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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®

Postsecondary Education: Policy Outlook for Next Year

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October 10, 2012

By: Brendan

Inside Higher Ed published an article today on the future of higher education after the November elections. The article discussed financial issues, upcoming and pending legislation, and what to expect if leadership in Congress changes.

While the presidential race may be the most prominent election happening now, the congressional races for House of Representatives and Senate are equally important to the future of higher education policy.

After the election, the remaining days of the 112th Congress will be consumed with discussion on how to avoid the devastating funding cuts that sequestration will impose on all federal programs on January 2nd, 2013. If a deal is not reached to reduce the federal deficit, either through cuts, revenues or both, then every federal program will receive an across-the-board 8.2 percent cut in funding. That funding cut will affect basic research and many student aid programs at postsecondary institutions. This would mean higher operating costs and an increased cost of attendance for students.

Whether or not sequestration is solved, next year, after those elected this November take office, there will be a number of new issues needing to be solved regarding higher education. The Pell Grant will face a funding crisis in 2014 when the temporary funding approved in 2009 runs out. The one-year fix to the federal student loan interest rate will expire next July raising the rate to 6.8 percent. The Higher Education Act (HEA), which governs postsecondary institutions and student aid, will also be up for reauthorization. Although there are a few more urgent bills ahead of the HEA, the reauthorization process will begin in the 113th Congress next year.

As these issues begin to come up after the election and through the 113th Congress, it is extremely important that you are able to trust your elected officials to make the right decisions for you. To go more in-depth about these issues, and to read about House and Senate races important to the future of postsecondary education policy, please read the Inside Higher Ed article.

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CTE Policy Watch Blog

Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill

8/12/13 By: Mitch Following the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request on Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the Administration’s plan for funding education in the coming fiscal year. In the budget proposal, the Administration suggests funding Perkins at 1.1 billion, equal to FY 2012 levels, before sequestration. Additionally, the budget proposes a $10 million increase for the National Programs line item which is designated for a new dual enrollment program focused on career preparation. Despite requests for an overall increase in education funding, the Administration's budget does not prioritize additional investments to meet the growing needs in CTE. During the hearing on Thursday, both Republican and Democratic members of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee expressed apprehensions about the Administration’s strong focus on increasing funding for competitive grant programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking-member of the subcommittee, talked about her concern for formula-funded education programs, like Perkins, which largely did not receive increases in funding. “The emphasis on competitive funding I find troubling,” said DeLauro. “What is need is steady secure funding for all of our schools to move toward improvement.” Federal investments in education must be directed to those areas with a proven track record of success that provide all students with equal access and opportunity. Members of the subcommittee will now begin to draft an appropriations bill that will fund Perkins in FY 2014. Let Congress know that it is time to make investing in Perkins a priority!

Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) Announces Career Counseling Bill

In a press release today, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) announced a bill designed to improve school counseling resources across the country. The Counseling for Career Choice Act of 2013 provides increased support and professional development for school counselors to have the resources and materials to help students make educated decisions about their future, whether it is a four-year university, career and technical education program in high school or other option.

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