Posts Tagged ‘innovation grants’

Welcome Candi Collier as the New State Director of Career Technical Education for Tennessee!

Friday, January 5th, 2024

Earlier this year, the Tennessee Department of Education named Candi Collier the Senior Director of Career and Technical Education and Special Projects. 

A former Business and Marketing teacher Candi Collier has been in the world of Career Technical Education (CTE) for 22 years. After serving six years at the Tennessee Department of Education, Candi went back to the field to serve as the CTE Director of Milan Special School District in Milan, Tennessee. 

“I wanted to put my money where my mouth is and see if what we talked about [at the state level] really worked,” Candi shared. A resident of Paris, Tennessee, Candi jokes that she got to “travel from Paris to Milan every day.” This extra time in the field, before becoming the State Director, provided Candi with a better perspective of the challenges and barriers the districts face as well as the vision from the state.

When looking at the year ahead, Candi shared that she wants to ensure that Tennessee CTE is forward-thinking about not just the tools learners should have for today’s labor market, but also how to align programs to future labor market needs. With significant support from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, the department has been allocated $500 million to disperse to high school and middle school CTE programs through the Innovative Grants process.

In addition to capitalizing on the grants, Candi plans to develop process plans for all current and future work and complete revisions to the state’s Carl. D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) plan. Candi also wants to focus on assisting the CTE directors across the state in developing the best programs possible to meet the needs of all learners.

Outside of the office, Candi enjoys hiking and has visited 11 National Parks with plans to visit all 63. Please join us in welcoming Candi to Advance CTE!

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE State Director
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Legislative Update: ESEA, Higher Education Regs, i3 Grants, Bills Introduced

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

House Passes Two ESEA Bills with CTE Elements

This week the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a markup of two recently introduced ESEA bills, H.R. 3989, the Student Success Act and H.R. 3990, the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act. The Committee approved both pieces of legislation by party-line votes of 23 to 16.

The Student Success Act included elements of the Education for Tomorrows Jobs Act, a bill introduced by Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA) last year. The bill allows school districts to use ESEA funds to integrate academic and technical education, and encourages the creation of partnerships between school districts, institutes of higher education, business and industry, and other stakeholders.

The markup was largely partisan with Democrats opposing the bills and offering substitute bills as their only amendments. There were several Republican amendments to note. Rep. Todd Rokita’s (IN) amendment to reduce the number of U.S. Department of Education staffers was accepted along a party-line vote. However, an amendment from Rep. Thompson to change the Title I funding formula to help smaller population districts was defeated by a vote of 22-16. Such a change would have benefited rural areas, such as Mr. Thompson’s district. Ranking Member George Miller (CA) argued that a change to the formula like the one proposed would not be fair to high population districts that would lose money.

Chairman Kline (MN) intends to move the bills to the floor for a vote in the near future. We will keep you posted on the progress of these two pieces of legislation.

House Passes Bill to Repeal Two Higher Education Regulations

The House this week passed H.R. 2117, the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act by a vote of 303 to 114. This bill would permanently repeal the credit hour and state authorization regulations (which went into effect July 1, 2011), with the goal of reducing college costs and increasing student choice. More specifically, the legislation would prohibit the Secretary of Education from promulgating or enforcing any rule that defines “credit hour,” and would ease the burden on distance education programs from meet any state requirements in the state where the student is located. The Senate has not indicated whether they will vote on similar legislation.

Next Round of i3 Grants Available

The Department of Education is now accepting pre-applications for the next round of Investing in Innovation (i3) Development grants. The i3 development grants provide up to $3 million to support “new projects or programs with high potential for success but which have been implemented previously in only limited contexts.” The deadline to submit a pre-application is April 9, 2012.

Bills Introduced

Student Right to Know Before You Go Act

Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) introduced S. 2098, the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, which intends to give students and their families the information they need to make better informed decisions about pursuing higher education. In its simplest terms, the bill would make it easier for students to find information about how long it would take get their degree, how much debt they could expect to owe after graduation, and how much they can expect to earn in a given field.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By admin in Legislation, Public Policy
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Budget Level Funds Perkins; Invests in Career Academies and Community Colleges

Monday, February 13th, 2012

President Obama released his FY13 budget today, and there is good news for CTE! The President proposed level funding for the Perkins Basic State Grants, and plans to release a reauthorization proposal that “would restructure CTE to align what students learn in school with the demands of 21st Century jobs.” While the budget does not include specifics about what this proposal will look like, a budget summary released by the Department of Education states that their proposal would increase the rigor and relevance of CTE and strengthen connections between secondary and postsecondary education. In addition to Perkins Act funding, the budget proposes an investment of $1 billion over three years to scale up career academies.

Some other highlights of the budget that may be of interest:

We are continuing to analyze the budget, and will update you on any additional information that could impact CTE.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By admin in Public Policy
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Obama: ‘Replace No Child Left Behind This Year’

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

In his weekly radio address, President Barack Obama highlighted a Memphis school’s successful turnaround as a model for school reform. Citing efforts made by the school’s teachers, principals and parents, Obama advocated for more locally-driven education rather than a top-down approach with heavy federal government involvement. He urged that changes in legislation need to take place this year.

Obama stated that, “We need to promote reform that gets results while encouraging communities to figure out what’s best for their kids. That’s why it’s so important that Congress replace No Child Left Behind this year – so schools have that flexibility.” The President also pushed for his education initiative, Race to the Top, to grant competitive funding to states whose innovative reform efforts yield positive results.

Though Obama calls for a rewrite of the law by the 2011-2012 school year, Rep. John Kline (MN) stated last week that the timeline isn’t feasible.

While the Senate presses for more comprehensive legislation, the House will pursue a piecemeal approach by proposing several separate bills in the upcoming months. The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce will begin the process by holding a markup of an ESEA repeals bill this Wednesday. The proposed bill, Rep. Hunter’s Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act, would eliminate 43 education programs.

By admin in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: FY12 Draft Suballocations, Urban Jobs, Investing in Innovation, Hiring Heroes

Friday, May 13th, 2011

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers released a draft of suballocations for FY12. These suballocations are the spending limits for each of the appropriations subcommittees. The Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (commonly referred to as Labor-HHS-Ed) sets the funding levels for all education, including Perkins, and workforce related programs. The proposed spending limits for Labor-HHS-Ed are 11.6 percent below the FY2011 amount and 23 percent below the President’s FY2012 budget.

According to Rogers’ FY12 markup schedule, the Labor-HHS-Ed bill will be the second-to-last markup with the subcommittee markup on July 26 and the full committee markup on August 2. The Labor-HHS-Ed bill will reach the House floor in September at the earliest before it eventually moves to the Senate.

It will be essential for all CTE advocates to take the next few months to make a concerted, consistent and broad-based effort to let Congressional leaders know the importance of Perkins funding. NASDCTEc is launching an aggressive advocacy plan during the summer months and will be rolling out opportunities and resources for you to use in your efforts to raise visibility and support for CTE and Perkins funding.

Urban Jobs Act

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) introduced S. 922, the Urban Jobs Act, to increase employment opportunities for at-risk youth. The bill, an amendment to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, would authorize the Secretary of Labor to provide grants for urban job programs. Nonprofit organizations would receive funding to carry out programs to prepare youth for employment, especially high school dropouts or youth who have had any encounters with the criminal justice system.

Investing in Innovation for Education Act

Sen. Mark Begich (AK) introduced S. 895, the Investing in Innovation for Education Act (also known as the “i3” bill), to promote innovative ideas proposed by school districts and organizations that show a record of increasing student achievement. Begich proposes to make permanent the i3 competitive grants funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The new bill has a special focus on rural areas, requiring 25 percent of funding to go to grantees from rural areas. Begich suggests that the bill will “level the playing field” by giving students the chance to benefit from innovation regardless of where they live.

Hiring Heroes Act of 2011

Sen. Patty Murray (WA) and 14 co-sponsoring Senators introduced S. 951, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, to address the high unemployment rate (over 27 percent) among young veterans and to help them find work. Senator Murray stated that, “For the first time, this bill will require that our service members get the training they need to translate the skills they learned in the military into the working world.” The bill would require broad job skills training and a transition assistance program requirement for returning service members. The bill would also create new direct federal hiring authority to provide jobs for returning service members when they leave the military, and veteran mentorship programs would be improved.

By admin in Public Policy
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US Innovative Education Forum Accepting Applications

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

The annual US Innovative Education Forum (IEF), hosted by Microsoft, honors innovative teachers and schools. The forum provides teachers and schools the opportunity to showcase how technology furthers education transformation by being appropriately incorporated into curricula, pedagogy, and classrooms. The work of schools and teachers engaged in CTE often is at the vanguard of innovation and are eligible to apply.

The application process does not limit to a single application per school. There are opportunities for different innovative teachers, projects, or teams. Kelly Green, Academic Program Manager with US Partners in Learning, indicated, “IEF is a great way to promote the activities the students are engaged in . . . and if selected, this is a great way to showcase the school or district.”

More information about the application and process, including a video of past winners and is available at

By admin in News, Resources, Uncategorized
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New Federal Career Pathways Funding Toolkit Available

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

In an effort to support inter-agency state teams to identify and use federal resources that support career pathways and career pathway bridge models, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has recently released a toolkit to support state planning and design. The resource provides a Funding Options Worksheets and information on ten Federal programs that can interweave the legislative priorities or “braid” the design and development of career pathways and bridges in a more thoughtful and effective manner. The toolkit also may assist teams to identify state policy barriers to using federal resources and strategies for managing the challenges.

More information and links to the toolkit, released as part of its forthcoming Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is available under Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States at

By admin in Career Clusters®, News, Publications, Resources
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All Investing in Innovation Finalists Secure Private Match

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

As we told you earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Education announced the highest rated Investing in Innovation (i3) grant applicants, giving them until September 8, 2010 to secure a commitment from the private sector for a 20 percent match in funds. We have just heard that all 49 of the highest-rated applicants were able to do so.

These grants are funded with $650 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic-stimulus program. Grants ranged from $5 million to $50 million. While the funding from the stimulus only covers fiscal years 2009 and 2010, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has asked for an additional $500 million in the federal budget process to continue the program for another year. The House Appropriations education subcommittee’s bill included $400 million for i3 grants, and the Senate Appropriations Committee’s bill included $250 million, so the program may see some additional funding in fiscal year 2011.

By admin in Public Policy
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Highest-Rated Investing in Innovation Applicants Announced

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the 49 school districts, nonprofit education organizations and institutions of higher education have been selected as finalists for funding under the Investing in Innovation (i3) program which will support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for high-need students. The Department narrowed down the nearly 1,700 applicants down to these 49 finalists based on recommendations from independent peer review panels.

Grants fall into three categories:

  1. Up to $50 million per “scale-up” grant for programs with a strong track record of success;
  2. Up to $30 million per “validation” grant for growing programs with emerging evidence of success; and
  3. Up to $5 million per “development” grant for promising ideas.

To receive a share of the $650 million in i3 grants, the applicants must now secure a commitment from the private sector for a 20 percent match in funds by September 8, 2010. You may view all 49 finalists here.

By admin in Public Policy
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Our First Sit Down With The New Assistant Secretary

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Kim Green and I were pleased to have our first formal meeting yesterday with OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier.  During the course of our 45 minute meeting we spoke broadly about a variety of topics as we all began to get to know each other better and lay the groundwork for a productive working relationship. 

We discussed the progress we are making on following up the ideas presented at the Fall Summit, the Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation (i3) funds, area career technical education centers, the importance of accountability, and leadership development.  We also shared some of our thoughts about the upcoming FY 2011 appropriations process as well as what the future may look like for CTE’s place in legislation such as the reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Workforce Investment Act.

The Assistant Secretary that many of us saw present at the Fall Summit in Baltimore is the same person we met with at her office yesterday: forthright, enthusiastic, goal oriented, and supportive of making CTE an important component of education policy. We look forward to a solid, positive relationship with the Assistant Secretary and the rest of the OVAE staff over the next several years.

By admin in Advance CTE Announcements, Public Policy
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