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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Senate Budget Committee Examines Education Funding and CTE

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June 19, 2013

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Senate Budget Committee Examines Education Funding and Postsecondary CTE

Education Secretary Arne Duncan appeared before the Senate Budget Committee to talk about the Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request for education. As we previously reported in April, the Administration requested funding Perkins at $1.1 billion, equal to the pre-sequestration level from FY 2012. Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) used the hearing to highlight her efforts to replace sequestration and hammered House Republicans on their FY 2014 budget for its deep cuts in education.

Murray and Duncan were in agreement on the need to replace the across-the-board sequester cuts with a balanced solution, as proposed in the White House and Senate Democrat FY 2014 budget plans. Sequestration will result in a $58 million reduction in Perkins funding, impacting the 2013-14 school year. “Sequestration, which was never intended to take effect and was written into the bipartisan Budget Control Act to bring both sides to the table ready to compromise, is starting to hit children and students hardest in communities across the country,” said Murray. “These children and students did not cause the debt and deficit challenges we are focused on addressing, but under sequestration they bear one of the largest impacts of the cuts.”

Regarding the House FY 2014 budget, Duncan indicated that the plan would reduce federal education funding by 18 percent on top of the sequester cut. The House budget disproportionately shifts the burden of those cuts to domestic discretionary programs, including education and workforce development. Sen. Murray argued that the House funding levels are “unworkable” and “would mean we couldn’t even consider new investments in our students to make sure they can compete in the global economy.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) turned the discussion to college completion and the lack of emphasis on non-degree CTE programs at the postsecondary level, which offer certifications, certificates and licenses.   “We have too narrow a view of higher education” said Kaine. “I don’t think we are yet doing a good enough job of really explaining, incentivizing, funding and planning the right way for post high school education to include career and technical offerings.” Duncan responded that his goal is to ensure that everyone graduates from high school prepared for some form of postsecondary education, which includes non-degree CTE programs.

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