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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

President’s Budget Falls Short on Building Investment in CTE

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March 6, 2014

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President’s Budget Falls Short on Building Investment in CTE

On Tuesday, the Obama Administration released its budget proposal for FY 2015. This document, normally released in early February, outlines the Administration's spending priorities for the coming year fiscal year. The budget proposes to level fund the Perkins Basic State Grant at $1.118 billion in FY 2015, with no increase for CTE National Programs either. ACTE  is concerned that continued inadequacies in state Perkins funding, which is proposed at $5 million below pre-sequester levels and over $140 million below FY 2010 levels, are negatively impacting high schools, CTE centers, community and technical colleges, employers and millions of CTE students nationwide.

We previously reported that the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill, which was passed by Congress in January, included a $53 million increase for Perkins and restored most of the harmful sequester cut for CTE. Unfortunately, the president’s budget proposal does not build on this positive momentum to fully fund CTE. The Administration does propose to fund several new programs that could provide students with expanded education opportunities, including $150 million for high school redesign grants, $20 million for Skills Challenge Grants to benefit adult education and $100 million for a First in the World Fund in postsecondary education. However, the resources provided to education would be better directed toward proven programs, like Perkins, that have already demonstrated success, rather than largely untested and unproven alternatives.

“The Obama Administration’s budget request does nothing to build the federal investment in CTE. Current Perkins funding levels are inadequate to prepare the nearly 12 million students enrolled in CTE programs for 21st century careers,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “It is concerning that the President continues to express his commitment to equitably providing opportunity for future generations by building a strong American workforce, but has not yet fulfilled that commitment by allocating adequate resources to CTE programs with a proven record of success, including the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.”

It is time to build our federal investment in CTE by first restoring the Perkins Basic State Grant to at least the pre-sequestration level in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, and beginning to address the additional funding needs of CTE programs. Congress must make investing in CTE a top priority!

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