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Education and Workforce Training Highlights in President’s Budget


March 12, 2014


Education and Workforce Training Highlights in President’s Budget

Last week, the Obama Administration released its budget proposal for FY 2015. We previously reported that the budget proposes to level fund the Perkins Basic State Grant at $1.118 billion in FY 2015. In additional to Perkins, we would like to highlight some other proposals in the budget request that could impact funding for education and workforce training.

The budget request for the Department of Education includes an additional $20 million through the Adult Education program for competitive grants to partnerships—among states, adult education providers, institutions of higher education, private organizations and industry—to support innovative and effective adult education models. These Skills Challenge Grants would scale up evidence-based programs that combine basic skills education with training to improve alignment of services. The department has once again requested $150 million for a new High School Redesign program that would fund  competitive grants to school districts and their partners to redesign high schools in innovative ways that better prepare students for college and career success, including high-quality career and college exploration and counseling, opportunities to earn postsecondary credit and career-related experiences or competencies, and align academic content more closely with postsecondary education and careers.

The budget proposes $15 million in the Department of Labor for a new Sector Strategies Partnership grant program for states, consortia of states, or regional partnerships to develop employment and training strategies targeted to particular in-demand industry sectors. Also found within the budget request of the Department of Labor is a proposal of $4 billion for the New Career Pathways program that will consolidate two existing programs –Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers and WIA Dislocated Workers—to reflect he Administration’s vision of a single unified system to provide services to displaced workers.  

The president’s budget request stays within the FY 2015 spending caps set by the Bipartisan Budget Act passed by Congress last December, but the Administration has also proposed additional funds for an “Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative,” which would be equally split between defense and nondefense discretionary programs. Essentially, the initiative would be an extra $56 billion on top of the existing funding caps for new investments in key Administration priorities. Among the education and workforce training priorities funded through this initiative is a Community College Job-Driven Training Fund, which would offer competitive grants to partnerships of community colleges, public and non-profit training entities, industry groups, and employers to launch new training programs and apprenticeships that will prepare participants for in-demand careers.

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The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.

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