Posts Tagged ‘workforce development’

State CTE Policy Update: Meeting Healthcare Workforce Demands through Career and Technical Education

Thursday, May 30th, 2024

As states grapple with ongoing healthcare workforce shortages, Career and Technical Education (CTE) has proven to be a viable means of equipping future healthcare professionals to meet labor demands while ensuring that communities have access to high-quality care. In this blog, Policy Associate Velie Sando highlights state policies that invest in healthcare CTE programs to resolve labor shortages.

In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, the strains on the healthcare system continue to be felt, with labor shortages persisting across the nation. To address this pressing challenge, states are increasingly turning to Career Technical Education (CTE) as a vital means of preparing learners for the demands of the healthcare workforce. By investing in CTE programs, states can ensure a steady supply of qualified healthcare professionals to meet the evolving needs of their communities. Investment in healthcare CTE programs as a solution to medical staffing shortages aligns with Advance CTE’s Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits), which emphasizes CTE’s central role in facilitating learner access to education and training opportunities that meet industry demands. 

Enacted this year, the following policies reflect initiatives that invest in healthcare CTE to meet workforce demands– 

Florida: Empowering Future Healthcare Practitioners

Florida Senate Bill 7016 required lab schools to develop programs to accelerate learner entry  into health care programs at their affiliated universities or public/private postsecondary institutions. This bill also created the Teach, Education, and Clinicals in Health (TEACH) Funding Program which supports federally qualified health centers in offsetting the costs of training learners to become licensed healthcare practitioners. By investing in training programs and incentivizing partnerships with healthcare facilities, Florida is not only preparing learners for careers in healthcare but also addressing the immediate needs of the workforce. 

Washington: Expanding Career Pathways through Allied Health Program

In Washington, House Bill 2236 tasked the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) (in collaboration with health and CTE institutions) with developing an Allied Health Professions Career and Technical Education Program. This program is designed to matriculate a continuous pipeline of healthcare professionals into allied health positions through partnerships with secondary institutions where learners are equipped through career exploration and professional development. This program expands upon Washington’s Core Plus program, which provides two-year CTE instruction programs to prepare learners for employment in various fields. By including healthcare as part of this program, Washington is creating structured pathways for learners to enter the healthcare workforce, thus bridging the gap between education and employment. 

Wisconsin: Streamlining Pathways to Employment in Healthcare

Wisconsin Senate Bill 671 amends current legislation that addresses healthcare workforce shortages by allowing healthcare providers to hire learners enrolled in approved nurse aide training programs as full-time nurse aides after completing 16 hours of classroom training. The amendment allows healthcare providers to hire learners who complete the same training as part-time nurse aides provided that such learners obtain their certifications within 120 calendar days. This streamlines the pathway to employment for aspiring nurse aides, ensuring a steady influx of qualified professionals into the workforce. By incentivizing learners to enter the workforce, Wisconsin is bolstering access to healthcare while also addressing workforce shortages. 

To see more policy trends and access our policy tracker, check out our  State Policy Resources page.

Velie Sando, Policy Associate

By Jodi Langellotti 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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State Innovations in Career Technical Education: Building a Clean Energy Workforce

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

To solve pressing climate-related challenges including droughts, forest fires, sea level rise and others, the nation needs a workforce prepared to address those challenges. The clean energy sector, in particular, helps provide solutions for the future of the planet, and the economic case for expanded investment in clean energy jobs is clear: in 2022, clean energy jobs grew in every state and, with a national 3.9% job growth, outpaced national employment growth.1 To prepare young people for the future of this emerging economy, states and local education agencies are turning to Career Technical Education (CTE) to develop both the technical and academic skills needed while providing specialized training to ensure learners are environmentally aware and can enter into environmentally-focused careers.

Some states focus on a broad strokes approach that expands access to the sector as a whole. Last year, Massachusetts created a Clean Energy Innovation Career Pathway, to “inspire the next generation of clean energy experts in Massachusetts by providing students experiential learning opportunities in the field.” In September 2023, six high schools began piloting this pathway. The state also announced multiple financial investments in the development of training opportunities, including a $2.5 million grant to Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology to create their Center for Energy Efficiency and the Trades and achieve a goal of connecting 50% of graduates to climate-connected occupations by 2026.

Other states developed more focused career-specific pathways in close collaboration with industry partners. Georgia, for example, developed an electric vehicle career pathway in response to a $5 billion investment from electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, who seeks to hire 7,500 workers across four counties in Georgia. This type of approach reveals the importance of employer partners who can demonstrate and speak to the value of CTE training programs for the clean energy sector.

Local education agencies are also adopting hyperlocal programs in response to hyperlocal need. The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School focuses on preparing learners specifically for maritime careers, and is focused heavily on careers centered on the clean workforce, including in marine biology research, aquaculture, and ocean technologies, among other pathways. They have partnered with the Billion Oyster Project to provide learners with hands-on experiences and direct connection to mentors in the industry, in turn developing young practitioners eager to engage in this space. The Billion Oyster Project reports engaging with over 11,000 New York City students since 2014.

Environmental education, climate literacy, and exposure to workforce opportunity are vital to recruitment and retention of young people in the clean energy space. To prepare for the economic future of this emerging space, high quality and equitable CTE needs to remain at the forefront to ensure that all young people can find, decide on and engage in these types of future careers.  


Advance CTE is currently doing work in environmental education by partnering with the Delaware Department of Education to explore the future environmental literacy competencies within and across Delaware Pathways. Read about the project

Read more about policies enacted in CTE Clean Energy and Renewables and other CTE-related policy trends of 2023 in State Policies Impacting CTE: 2023 Year in Review.

Dan Hinderliter, associate director, state policy

By Layla Alagic 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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Advance CTE 2024 Spring Meeting Sponsor Blog – Gold Sponsor NOCTI | Why CTE Leaders Should Care About Assessment: Three Compelling Benefits to Learners and State Teams

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

The views, opinions, services and products shared in this post are solely for educational purposes and do not imply agreement or endorsement by Advance CTE, nor discrimination against similar brands, products or services not mentioned.

In the ever-evolving landscape of workforce education and the development of tomorrow’s workforce, high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and prepared graduates remain indispensable. Positioned to enrich the nation’s workforce pipeline with highly skilled individuals, CTE systems are essential contributors to economic growth.

State CTE leaders set direction, make decisions aligned to their mission, and create value for learners and employers.  There is a unique opportunity to establish benchmarks for defining high-quality CTE systems and that involves a continuous commitment to assessing inputs and outputs, recognizing assessment’s role in ensuring quality outcomes.

For over 55 years, NOCTI/Nocti Business Solutions (NBS) has been dedicated to CTE by developing reliable processes, resources, and research support to strengthen the role of assessments in CTE programs. This commitment highlights the significance of third-party skills verification as a fundamental practice in high-quality CTE systems. Utilizing data-driven quality assessment promotes continuous improvement and boosts leaders’ confidence.

Here are three benefits of implementing quality assessment practices to propel CTE programs forward and assist CTE leaders in contributing economic value across their states.

Benefit #1: Gain confidence in preparing learners for workplace readiness.

State CTE leaders utilize data as feedback to continuously improve systems, celebrate high-quality programs, and target areas for improvement. For example, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) utilizes NOCTI/NBS assessments and data for various purposes, including program evaluation, curriculum alignment, instructional improvement, professional development, and accountability. Learners meeting state-established benchmarks are eligible for the Pennsylvania Skills Certificate (PSC), recognizing individual advanced technical skill achievement.

Benefit #2: Engage industry partners through authentic approaches.

High-quality CTE systems involve business/industry partners in verifying skills, ensuring learner assessments accurately reflect expertise. This practice not only benefits learners but also provides industry employees with an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to CTE schools and programs. As one evaluator recently summarized, “I am always willing to set time aside to work with these learners and programs, as this is the future of my industry–one that I care about and want to impact.”

Benefit #3: Recognize CTE learners in ways that honor skill development.

Recognition of learning progress motivates learners, contributing to their confidence and expertise. NOCTI/NBS certifications offer third-party validated credentials aligned with industry standards. CTE teachers receive affirmation of their instructional impact on learners, validating program quality across various learning contexts. Continuous improvement and collaboration with industry partners enable CTE leaders to create meaningful opportunities for learners to thrive in their chosen fields.

CTE programs shape the future workforce, providing essential skills for success. Implementing NOCTI/NBS assessments ensures learners are prepared for workforce demands and their accomplishments are recognized. Contact NOCTI/NBS to learn more about national certifications and options to integrate NOCTI/NBS products and services into CTE state assessment systems. Join our Subject Matter Expert network! 

Kathleen McNally, NOCTI/NBS CEO

kathleen.mcnally@nocti.org

www.nocti.org

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
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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 Publishes FY25 Budget Request

Friday, March 15th, 2024

This week President Biden formally released his annual budget request to Congress. Elsewhere lawmakers in the Senate explore youth apprenticeship programs. 

Biden Administration Sends FY25 Budget Request to Congress

On Monday, March 11, The Biden administration formally sent its fiscal year 2025 budget (FY25) request to Congress this week. The president asked for $82.4 billion for the U.S. Department of Education (ED)—roughly 4% over FY23 enacted funding levels or about $3.1 billion. Of note for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community, this request proposes a $40 million increase for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act’s (Perkins V) basic state grant program. Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released a press statement after the publication of this budget applauding this aspect of the proposal, especially in light of the tight fiscal constraints. The budget is also seeking $32 million in additional funding to expand ED’s ongoing “Career Connected High School” competitive grant initiative– a component of the budget that Advance CTE has continued to raise concerns about. In addition, the ED portion of this FY25 budget is proposing greater investments in career-relevant dual and concurrent enrollment programs.

Elsewhere, the FY25 budget proposal includes a more modest request for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), asking Congress for $13.9 billion overall, a roughly 2.3% increase over current funding levels. This part of the budget includes a new $8 billion “Career Training Fund” which would be funded on a mandatory basis over the next 10 years. Per the budget, this fund would provide “…up to $10,000 per worker to support the cost of high-quality, evidence-based training with additional funding for wrap-around supports.” More details regarding this aspect of the proposal are still forthcoming.

The release of the President’s FY25 budget request formally begins the wider federal budget and appropriations process. However, as Advance CTE has previously shared, Congress is still working to finalize full-year FY24 funding, including for Perkins V and other education and workforce development programs. Lawmakers must complete this process by March 22 or pass legislation extending appropriations on another short-term basis. Most recently this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a new analysis of the potential impact an across-the-board sequester cut (required by last year’s debt ceiling deal if full-year FY24 funding is not enacted by April 30 this year) would have on non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs like workforce development and education. The CBO is now estimating that this provision would have no impact on NDD programs, reducing a key point of leverage for some factions within Congress to oppose a full-year funding deal. 

As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE and partners will continue to advocate for a strong investment in Perkins V as part of both FY24 and FY25 appropriations cycles. 

Senate Explores Youth Apprenticeship

On Tuesday, March 12, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety held a hearing entitled, “Youth Apprenticeships: Building Partnerships, Strengthening Career Pathways.” The hearing featured testimony from several youth apprenticeship partners and examined how these programs are currently being implemented across the nation. Broadly, the hearing highlighted how youth apprenticeships and related pathways programs, including CTE, can provide learners with multiple options from K-12 education into postsecondary education and careers. Witnesses and Senators discussed strategies and approaches to expand these opportunities for more learners and ways to ensure program quality. In particular, Subcommittee Chairman John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Braun (R-IN) highlighted bipartisan legislation they recently co-sponsored that would broaden access to and funding for youth apprenticeship programs. A video webcast of the hearing and related testimony can be viewed on the Senate HELP webpage.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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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 Extends Funding Through Early Next Year

Friday, November 17th, 2023

This week, Congress passed another short-term extension of current funding for all federal programs and operations through early 2024. The measure maintains current funding levels for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) along with other critical investments in education and workforce development. 

Congress Approves Funding Extension

After weeks of uncertainty, newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced plans over the weekend to advance legislation that would temporarily extend current federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funds through early next year. The legislation bifurcates the 12 individual spending bills that compose the federal government into two separate tranches — known as a “laddered” continuing resolution (CR) — with two separate expiration dates of January 19 and February 2. Of note for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations component of this legislation would extend funding for programs like Perkins V and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) through the February 2 deadline.

The laddered CR approach was initially met with skepticism by some lawmakers, as the strategy does not appear to fundamentally change the underlying dynamics of Congress’ current challenges in finding common ground on full-year FY24 spending. Nonetheless, the measure was introduced in the House this week and passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority by a margin of 336-95. Notably, 93 Republicans and two Democrats voted against the measure—a dynamic that, just a few months ago, led to the surprising ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier this fall. The laddered CR was quickly taken up by the Senate where it was passed on a bipartisan basis by a margin of 87-11. The bill was just recently signed into law by President Biden before current funding legislation was set to expire later today (November 17).

Ostensibly, the passage of a CR is intended to provide lawmakers more time to negotiate FY24 appropriations legislation. However, both chambers have struggled to make progress on their respective slates of appropriations legislation. Meanwhile, in the House, Republican leaders were forced to pull the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill from further consideration after it became clear the measure would likely not have the necessary support to clear the chamber. House leaders were forced to pull other spending measures from consideration for similar reasons the last few weeks as well.

While the passage of the CR will avoid a government shutdown for the remainder of this calendar year, it remains unclear how Congress will use this additional time to either pass additional individual appropriations legislation, negotiate a larger full-year FY24 package or take an alternative route altogether. Advance CTE is continuing to engage with partners on Capitol Hill to ensure that the funding needs of the CTE community are realized as part of this wider process. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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