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CTE Policy Watch

Senate Committee Talks Career Readiness in ESEA Waiver Hearing


February 8, 2013

By: Brendan

Starting the discussion early, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held its first hearing of the 113th Congress yesterday to discuss the Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waivers.

The hearing was broken into two panels of witnesses. The first panel consisted solely of Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education. He provided an overview of the department’s processes and reasoning behind issuing waivers outside of congressional reauthorization of the ESEA and the effects waivers could have on the upcoming reauthorization process.

The second panel was comprised of two state commissioners of education as well as two education policy advocates.

Unlike Secretary Duncan’s testimony, these witnesses provided testimony on some positive and negative aspects of the flexibility waivers that should be considered during the reauthorization process. The commissioners in particular, provided great supporting testimony on the importance of both college readiness and career readiness for students graduating from high school, as well as including all subject teachers in the development of teacher effectiveness systems, including CTE educators.

The support for a greater emphasis on developing career readiness indicators also came from the committee members. Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) spoke about the importance of developing those indicators in partnership with both higher education and the business community. Their support of career readiness could mean a greater role for career and technical education in reauthorization attempts of the ESEA this Congress.

The HELP committee has provided a video archive of the hearing on its Web site, along with the full testimony from each witness.

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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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