthorize the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was last updated in 2014. Notably for the CTE community, the legislation proposes significant changes to youth funding authorized by the legislation, including changes to the underlying definition for eligible youth populations that would allow for greater coordination and alignment with CTE programs. ASWA would also encourage greater local alignment of CTE programs of study and career pathways programs. The legislation would also codify the Workforce Data Quality Initiative and the Strengthening Community College Workforce Development Grant program– two key Advance CTE WIOA priorities– along with a host of other proposed changes to current law. However, Advance CTE is still analyzing additional elements of the legislation that were less encouraging and plans to issue a more comprehensive response regarding the legislation shortly. 

The bipartisan legislation was advanced out of the E&W Committee on Tuesday by a margin of 44-1. The proposal is expected to be further considered by the full House of Representatives sometime next year when Congress returns from its holiday recess. 

House Leaders Markup New Workforce Pell Proposal 

As shared previously, Reps. Stefanik (R-NY) and DeSaulnier (D-CA), along with House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Foxx (R-NC) and Ranking Member Scott (D-VA), recently introduced H.R. 6586, the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act (BWPA) last week. The bipartisan legislation is a compromise between previously introduced legislation sponsored by the E&W Committee Chair and Ranking Member earlier this Congress. The expansion of Pell eligibility for high-quality, shorter-term CTE programs has been a longtime priority of Advance CTE

Notably, the legislation was amended during markup in several ways, including a new provision requiring coordination with state Perkins eligible agencies in determining programmatic alignment to high-skill, high-wage or in-demand occupations and sectors. The BWPA also contains a slew of new eligibility criteria that would be overseen and implemented by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), state workforce development boards and higher education accreditation agencies. Advance CTE and the Association for Career Technical Education issued a letter in response to the BWPA shortly after its passage out of the E&W Committee on a margin of 37-8. Advance CTE is encouraged by this latest development and looks forward to working with Congress as this issue moves forward in the legislative process. 

HELP Committee Clears Bipartisan Education Sciences Reform Act Reauthorization

Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee formally introduced the Advancing Research in Education Act (AREA) — bipartisan legislation that would reauthorize and update the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA). This legislation makes important updates to ESRA, including significant reforms to the State Longitudinal Data System Grant program and broader education research and technical assistance functions overseen by the ED. As shared previously, Advance CTE has strongly supported many of the core components of AREA, particularly provisions that complement and relate to CTE, and has formally supported the legislation ahead of a scheduled markup this past Tuesday. The HELP Committee subsequently advanced this proposal on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis, 20-1. AREA now moves to the full Senate for further consideration by the upper chamber. 

DOL Proposes Major Changes to Apprenticeship Regulations With CTE Implications 

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes significant and wide-ranging changes to the regulatory framework for registered apprenticeship programs. Of note for the CTE community, the NPRM suggests a significant expansion of the regulatory requirements related to a new program model DOL is currently referencing as “CTE Apprenticeships.” The NPRM includes a number of other new regulatory requirements that would relate to CTE programs funded by Perkins V. Advance CTE is in the process of analyzing this proposal and will have more to share on this NPRM soon. A 60-day comment period will begin when the draft proposal is formally published to the Federal Register. In addition, DOL has scheduled a webinar in early January to provide an overview of the NPRM. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Bipartisan Spotlight on CTE This Week

Friday, February 10th, 2023

This week the President delivered the annual State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, while the House held its first hearing of the new 118th Congress. Elsewhere Career Technical Education (CTE) champions in the House introduced a resolution designating February as CTE Month while lawmakers reintroduced legislation that would greatly expand postsecondary CTE opportunities for learners across the country. 

President Biden Delivers State of the Union 

On Tuesday, February 7, President Joe Biden delivered the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. The speech focused on the President and Congress’ accomplishments over the last two years, including significant investments in advanced manufacturing, the nation’s infrastructure, and other domestic priorities, while also reiterating a need to “finish the job” in the 118th Congress—a recurrent theme that the President returned to throughout the evening. Ahead of the address to the joint session of Congress, First Lady Jill Biden’s guests included Kate Foley– a 10th grade computer-integrated manufacturing student who the First Lady had met last year during a visit she and other Administration officials made to CTE programs in Rolling Meadows High School. In addition, Rep. Glusenkamp Perez (D-WA) brought Cory Toppa, a construction, engineering design, and manufacturing teacher at Kalama High School and the director of CTE for the Kalama school district as her guest during the speech. 

During the speech, the President touched on a wide range of issues, including universal preschool for three- and four-year olds, raising teacher salaries, and calling on Congress to provide greater resources for digital connectivity. However, the President consistently highlighted the centrality of education and workforce development as part of America’s ability to compete within the wider global economy. Notably, the President touched on Career Technical Education (CTE) saying, in part, “Let’s finish the job, and connect students to career opportunities starting in high school, provide access to two years of community college, the best career training in America, in addition to being a pathway to a four-year degree. Let’s offer every American a path to a good career, whether they go to college or not.” 

Reinforcing the Biden Administration’s sincere and growing interest in CTE, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited high school career academies in Omaha, Nebraska the following day to discuss students’ experiences in these programs. Advance CTE was proud to honor this program as an Excellence in Action awardee in 2015, highlighting the program’s exemplary performance which was on full display as part of the Secretary’s visit this week. As shared by the U.S. Department of Education (USED), the visit was also intended to reinforce Secretary Cardona’s recent speech outlining his Department’s priorities for the coming year, which include a focus on strengthening CTE pathways for students. A full transcript of the President’s State of the Union Address can be accessed here

House Education Committee Hosts First Hearing

The newly renamed House Education and the Workforce Committee, Chaired by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) held its first hearing this week titled, “American Education in Crisis.” Witnesses included Virginia Gentles, Director of the Education Freedom Center at the Independent Women’s Forum, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Scott Pulsipher, the President of Western Governors University, and Monty Sullivan, the President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. The wide-ranging hearing was intended to highlight aspects of the committee’s likely agenda over the next year ranging from K-12 and postsecondary education to workforce development. During the hearing several CTE topics were discussed at length, including the need to greatly expand postsecondary CTE opportunities by enacting legislation that would expand federal Pell grant eligibility for high-quality, shorter-term CTE programs. 

Hearing witnesses, along with an array of committee members on both sides of the aisle, also voiced support for these much needed reforms to the nation’s postsecondary education system. “The single most important step Congress can take in helping address our nation’s skill shortage is to immediately authorize the use of Pell Grants for workforce programs. . . [I] strongly urge Congress to come to consensus on legislation that, when passed, will enable a significant increase in the number of students across the country who will have a new opportunity in how they improve their skills”  Monty Sullivan shared as part of his testimony. 

Beyond short-term Pell reform, the hearing also touched on the need to reauthorize the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Higher Education Act (HEA), most notably by more tightly aligning these federal investments in future legislative updates. In particular, witnesses spoke about the importance of wrap-around services and developing integrated systems of education and workforce development that more effectively ensured learner and worker success. Witnesses also voiced strong support for expanding work-based learning opportunities, particularly  apprenticeship programs and called for a broadening of federal support for multiple postsecondary pathways that lead to opportunity. An archived webcast of the more than three hour hearing can be found here.  

House Lawmakers Reintroduce the JOBS Act

Late last week, a group of bipartisan lawmakers including Reps. Bill Johnson (R-OH), Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-DE), Michael Turner (R-OH), and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), reintroduced the Jumpstarting our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act (H.R. 793)– legislation that would expand federal Pell grant funding eligibility to high-quality, shorter-term CTE programs that meet certain criteria. The bill is the House companion to legislation also reintroduced in the Senate last week, which is currently supported by just under half of the upper chamber. Advance CTE is proud to support this legislation and encourages members to reach out to their Representatives to encourage them to co-sponsor the legislation this Congress. More on the reintroduction can be found here

House CTE Caucus Introduces CTE Month Resolution 

On Wednesday, February 8th, House CTE Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) introduced a resolution recognizing and designating February as National CTE Month (H. Res. 110). The resolution was co-sponsored by a broad bipartisan coalition of 71 Representatives– a new high watermark of support for the annual resolution. Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) were joined by more than 50 other organizations who also supported the introduction of the resolution this week. 

“We are proud to support the 2023 Career Technical Education (CTE) Month resolution as a celebration and recognition of the impact CTE has for learners as they explore and find their career passions, secure meaningful credentials of value aligned to in-demand careers and provide employers with a highly skilled workforce that is responsive to rapidly evolving industry needs,” said Advance CTE Executive Director Kimberly Green. More on the introduction can be found here

Senate HELP Organizes

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee– the entity with responsibility over CTE policymaking in the Senate– met for the first time this week to formally organize and adopt rules for the Congress. New HELP Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) emphasized his desire to focus on a wide range of healthcare issues, including a focus on the workforce shortages within the sector. Chair Sanders noted that “We desperately need plumbers and carpenters and electricians and yet we don’t have the training capabilities of doing that.” He highlighted apprenticeships as a potential strategy to address these needs and emphasized that he hoped to work together with Ranking Member Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and his colleagues on these issues in the coming Congress. 

During remarks,  Ranking Member Bill Cassidy (R-LA) emphasized his desire to reauthorize WIOA and HEA, while also identifying reducing the costs of postsecondary education as being another potential area of bipartisan consensus he hoped to pursue over the next two years. The brief organizational meeting also featured high-level remarks from other committee members who highlighted their priorities for the coming Congress. As part of the meeting HELP members adopted rules for the committee unanimously, as well as a budget, before adjourning. An archived webcast of the meeting can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Jodi Langellotti in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: 118th Congress Begins to Take Shape

Friday, January 13th, 2023

Last weekend, the House formally elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy to be the next Speaker of the House. Earlier this week lawmakers reconvened to adopt a new rules package which determines how the Chamber will operate over the course of the 118th Congress. Elsewhere new leadership for committees overseeing education and workforce development policy have been announced. 

McCarthy Elected Speaker of the House

Early Saturday morning Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was formally elected Speaker of the House after a tumultuous week which saw 14 failed vote attempts to elect a new leader for the chamber. Throughout last week, a small group of House Republicans withheld their support for McCarthy’s speakership bid leading to the week-long impasse. After providing a series of concessions to this group of lawmakers, some of which still have not yet been made public, McCarthy was able to garner most of this group’s support while others voted present, reducing the threshold he needed to win the Speaker’s gavel. Some of these concessions could impact Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding for the coming year, including a promise McCarthy gave to these members to only advance appropriations legislation later this year at or below federal fiscal year 2022 (FY22) funding levels. With a narrow four-seat majority in the House, and with all Democratic lawmakers voting for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), this combination of handshake agreements and concessions provided the support McCarthy needed to secure the Speakership—a critically important leadership position that he has sought since 2015. 

House Adopts New Rules Package

With Speaker McCarthy formally elected, the House recessed until this past Monday where they reconvened and passed a new rules package. These rules outline how the House will operate throughout the 118th Congress, including how legislation will be developed and amended. The package also includes a number of concessions the newly elected Speaker made that are intended to empower rank and file lawmakers at the expense of the Speaker’s office. These concessions include a so-called “motion to vacate” rule, which would allow a single lawmaker to call a vote of no confidence in Speaker McCarthy during this Congress among a slew of other similar rules changes. Additionally, there are new rules that could impact how funding is or is not provided to programs that have authorization periods that have expired. Other new rules in the package would narrow the scope that bills may have to a single subject, making it more difficult to move larger pieces of legislation in the coming year. Advance CTE is continuing to analyze these new rules and their potential impact on CTE funding and policymaking in the new Congress.  

Foxx Selected to Lead Education and Workforce Committee

Following Speaker McCarthy’s election and the adoption of the rules package for the House, the Republican Steering Committee met this week to determine leadership posts for committees. Earlier in the week, the Steering Committee announced that it had selected Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) to become Chair of the newly rebranded Education and Workforce Committee—the entity responsible for education and workforce development policymaking in the House. Chair Foxx won this position over Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) who also sought this role. In order to regain the Chair position, Foxx required a waiver from the Steering Committee due to existing Republican Caucus rules that bar committee leaders from serving in leadership posts for three consecutive terms. 

“Conducting vigorous and sustained oversight of the federal government, especially the Departments of Education and Labor, will be among my top priorities,” she said after the announcement of her selection to lead the committee. In addition to oversight of the Biden Administration, Chair Foxx has shared elsewhere that she plans to push for an overhaul of federal student aid programs, similar to what she and other Republicans on the committee proposed last summer, among a number of other priorities. On the Democratic side of the aisle Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), the former chair of the committee, is expected to take on the Ranking Member role to lead Democrats on the committee in minority in the new Congress. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

 

By Jodi Langellotti in Public Policy
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Perkins Reauthorization Top of Mind for House Reps After Hearing on CTE

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Earlier this morning, the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education held a hearing on secondary CTE, kicking off renewed efforts to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins). A recording of the hearing is available here.

Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) in his opening remarks shared examples of CTE’s impact in his home district and charged his fellow committee members to complete its work to reauthorize the Perkins Act, which hasn’t been updated in more than ten years. He recognized the committee’s success in the previous session, during which the committee unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that later sailed through the House with a 405-5 vote. That bill was stalled in the Senate, and the Committee is expected to introduce a similar piece of legislation in the coming weeks.

In his opening statement, Ranking Member, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) stated “ Reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act presents this Committee with an opportunity to ensure that CTE programs are of high quality, emphasize equity, align with academic and labor market demands, and provide opportunities for all students – especially those historically underserved – to receive credentials that lead to high-skill, high-wage, in-demand career opportunities.”

Witnesses representing both workforce and education organizations praised the important role Career Technical Education (CTE) has played in increasing access to opportunity and closing the skills gap and urged the committee to renew support for CTE programs nationwide.

Mr. Glenn Johnson, representing multi-national manufacturing company BASF shared about the educational programs and supports his organization provides in various communities across the states, but expressed alarm about the growing skills gap and challenges recruiting individuals into the manufacturing sector. According to Mr. Johnson, 11,000 baby boomers turn 70 every day, contributing to the growing need to prepare the future workforce to fill critical jobs.

The conversation in the hearing then turned to two core issues: ensuring all students have access to high-quality CTE and addressing the public stigma that a four-year degree is superior to technical training.

To the former point, Mimi Lufkin of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity urged the committee to focus on underserved students in its reauthorization efforts, specifically to encourage students to pursue nontraditional fields. She shared examples from Douglas County, Oregon and Morgan County, Ohio where efforts to reach nontraditional students led more girls to enroll in a welding program and increased participation of boys in a health science course. Janet Goble, Board member of ACTE and CTE Director in Canyon County, UT, shared a story from her own school district, where a program aimed at introducing middle school girls to non-traditional occupations increased the participation rate of non-traditional high school students from 26 percent to 53 percent.

Finally, Mike Rowe, television personality of “Dirty Jobs” fame and CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, argued that participation in CTE would stagnate without a concerted effort to address the stigma around vocational education. He argued that promotion of four-year postsecondary education programs comes at the expense of two-year, technical and apprenticeship opportunities that may better equip students with relevant skills and connect them to a high-wage job.

In the question period, which was well attended by committee members from both the subcommittee and full committee, many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle spoke to the need to change the image of CTE and applauded the witnesses’ inclusion of data in their testimony.

Today’s event comes at a critical point in time, when the Trump administration has signaled potentially dramatic cuts to domestic programs including education. If there is any takeaway from this morning’s hearing however, it is that CTE enjoys broad support, not only from members of Congress in both parties  but also the education and employer community as well.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By admin in Legislation, News
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Congressional Resolution Recognizes Community Colleges

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Last week, Rep. Leonard Boswell (IA) introduced H Res 474, a resolution recognizing “the valuable contributions of community colleges and encouraging local partnerships with such institutions to train and revitalize the United States workforce, inspire entrepreneurship, educate skilled workers and invest in local communities.” The resolution has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manger

By admin in Legislation
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Sec. Duncan and House Committee Clash Over NCLB Waivers

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Weeks ago, we reported U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s threats to waive parts of the outdated No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) if Congress does not reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) before the start of the next school year.

Since then, members of Congress have questioned Duncan’s assertion and his right to grant waivers to states in exchange for a commitment to follow initiatives that he champions. Rep. John Kline (MN), Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, disapproved of Duncan’s actions and requested more information on Duncan’s plan.

Secretary Duncan provided a response this week. In his letter to Rep. Kline and Rep. Hunter, Duncan explained that any instance of overriding the current system would provide only a temporary fix until the House completes reauthorization of ESEA. Duncan wrote that “I am convinced that current law increasingly is discouraging [states] from implementing important State and locally developed reforms and other innovations to the detriment of students.” He also explained that ESEA was due for reauthorization in 2007, and the Department of Education must move forward with more innovative options for education reform that did not exist at the time that NCLB was enacted.

While Duncan’s letter described his reasons for issuing waivers, he did not provide details on the waiver plan, such as when waivers would be reviewed or enacted. He did mention that state and local input will be considered.

After receiving Duncan’s response, Rep. Kline’s spokesperson stated that “It is disappointing the secretary continues to elude questions about his plan… Instead of touting murky alternatives, the secretary should lend his support to the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s ongoing efforts to advance targeted education legislation.”

Today, the Committee expects to release its third in a series of five bills intended to reauthorize ESEA. Secretary Duncan has already stated disapproval of the third bill.

Read more about the third bill from the House Committee, which aims to provide increased funding flexibility as part of ESEA reauthorization, in tomorrow’s Legislative Update from NASDCTEc.

By admin in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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