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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

WIA Approved, CTE Funds Still at Risk

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July 31, 2013

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WIA Approved, CTE Funds Still at Risk

After a short markup lasting just 25 minutes, with only one amendment offered, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved of the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) by a bipartisan vote of 18-3. The Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356) makes a much needed overhaul of the WIA federal job training system which has not been reauthorized since its original implementation in 1998.

The bill includes positive priorities for programs to culminate in recognized postsecondary credentials and that program offerings are aligned with in-demand careers in local areas and regions. Additionally, the bill eliminates the “sequence of services” provision that requires trainees to progress through a series of job search assistance before becoming eligible for actual skill training services.

ACTE and NASDCTEc submitted a joint letter to the HELP committee recommending additional updates to the WIA system that would better align it with CTE programs at postsecondary institutions and reduce burdens on training providers, such as:

  • automatic approval of accredited education providers as WIA training providers
  • including state directors of CTE as mandatory members of state workforce investment boards
  • ensuring a common set of data requirements across federal programs to reduce over reporting

ACTE’s biggest concern with the approved bill though is the inclusion of a one-stop center infrastructure funding mechanism, which would require one-stop center partners , including Perkins funded CTE programs, to surrender 1.5 percent of their funds to WIA infrastructure. This mechanism would result in a $17 million loss to Perkins funds.

The next step for this bill is to move to the full Senate for another round of debate and amendments before a final vote to approve. ACTE will continue to press the Senate to remove the infrastructure funding mechanism from any final bill, but we need your help as well.

Take Action:

  • Go to the CTE Action Center and send your Senators are message to protect CTE investments!
  • Tell us how reductions in Perkins CTE funding have impacted you and your classroom.

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