Posts Tagged ‘WIOA’

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 Passes WIOA Bill as ED Promotes FY25 Budget | Legislative Update

Friday, April 12th, 2024

This week lawmakers reconvened following a spring recess period to address a number of pressing issues. In addition, lawmakers in the House advanced legislation to reauthorize federal workforce development legislation while the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testified before lawmakers regarding the Biden administration’s most recent budget request for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Secretary Cardona Testifies on FY25 Budget Request

This week the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-ED)—the entity responsible for determining funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and other critical education and workforce development legislation—held a hearing to examine the Biden administration’s federal fiscal year 2025 (FY25) budget request for the U.S. Department of Education (ED). 

The hearing featured testimony from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona who focused his remarks on the broad aims of ED’s FY25 budget request. Lawmakers discussed a broad array of topics at the hearing, including forthcoming Title IX regulations that are expected to be released by ED later this year and ongoing efforts to enforce civil rights protections for students. Lawmakers discussed other elements of the FY25 ED budget, including proposed increases in funding for newly proposed programs contained in the budget request. An archived webcast of the hearing, including testimony, can be accessed here

House Republicans Elect Rep. Cole to Lead Appropriations Committee

Current House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) announced last month that she planned to step down from this leadership role. Since then, longtime House Appropriations leader Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) was heavily favored to succeed Granger in this critical post. This week, the House Republican Steering Committee met and recommended Cole for this role and the full House Republican conference voted to ratify him as chairman. The move is expected to likely shift additional appropriations leaders on the committee in the future. In addition, Cole has stepped down as Chair of the House Rules Committee, with Rep. Burgess (R-TX) set to succeed him on this important committee. 

House Passes WIOA Reauthorization Proposal

Earlier this week lawmakers in the House formally considered H.R. 6655—legislation that would reauthorize the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Advance CTE and partners provided feedback on this proposal but did not endorse the legislation when it was passed by the House Education and Workforce Committee late last year. Lawmakers considered the legislation under suspension of the rules, meaning there was limited time for debate or wider efforts to dramatically change the legislation following its advancement last December. House lawmakers ultimately passed the legislation on a wide bipartisan margin, 378-26 

Despite the passage of this legislation, the future for H.R. 6655 remains uncertain. Senate leaders on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, including Chair Sanders (D-VT) and Ranking Member Cassidy (R-LA), are currently working to negotiate a separate legislative proposal to reauthorize WIOA potentially later this spring. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for the organization’s WIOA recommendations to improve future federal workforce development legislation as it continues through the wider legislative process. 

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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Preparing for CTE’s Next Era: Celebrations from Advance CTE’s 2023 Annual Report

Monday, March 25th, 2024

Director of Membership Engagement and Professional Learning Dr. Stephanie Perkins shares Advance CTE’s progress in fully supporting members and elevating CTE in policy and practice in state and federal and policy. 

Career Technical Education (CTE) continues to be a leading state and federal policy solution to both bridge and address transformations in learning and work. CTE’s next era requires maximizing its quality and innovation to remain a go-to experience that can reach and support every learner and community. As the oldest national association of State CTE Directors and related professionals, Advance CTE has continued to grow and adapt to meet the needs of our members and advance the work of CTE Without Limit for the CTE community. 

Our newly released 2023 Annual Report highlights that progress and preparation for CTE’s Next Era for both our organization and our members. 

Keep reading to see five ways Advance CTE 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.

Supporting CTE Leaders and Learners

As our members work to ensure that all learners have access to high-quality, equitable CTE, we strive to meet each state where they are in this journey. In 2023, our focus for supporting CTE leaders and learners focused on continuing our high-quality member experiences, building diverse CTE leadership and workforce pipelines, and elevating learner voice. Our members continue to see value in their membership and look for a variety of ways to engage.

 

Engaging and Connecting Members

Bringing together our members in person and virtually provides the opportunity to share best practices and lessons learned to address common challenges and improve outcomes for CTE learners. In Spring of 2023 we gathered over 200 CTE leaders to discuss opportunities, challenges, and shared solutions around various topics of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) in preparation for state plan revisions. Our members were very satisfied with the structure of these meetings, finding it a very useful space to work with their state teams on Perkins processes and gather ideas from their peers. In event evaluation, 100 percent of responding attendees reported that meetings were an “extremely valuable” or “valuable” use of their time. 

Additionally, we provided direct support and engagement to 44 states through our technical assistance efforts and workgroups. These spaces allowed for innovations and resources that benefit the entire CTE community. 

Leading National Conversations

In 2023, we continued to drive innovation in CTE policy and practice and position CTE as an essential strategy to meet education, workforce, and economic needs. Seventy-seven percent of Advance CTE’s recommendations for modernizing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reauthorization were reflected in a proposed reauthorization last fall. We also continued to build more CTE champions on Capitol Hill, where support for the CTE Month resolution has doubled since 2021.  

Additional Resources

Advance CTE’s Annual Report is just one of the ways for our members to understand the impact this work has on the CTE community. We encourage you to continue to engage with us in various ways by staying up to date with future events found on the membership portal. Additionally, we have several tools for members to find resources through: 

On behalf of the entire Advance CTE team, we look forward to engaging with you in the future!

Dr. Stephanie Perkins, Director of Membership Engagement and Professional Learning

By Stacy Whitehouse in Publications
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Congress Unveils FY24 Funding Package

Friday, March 22nd, 2024

This week lawmakers released a long-anticipated full-year funding proposal for the remainder of the federal budget, including for the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL). Elsewhere the Senate confirmed new DOL leadership overseeing the implementation of workforce development activities. 

Lawmakers Propose Slight Increase in Perkins State Grant Funding

As Advance CTE has shared previously, Congress has been delayed for nearly six months in finalizing and passing full-year funding for the current 2024 federal fiscal year (FY24), including for the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL), ahead of a March 22 deadline later today. Early yesterday morning, Congressional leaders unveiled the text of this long-awaited full-year FY24 funding package, also known as a minibus. 

Notably for the CTE community, the package proposes a $10 million increase for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act’s (Perkins V) basic state grant program––a key priority for Advance CTE throughout the FY24 process. The full-year FY24 funding package would provide $79.1 billion for ED’s budget and $13.7 billion for DOL’s budget, both of which are slightly below FY23 enacted levels. Due to tight budgetary constraints required by last year’s debt limit agreement, known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act, many education and workforce development programs are set to receive funding at roughly the same levels as FY23 or have slight reductions in funding support.

The FY24 package also includes a $20 million reduction in Perkins V’s national activities account––an area of the budget that ED has used previously to fund a newly created competitive grant program known as “Career Connected High Schools” (CCHS). Advance CTE and partners have previously shared concerns regarding this program and have called for greater resources to be dedicated to Perkins V’s state grant program to strengthen this foundational federal investment made in CTE. Beyond these aspects of the FY24 minibus, the funding package does provide significant new funding for childcare and early childhood education initiatives, as well as slight increases to Title I-A formula funding authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

Congress must work quickly today to vote on this FY24 funding package ahead of the aforementioned March 22 deadline at midnight this evening. Lawmakers in the House cleared the minibus by a 286-134 margin and it now goes on to the Senate for consideration and approval. Depending on how expeditiously Senators are able to take up this legislation today, a short lapse in appropriations still remains possible. Advance CTE is monitoring this process closely and will provide more information to the CTE community as these efforts move forward.

ETA Assistant Secretary Confirmed

Yesterday, March 21, the full Senate voted to confirm Jose Javier Rodriguez to lead DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) by a margin of 50-48. Rodriquez was first nominated by President Biden much earlier in the administration but his candidacy had been delayed in the Senate due to previous opposition from Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Bob Menedez (D-NJ). Yesterday’s confirmation vote marks the first time that ETA, DOL’s subagency which administers and oversees the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), will have a Senate-confirmed leader in this position during the Biden administration.  

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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President Biden Delivers State of the Union Address | Legislative Update

Friday, March 8th, 2024

This week President Biden delivered his annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Elsewhere, lawmakers continued to make progress on federal funding while the U.S. Department of Labor made new apprenticeship announcements. 

President’s State of the Union Address

This week both the House and Senate were in session ahead of a new funding deadline and the President’s annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress last night. The President’s address to Congress featured a range of topics, including how recent federal bipartisan legislation focused on infrastructure and the nation’s advanced manufacturing capacity have helped to spur greater demand for skilled workers. Notably, the President highlighted the importance of Career Technical Education (CTE) noting that his administration is working to connect “…businesses and high schools so students get hands-on experience and a path to a good-paying job whether or not they go to college.” 

The President also highlighted a number of other education and workforce priorities including increasing college affordability, broadening access to early learning opportunities, and increasing access to after-school and summer programs. President Biden also called for the creation of a climate corps, modeled off the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps programs, to provide opportunities for individuals, especially youth, to gain experience in clean energy fields. A full transcript of the address is available here

Congress Advances a New Appropriations Minibus

Earlier this week in the House, lawmakers formally advanced a package containing half of the dozen annual spending bills that compose the federal budget. The measure, known as a minibus, passed by a margin of 339-85. The legislation provides full-year funding for the remainder of the 2024 federal fiscal year (FY24) for several federal agencies including the Agriculture and Transportation Departments among others. The Senate is now in the process of considering this legislation ahead of a deadline later tonight when funding is set to expire for this slate of funding bills. While this measure is expected to clear the Senate and be signed into law by the President, the timing of passage remains uncertain at this time.

Once this effort is complete, lawmakers are expected to turn their attention to the remaining six funding bills that are still awaiting full-year FY24 funding. Among this tranche of funding bills is the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) funding measure, which provides funding for the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL), along with the programs that these agencies administer like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Funding for this portion of the federal budget is currently set to expire on March 22. Agreement on this slate of funding bills is still forthcoming. 

Although the FY24 process is not yet complete, President Biden is expected to release his FY25 budget request to Congress this Monday, March 11. As the FY24 appropriations process begins to wind down and as FY25 formally begins, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for a strong investment in Perkins V’s basic state grant program and other funding streams that support high-quality CTE programs and related opportunities. 

Advance CTE Executive Director Appointed to Apprenticeship Advisory Committee

This week, DOL announced the appointment of a new cohort of leaders to serve on its Advisory Committee for Apprenticeship. Advance CTE’s Executive Director, Kate Kreamer, was among those formally appointed to this important advisory role for the Department which will provide guidance and recommendations to the agency on apprenticeship policy over the next two years. 

In addition to this announcement, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) this week aimed at expanding the use of apprenticeship programs within federal agencies and through federal grantmaking and contracting efforts. The EO includes the creation of an interagency task force to help formulate policies and strategies for the federal government to implement this directive, including prioritizing the hiring of individuals who complete registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs) and pre-apprenticeship programs. The order comes after the issuance of a new Training and Employment Notice (TEN No. 23-23) outlining new expectations for pre-apprenticeship programs. Advance CTE is encouraged by these recent efforts and looks forward to providing formal comment on DOL’s recent proposal to overhaul regulations pertaining to RAPs and other apprenticeship models later this month.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Welcome Jessica (Jessi) Maddox to Advance CTE!

Thursday, March 7th, 2024

Hello! My name is Jessica (Jessi) Maddox, and I am ecstatic to be a part of the Advance CTE team as a senior policy associate. In this role I will be working directly with the upcoming cohorts of the Opportunity Gap Analysis providing customized technical assistance and peer learning opportunities to participating states. I will also collaborate with team members to enhance Advance CTE’s state policy, equity, and data and research strategies by supporting state and local sites in designing and advancing high-quality and equitable career pathways.

A lifelong learner, I was born and raised in Florida, and my family and I recently relocated to Richmond, VA for a change of pace. I began my career in the classroom as a middle school social studies teacher. Part of my position included career exploration with my eighth graders and this is where some of my first interactions with Career Technical Education (CTE) began. After six years in the classroom, I wanted to expand my horizons into educational research and returned to school to obtain a master’s degree in Information. In 2017, I joined the Florida office of the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant working as a grant manager. In this position I got to interact with a variety of organizations, from school districts to non-profits, working to provide academic and skills-based after-school experiences to students across Florida’s PreK-12 system. I had the opportunity to further explore CTE as part of a college and career readiness initiative and became interested in furthering my knowledge and experiences in this field.

After completing my master’s degree, I was offered a role as an educational policy analyst with the Division of Career and Adult Education within the Florida Department of Education. In this position I was immersed in all things career and adult education full time. From the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), to apprenticeship, credentials of value and integrated education and training (IET), I worked closely with each coordinating unit to ensure required data and policy provisions were followed. I helped to build out the business rules or data collection processes for outcomes reporting and program improvement.

In 2023, I began a new position as a work-based learning analyst at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) working directly with the Virginia Talent + Opportunity Partnership (V-TOP). In this position I created data collection processes and survey instruments to expand the view of the landscape of credit-bearing and paid work-based learning and internship opportunities across the Commonwealth. Outside of work I can be found spending time with my husband and two sons, playing roller derby, or exploring my new surroundings.

By Layla Alagic in Our Staff
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Leveraging the Perkins State Plan to Maximize Systems Alignment and Impactful Relationships in Career Technical Education

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024

The process conducted by state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders to update their Perkins state plan provides numerous opportunities to reflect on processes, procedures and relationships that keep CTE at the forefront of our educational systems. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) has been a driving force for connecting systems of education and work across the country. An intentional reflection on systems alignment ensures that CTE remains front and center across state career preparation ecosystems.

When we discuss systems alignment, we typically think about how a learner moves through secondary education, postsecondary pursuits and then the workforce. There are several strategy areas within Perkins V to consider how your state systems connect and align, including state and local planning processes, program alignment with workforce needs, integration with other federal programs, data-driven decision-making and stakeholder engagement. Each of these strategies offer opportunities to strengthen and streamline your work, and are discussed below with probing questions that may help you think more strategically about alignment in your state.

State and Local Planning

States are required to develop a comprehensive state plan for CTE. This plan outlines how the state will align and coordinate its CTE programs with other education and workforce development initiatives. During your state planning process, reflect on the following questions: 

Alignment with Workforce Needs

Perkins V emphasizes the importance of aligning CTE programs with the needs of the labor market. This requires reviewing local and state labor market data and collaboration with employers and industry stakeholders to identify current and future workforce demands. States and local agencies should use labor market information to design programs that lead to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand occupations. During your state planning process, reflect on the following questions: 

Integration with Other Programs

Perkins V encourages the intentional coordination between CTE programs and other educational and workforce development initiatives. This includes coordination with programs such as apprenticeships, adult education, and workforce training. This coordination of efforts helps create seamless educational experiences for individuals, ensuring that they are prepared for both postsecondary education and the workforce. During your state planning process, reflect on the following questions: 

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Systems alignment efforts should be informed by data to guide decision-making. States and local agencies should collect and analyze data related to learner access, persistence, outcomes, program effectiveness, and labor market trends. Data-driven decision-making helps foster continuous improvement and ensures that resources are allocated effectively. During your state planning process, reflect on the following questions: 

Stakeholder Collaboration

Perkins V encourages collaboration among various stakeholders, including educators, employers, workforce development agencies, and community organizations. Engaging stakeholders ensures that the education and training provided through CTE programs is relevant and responsive to the needs of the community. During your state planning process, reflect on the following questions: 

Additional Support

By focusing on systems alignment, Perkins V aims to create a more cohesive and effective approach to CTE, ultimately preparing individuals for success in the workforce. States and local agencies play a crucial role in implementing and overseeing these alignment efforts. We are here to support you in this work and continue to drive forward that systems alignment is a critical need across the nation.

Advance CTE will continue a suite of supports designed to ensure your Perkins state plan serves as a powerful lever to achieve your state vision for career technical education, and more broadly CTE Without Limits. These supports include: 

Additional Resources can be found in the Perkins V section of the Learning that Works Resource Center

As we move into the new year, it is the time to reflect on how we work with one another and if those relationships advance learners within the CTE ecosystem. We look forward to continuing conversations with you about the various levers that can be tapped to optimize Perkins V in your state.

Stephanie Perkins, Member Engagement & Professional Learning

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Resources, Public Policy
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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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