Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Department of Education’

WIOA Reauthorization Comes into Focus | Legislative Update

Friday, June 21st, 2024

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have formally considered the reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) while Congress continues to move forward on funding proposals with implications for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Senate Considers WIOA Reauthorization

On Wednesday, June 12, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to examine issues related to the reauthorization of WIOA. The hearing featured testimony from a slate of five witnesses, including experts on youth apprenticeship, workforce development, and employer representatives. Witnesses highlighted the broader goals of the public workforce system, how WIOA is intended to operate, and the need to better resource workforce development efforts to meet these objectives. The issue of reforming the federal Pell Grant program to allow for shorter-term, high-quality CTE programs was a key theme throughout the hearing. Recently lawmakers in the House unsuccessfully tried to advance legislation on this issue in the National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate is widely expected to formally consider separate legislation later this summer. 

In addition, the hearing examined a wide range of issues including the need to more effectively connect programs authorized by WIOA with K-12 education systems as a way to identify youth before they become disconnected from education or work. Senators and witnesses also discussed ways to better incorporate youth apprenticeship programs in high schools and the importance of supportive services and work experience for populations served by WIOA. The Senate HELP Committee is expected to release a discussion draft for WIOA reauthorization in the near future. Advance CTE will provide further analysis and recommendations regarding this proposal when it becomes available. 

View an archived webcast of the hearing, including witness testimony

House Lawmakers Continue to Advance FY25 Funding Proposals

The House has been on a recess period this week while the Senate convened for part of the week around the June 19 federal holiday. Before recessing, the House advanced the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—legislation that sets the policy direction for defense spending for the coming fiscal year. The House narrowly passed the NDAA, largely along party lines due to the inclusion of several contentious amendments by a margin of 217-199. When House lawmakers return next week, they are expected to begin formal consideration of the fiscal year 2025 (FY25) Labor-HHS-ED funding bill—legislation that provides funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and other key education and workforce development investments. It is widely expected that this legislation will propose significant cuts, as lawmakers did last year, for many programs within this portion of the federal budget. 

More recently, Senate appropriations leaders announced that they will begin the process of considering, marking up, and advancing their own FY25 education funding bill next month. It is widely expected that the Senate will take a much more moderate approach for FY25 funding, although leaders have continued to share concerns regarding the caps currently in place that limit funding available for domestic programs, including for CTE. 

Title IX Rule Blocked

As shared previously, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently published new Title IX regulations intended to strengthen protections against sex discrimination. The new rules are scheduled to take effect August 1, 2024 and codify new protections for LGBTQ students, staff, and others against discrimination, including based on 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. However, in recent weeks two separate federal courts have temporarily blocked this rule in several states amid a flurry of lawsuits from Republican-led states objecting to the new rule. Further litigation on this issue is expected and a final resolution remains unclear. 

ED Issues Guidance on Correctional Education

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) issued a Dear Colleague letter calling for greater investments in education within correctional settings. The guidance urges states to use a greater share of Perkins V and Adult Education and Family Literacy Act funding for justice-involved populations. The letter argues that greater investment on this issue can help reduce recidivism rates and promote safer communities by helping to facilitate more seamless reentry for these populations. 

Read the letter from OCTAE 

Steve Voytek, policy advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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House Moves Forward on FY25 Proposals | Legislative Update

Friday, June 7th, 2024

Congress returned to Capitol Hill this week for a new work period this month. Lawmakers in the House have been focusing attention this week on appropriations legislation for the upcoming fiscal year while the Senate continues to consider updates to federal investments in workforce development. 

House Advances FY25 Funding Measures

Both chambers of Congress returned to Capitol Hill this week, with lawmakers in the House focusing much of their attention advancing federal fiscal year 2025 (FY25) funding measures for a subset of the dozen individual spending bills that compose the entire federal budget. Nearly half of these spending measures have been marked up by appropriations leaders and are expected to be considered by the full appropriations committee and House chamber in the near future. As a reminder, Labor-HHS-ED funding bill—legislation that provides funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act (Perkins V) and other education and workforce development priorities—is slated to be considered at the end of June. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for a robust investment in CTE via Perkins V’s state grant program. 

NCES Releases Condition of Education Report

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) published its “Condition of Education” report– an annual publication highlighting a wide range of data and emerging trends from early education, K-12, and postsecondary levels. The annual report examines key developments in education over time throughout the education continuum. This year’s report highlighted CTE and found that students pursuing CTE courses were more likely to go to postsecondary education or training and earn credentials of value in shorter periods of time. In addition, the report highlighted significant challenges in CTE regarding shortages of qualified teachers with 31% of respondents indicating difficulties in filling open positions for these programs. 

Read the full report 

Senate to Hold WIOA Hearing Next Week

Next week the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing titled “The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Supporting Efforts to Meet the Needs of Youth, Workers, and Employers.” The hearing is expected to focus on potential updates to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as HELP Committee leaders continue to discuss the prospects of reauthorizing the primary federal investment in workforce development.

Read more information about the hearing 

House Agriculture Committee Votes on Federal Nutrition Programs

The House Agriculture Committee held a nearly 12 hour markup recently to consider the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024—legislation that would reauthorize the nation’s Farm Bill for another five year period. The measure 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 endorsed earlier this year. The $1.5 trillion legislative package was advanced by the committee on a slight bipartisan basis by a margin of 33-21, with four Democrats crossing party lines to vote in favor of the proposal. The bill is expected to be further considered by the House, as the Senate considers its own proposal led by Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The current Farm Bill authorization expires this October.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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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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House Examines ED’s Policies and Priorities | Legislative Update

Friday, May 10th, 2024

This week the lawmakers in the House hosted the U.S. Secretary of Education (ED) to testify regarding the agency’s policies and priorities for the coming year. In addition, the Senate examined the U.S. Department of Labor’s budget request for the upcoming fiscal year while ED issues new guidance regarding school and institution’s civil rights obligations. 

Cardona Questioned on Perkins Regulations

On Tuesday, May 7, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing focused on oversight of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and its wider policies and priorities. The more than four hour hearing featured testimony from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona who responded to a wide range of questions and topics from lawmakers on the panel. These included a particular focus on ED’s ongoing challenges in implementing a newly revamped Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and newly finalized Title IX regulations which are set to go into effect later this summer.

In addition, Rep. “GT” Thompson (R-PA) questioned Cardona regarding ED’s plans to issue new regulations for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and highlighted the significant negative disruption this would have on states and Perkins recipients nearly six years after the law’s passage as communities collectively begin a new four-year planning cycle for the legislation. Thompson questioned Cardona as to whether programs funded by Perkins V are actively responding to the needs of the labor market and whether the law’s implementation, more broadly, has been successful. Significantly, Cardona responded yes to both of these questions and went on to say that he believes, “…that the evolution of Perkins to include CTE is where we need to go and it has been successful to get states to look at it differently.” 

When questioned further regarding the need for additional regulations for Perkins V, Cardona indicated that the planned proposed rules would be intended to broaden opportunities for learners to engage in “earn to learn” programs but did not specify a clear rationale for issuing new rules on the topic at this time nor did he provide further detail regarding what these regulations are likely to entail. Advance CTE has continued to raise significant concerns regarding these forthcoming regulations and has questioned why they are specifically necessary at this point in the law’s implementation. 

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

Senate Examines DOL’s FY25 Budget Request

Yesterday, May 9, the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) Subcommittee held a hearing to examine and consider President Biden’s budget request for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for the upcoming 2025 federal fiscal year (FY25). The hearing featured testimony and perspectives from Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su regarding aspects of the agency’s FY25 budget request. The hearing examined a broad range of issues, including recent regulatory changes proposed or otherwise finalized by DOL, and highlighted the importance of workforce development investments.

View a full recording of the hearing including Su’s testimony

ED Issues New Guidance on Civil Rights Obligations

On Tuesday, May 7, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued a new Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) outlining school leaders’ responsibilities under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The DCL provides detailed scenarios and guidelines for identifying acts that could be considered discriminatory, including vandalism, protests, and verbal harassment. The guidance letter clarifies the legal requirements schools and institutions must adhere to in order to remain compliant with federal laws and emphasizes that non-compliance could lead ED to withhold federal funding. The guidance comes amid reported increases in antisemitic and other identity-based incidents on college campuses and within K-12 schools over the past several months.

View more information from ED on the guidance

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Congress Remains on Recess After Finalizing FY24 | Legislative Update

Friday, April 5th, 2024

This week lawmakers remained on spring recess and are expected to return next week for a busy two-week work period. Elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a delay in anticipated postsecondary regulations impacting career education programs. 

Lawmakers Include Focus on Appropriations and WIOA in Next Work Period 

Congress is on recess this week, but legislators are scheduled to return to Washington, D.C. for a two-week work period on April 8. Broadly, Advance CTE expects Congress to focus its efforts this month on the recent bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland and an international aid package. In addition, lawmakers in the House are expected to consider H.R. 6655—legislation that would reauthorize the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). As a reminder, leaders on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee are continuing to separately negotiate their own version of WIOA reauthorization with a current target date for action around Memorial Day later this year. 

As wider Senate and House floor discussions evolve, the Appropriations committees are beginning to formally start the federal fiscal year 2025 (FY25) appropriations process. This normally entails bringing the leaders of federal agencies to Capitol Hill to testify regarding their Department’s annual budget requests. Advance CTE expects an initial appropriations hearing in the House to take place sometime next week and will be monitoring these efforts closely as the organization works to strengthen the federal investment in Career Technical Education (CTE) via the Carl D. Perkins CTE Act’s (Perkins V) basic state grant program. 

However, these efforts may be delayed somewhat as the Republican Steering Committee is expected to meet early next week to discuss who will lead the House Appropriations Committee, following an announcement late last month from current Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) that she would step down from this role. At present, longtime appropriations leader Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) appears to be heavily favored to be recommended for this leadership position following public support from several other House Republican appropriations leaders. However, Rep. Aderholt (R-AL), currently the chair of the appropriations subcommittee responsible for workforce funding, has circulated a Dear Colleague letter indicating that he is seeking broader changes to the appropriations process. “Instead of hastily selecting a new Appropriations chair, I believe that now is the time to focus on correcting the process and developing our theory of government on how we will manage our responsibilities,” he wrote in part.

As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE will be engaging with both the WIOA reauthorization and appropriations processes closely during this upcoming work period. 

Gainful Employment Regulations Delayed

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague letter delaying the implementation of reporting requirements for forthcoming Gainful Employment (GE) and Financial Value Transparency (FVT) regulations. While most of the new rules for GE and FVT will go into effect July 1 of this year, postsecondary institutions and covered programs will now have until October 1 of this year to begin reporting the necessary data to ED to begin implementation of these new regulatory frameworks. As a reminder, GE rules apply to certain postsecondary career education programs and determine their eligibility for federal student financial aid from Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) based on programs’ ability to meet certain performance standards related to graduates’ earnings and ability to pay back student loans.

While GE rules apply to only a subset of postsecondary institutions and programs and include related sanctions in the form of losing Title IV eligibility, new FVT rules will apply to a much broader segment of the higher education sector without related penalties for low-performance. Advance CTE examined these rules in more detail last year when a final rule was published by ED. 

This delay comes after a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to ED encouraging a delay of these new rules as ED continues to struggle with the implementation of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. In addition to the delay in reporting requirements, ED has also indicated that it will be issuing additional guidance for GE and FVT implementation sometime this month. More information on these announcements can be found here and here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Lawmakers Celebrate CTE Month, Progress on FY24 Remains Uncertain | Legislative Update

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers in the House and Senate have continued to formally recognize the importance of Career Technical Education (CTE) and celebrated February as CTE Month® in a number of ways. Elsewhere, appropriations leaders continue to work on federal funding measures, Advance CTE endorsed several new pieces of legislation and federal agencies released new equity plans. 

New Challenges Emerge in FY24 Funding Process

The Senate remained in session last weekend to pass a highly anticipated supplemental national security aid package. Following that action, the Senate adjourned and is not expected to return to Capitol Hill until February 26. Meanwhile, the House met for an abbreviated work period this week where Republican lawmakers impeached Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. This action in the House will trigger a trial in the Senate when lawmakers return later this month. Due to Senate rules that require addressing this issue upon their return, this upcoming trial may impact ongoing negotiations, largely occurring behind the scenes, on federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) spending, including the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations measure that funds the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and other programs administered and overseen by the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL).

At this time, it remains unclear how lawmakers will ultimately move forward with FY24 appropriations legislation beyond the upcoming expiration dates of current funding rapidly approaching on March 1 and March 8. Reportedly, appropriations leaders are currently negotiating potential “policy riders” that some lawmakers are seeking to attach to these funding measures, including Labor-HHS-ED. House lawmakers are currently scheduled to return after a recess period on February 28, leaving only a few days to determine a pathway forward. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE is continuing to advocate for robust funding for Perkins V’s formula grant program.

CTE Month Continues With Co-Chair Appearances and a New Senate Resolution

Yesterday, House CTE Caucus co-chairs Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) made an appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program to talk about the importance of CTE and the role it plays in the wider economy. The two leaders fielded questions from viewers and spoke at length about their experiences with CTE, the importance of the federal investment made by Perkins V and highlighted the immense value CTE programs provide to learners, especially by providing multiple pathways to postsecondary education, training and careers. These lawmakers also introduced the Counseling for Career Choice Act, bipartisan legislation that would strengthen career counseling services available to K-12 students. Advance CTE was proud to endorse this legislation upon introduction. In addition, House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) provided floor remarks celebrating CTE month and emphasizing the important role CTE programs have in providing learners with valuable and durable skills. 

On the other side of the Capitol, Senate CTE Caucus co-chair Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Todd Young (R-IN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced and passed a bipartisan resolution recognizing February as CTE month within the chamber. “This month and every month, let’s work to expand access to CTE, including by passing my JOBS Act to allow students to use Pell Grants for job training programs, and build an economy that works for everyone,” Senator Kaine remarked upon its passage. 

Advance CTE applauds all of these lawmakers for their ongoing leadership on this issue and extends our community’s deep appreciation for continuing to elevate and highlight the significant importance of CTE this month and throughout the year.

Bipartisan Childcare CTE Bill Introduced

Earlier this week, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Mike Lawler (R-NY) and Bonamici introduced the Early Childhood Workforce Advance Act. The legislation would provide new resources for CTE programs and aims to address significant workforce shortages in this critical sector of the economy. “The Early Childhood Workforce Advancement Act intentionally leverages CTE programs and ensures that these efforts are connected to ongoing state and local efforts to strengthen early educator workforce pipelines,” Advance CTE’s Executive Director Kate Kreamer shared upon the bill’s introduction. More information on the proposal can be found here.

ED Publishes Updated Equity Action Plan

At the beginning of the week, ED formally released its 2023 update to the Department’s existing “Equity Action Plan,” outlining new commitments to advance equity in education. ED identified five key focus areas: improving college access and completion rates for underserved students; ensuring equitable resources for learning recovery; expanding educational opportunities for justice-impacted individuals to improve outcomes; advancing equity in career and technical education; and increasing mental health resources in underserved communities. In the plan, ED notes that it hopes to improve data transparency with regards to Perkins V data, host a future webinar series on equity in CTE and propose broadened equity indicators as part of its priorities for potential legislative updates to Perkins V in the years ahead. Read the full plan here.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: House Republicans Advance Significant Spending Cut Proposal

Thursday, April 27th, 2023

This week Congress’ collective attention has been centered on the need to raise the nation’s statutory borrowing authority. House Republicans have successfully passed legislation that would achieve this in exchange for dramatic reductions in investments for domestic programs, including Career Technical Education (CTE). Elsewhere, President Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Labor has continued to progress while new guidance for youth workforce development efforts has been released. 

House Republicans Advance Dramatic Spending Cut Proposal

For the last several months, Congress has intensely debated the need to raise the nation’s borrowing authority. Known informally as the debt ceiling or debt limit, this is the total amount of money the federal government is legally permitted to borrow to pay for expenses already incurred. Failure to increase this limit would result in a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt obligations which nearly happened in 2011 when the nation’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time in its history. The U.S. Treasury Department currently projects the debt limit will be reached by early summer. 

Lawmakers have continued to disagree on how and, in some cases, whether to raise the debt limit to avert this impending crisis. This has resulted in a lengthy stalemate that has been ongoing since the start of the 118th Congress. Recently, House Republicans released a new legislative proposal that would dramatically cut federal investments in all discretionary domestic programs, including those overseen by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) by nearly 22 percent. If enacted, this would dramatically reduce the federal investment in CTE, made by the Carl D. Perkins Act as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), by over $300 million. ED currently estimates that this would impact roughly 26 million students among many other programmatic cuts, related disruptions and negative consequences for learners.

In addition to this significant proposed funding reduction, the bill also includes a cap on discretionary spending for domestic programs, including programs like Perkins V, to one percent over the next decade. The proposal also includes a slew of other Republican priorities House leaders hope to enact in exchange for raising the national borrowing authority through March 21, 2024 or by $1.5 trillion (whichever occurs first). 

On Tuesday, the House Rules Committee met to procedurally advance this proposal. The measure was approved along party lines by a vote of 9-4. Due to the tight margins of control in the House, Speaker McCarthy made several modifications to the legislation, including increasing proposed work requirements for social safety net programs and removing provisions that would eliminate tax credits for ethanol fuel, as he and his leadership team continued to firm up support for the bill. Late yesterday evening, the House voted to approve the measure along party lines by a thin margin of 217-215. The proposal is not likely to be taken up by the Senate and it remains unclear whether this recent development will overcome the current political impasse on this issue.

DOL Nominee Advanced by Senate HELP Committee

With the recent departure of U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, President Biden has nominated current U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor and former California Labor Secretary, Julie Su, to fill this important position overseeing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted to advance Su’s nomination along party lines by a margin of 11-10. Su’s nomination now heads to the full Senate for further consideration. However, all Republicans are expected to vote against her nomination due to concerns regarding Su’s tenure as California Labor Secretary and several moderate Democrats have also shared these same perspectives. Given the narrow margin of control in the Senate, the fate of Su’s nomination, therefore, remains unclear as more Senators share whether they will ultimately approve her nomination.

 DOL Releases New Youth Workforce Guidance 

Recently, the DOL released a training and employment guidance letter (TEGL 09-22) which clarifies DOL’s Employment and Training Adminstration’s (ETA) priorities regarding youth workforce development and updates non regulatory guidance regarding the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) youth formula program. The TEGL highlights new strategies for determining youth funding eligibility and provides suggestions for how stakeholders can better provide workforce development services for youth populations served by WIOA. A webinar hosted by ETA to provide an overview of this guidance is scheduled for next month. Registration information can be found here

ED Publishes National CTE Research Study Notice

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Institute of Education Sciences (IES) published an updated version of two survey instruments that will be used to gather data and information from state and local CTE stakeholders. This effort is mandated by Perkins V which requires a national evaluation of policies and programs being implemented as part of the law. The notice is soliciting feedback and input from the public regarding the survey instruments prior to being used later this year as part of this wider national evaluation. The notice, including instructions to provide comment, can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Jodi Langellotti in Public Policy
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Measuring Progress for Every Leader and Learner in CTE in Five Visuals

Tuesday, April 11th, 2023

Advance CTE’s newly released 2022 Annual Report celebrates how our organization continues to grow and adapt to meet the needs of our members. In doing so, we made meaningful progress in achieving Career Technical Education (CTE) without any limits to program access, support and success for each learner. 

Keep reading to see five ways our organization continues to support our members while challenging the field by leading on equity, influencing federal policy, building community and knowledge, and providing impactful tools and resources. 

State CTE leaders feel valued and heard through our supports and resources. 

 

 

 

 

One hundred percent of State CTE Director felt valued and satisfied as a member of Advance CTE.

Advance CTE is a national leader in equipping CTE leaders to build more equitable programs and systems for each learner. 

In 2022 we strove to close equity and representation gaps through expanded delivery of our Opportunity Gap Analysis workshop to 24 states and supporting two cohort and 25 leaders of cohort participating in the Postsecondary State Career Technical Education Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE — Sponsored by ECMC Foundation. 

 

Expanded tailored technical assistance and engagement spaces of all sizes successfully met the capacity and needs of our state CTE leaders. 

In 2022, 45 states and two territories participated in dedicated spaces to learn best practices and undertake steps to address pressing systemic challenges. 

 

Advance CTE’s strong reputation among federal policymakers delivered increases for Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). 

In 2022, we achieved new records in the number of congressional members supporting CTE Month and total funding for Perkins V. 

 

 

 

 

Our professional learning events receive high marks for connecting members to state and national experts with solutions on timely issues. 

In 2022, Advance returned to in-person events while also delivering virtual events in new formats, including a three-part June Meeting Series and fireside chat featuring U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education Dr. Amy Loyd. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Communications Manager

By Stacy Whitehouse in Publications
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Legislative Update: Congress Continues Busy Lame Duck Session

Friday, December 9th, 2022

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have continued to work on a number of pressing issues, including funding legislation for the current 2023 federal fiscal year (FY23). Elsewhere the contours of the upcoming 118th Congress– set to convene in January– are continuing to take shape as additional elections are finalized and leadership decisions are made. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released new guidance related to STEM education. 

Lawmakers Struggle to Find Agreement on FY23 Funding

This week, Congress continued to work on a number of important agenda items lawmakers hope to complete during the current lame duck session of Congress. Topping this list, is the need to fund the federal government and related programs beyond December 16—when current stopgap funding legislation is set to expire. This legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), has provided an extension of FY22 funding levels for federal operations and programs, like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), through this date later this month. Lawmakers are still negotiating topline spending totals for the major components of the federal budget. As a reminder, discretionary spending is split between defense and non-defense funding. Democratic lawmakers broadly favor additional non-defense spending, while Republicans are supportive of larger amounts of funding for the military.

This disagreement— how much to allot for both of these spending categories—has remained one of the primary obstacles for Congress to advance full-year spending legislation needed to avert a government shutdown and lapse in appropriations for programs like Perkins V. As this disagreement persists, lawmakers will likely be forced to pass another short-term extension of existing FY22 funding levels to provide themselves more time to negotiate a final deal. It is unclear whether lawmakers will find consensus on this important issue prior to the start of the next Congress, set to begin on January 3, 2023, but both sides are working earnestly to finalize a deal prior to the holidays. 

As these efforts continue, Advance CTE will continue to engage with partners on Capitol Hill to impress upon lawmakers the importance of full-year funding and to encourage greater investments in Perkins V and funding streams of interest to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community in the coming year. 

Democrats Solidify New Senate Majority

As shared previously, the long-awaited midterm elections took place last month which resulted in Republicans retaking control of the House. While nearly all of these electoral races had been resolved, a final Senate runoff election in Georgia between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and challenger Herschel Walker took place. After the polls closed Tuesday evening, Sen. Warnock (D-GA) was declared the winner of this election. With Sen. Warnock’s electoral victory, Democrats will have a 51-49 majority in the Senate as part of the upcoming 118th Congress. This majority will further solidify Democrats’ control of legislative and nomination processes which, over the last two years, had relied on Vice President Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes when the chamber deadlocked. 

Significantly, this slim Democratic majority in the 118th Congress will also mean Democrats will have majorities on individual Senate committees, including the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee which oversees CTE policy, in the coming Congress. With these majorities on committees, Democrats will be able to move nominees and certain legislation that had previously been bogged down by disagreements between the parties over the last two years. Despite these positive developments for Democrats Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an incumbent Democratic Senator from Arizona, announced that she is leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent. Although this complicates Democrats’ newfound Senate majority somewhat, Sinema shared in an interview today that she will not caucus with Republicans which means Democrats are still likely to have a firmer grip on the Senate in the coming two years. 

House Republican Leadership Continues to Take Shape

Elsewhere incoming House Republican leaders are continuing to make decisions regarding who will lead committees of jurisdiction in the coming Congress, including those that will oversee CTE policy next year. Of note, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) was granted a waiver by House Republican leadership recently to run to lead the House Education and Labor Committee next Congress. This waiver will allow Foxx to run for chair, but she is likely to be challenged by one or more other Republican members vying for the position. Advance CTE will continue to monitor this and other developments as the 118th Congress continues to take shape.

ED Issues New STEM Guidance

On Wednesday,  December 6, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) sent a Dear Colleague letter to state educational agencies, local educational agencies, and other stakeholders providing information on how existing federal funds can be used to  support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The letter aims to provide guidance on using funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), as well as other relevant funding streams and legislation, such as Perkins V, to support innovative, equity-focused K-12 STEM education and related activities. It also provides suggested examples and best practices for how to maximize the use of these resources. The letter goes on to emphasize the importance of STEM education in helping students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare them for a rapidly evolving labor market. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Lawmakers Return to Capitol Hill as Advance CTE Hosts Assistant Secretary Amy Loyd and the Biden Administration Works to Address Teacher Shortages

Friday, September 9th, 2022

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have returned from their annual August recess to address upcoming federal funding deadlines. Meanwhile, Advance CTE hosted Assistant Secretary Dr. Amy Loyd to launch its fall policy conversation series while the Biden Administration makes a series of announcements related to teacher shortages, new U.S. Department of Education (ED) nominees, and more. 

Lawmakers Return to Capitol Hill

Federal legislators have been in home states and districts since early August as part of Congress’ annual summertime recess. This week lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill and are facing a fast-approaching deadline at the end of the month to pass federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding legislation. For most of the year, Democrats and Republicans have been unable to find consensus on the 12 individual spending bills that compose the federal government and which are due annually by September 30. Given this lack of agreement, lawmakers have re-focused their attention this week on negotiating shorter-term, stop gap funding legislation, known as a Continuing Resolution (CR). This legislative measure will simply extend current FY22 funding levels for all federal operations and programs, like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), for a specified amount of time. 

At the moment, lawmakers are negotiating the length of time this CR will cover and what, if any, additional provisions—beyond the extension of FY22 funding levels—will be included. Advance CTE currently anticipates that this CR will last until after the upcoming midterm elections set for November. As these talks continue, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for robust investments in Perkins V’s basic state grant program and other programs of interest to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community. 

Advance CTE Hosts Discussion with Assistant Secretary Dr. Amy Loyd 

On Wednesday, September 6, Advance CTE’s Executive Director Kimberly Green hosted Dr. Amy Loyd — the recently confirmed Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at ED — for a wide ranging discussion regarding her pathway to CTE and her plans for the office’s future direction. The conversation highlighted Dr. Loyd’s unique career and educational experiences, which began in New Mexico, and her wider work on CTE policy as a state, local, and national leader. In particular, Loyd emphasized the importance of culturally responsive instruction and the need for CTE programs to reflect the communities they serve. A recording of the discussion can be found here

President Biden Nominates New Head for RSA

Late last Friday, September 2, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Danté Quintin Allen to be the next Commissioner of the Rehabilitative Services Administration (RSA) at ED. The RSA is tasked with supporting states to deliver vocational rehabilitation and related services for individuals with disabilities to ensure they are able to find and sustain employment, live independently, and integrate with the wider community, and fully participate in the labor market. Allen currently serves as the Executive Director for CalABLE—a statewide program in California that provides savings and investment plans for individuals with disabilities. More information on the announcement can be found here. A date for further consideration in the Senate of Allen’s nomination has not yet been set. 

Cardona Announces Back-to-School Tour

On Wednesday, September 7, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the department will be undertaking a back-to-school bus tour beginning next week. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, First Lady Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Douglass Emhoff, and a number of other high-ranking USED officials will be participating in the week-long, multistate bus tour which will includes stops in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Starting September 12, the tour is intended to highlight a number of the Administration’s efforts to support states, schools, students and families during the new school year. More about the tour can be found here

Biden Administration Announces Additional Actions to Address Teacher Shortages

Late last month,  the Biden Administration announced a series of additional actions aimed at addressing persistent nationwide teacher shortages. These efforts include new partnerships with the private sector to help increase awareness about career pathways leading to the teaching profession and the creation of new jobs portals to help facilitate connections between prospective candidates and teaching opportunities. In addition, the Administration highlighted  “Grow Your Own” CTE programs to prepare the next generation of educators as a key recommended strategy for more states and communities to consider when addressing teacher shortages. 

Notably, the Administration also announced that the next round of apprenticeship expansion grants—  $100 million in discretionary funding provided to DOL to promote and expand registered apprenticeship programs for priority populations and targeted economic sectors—will focus primarily on programs providing pathways to the teaching profession. More on this announcement can be found here.  

DOL Announces New Community College Grants 

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled the most recent round of Strengthening Community Colleges Training (SCCT) grants. Administered by DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), these grants are intended to bolster community colleges’ ability to deliver high-quality skills development programs that lead to in-demand industries and related careers. “These grants are designed to empower community colleges to ensure their curriculum meets the needs of employers in their communities and equips workers with valuable skills,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh stated as part of this announcement. More information on these grants, including the most recent awardees, can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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