Senate Committee Talks Career Readiness in ESEA Waiver Hearing
February 8, 2013
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
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
The HELP committee has provided a video
archive of the hearing on its Web site, along with the full testimony from
CTE Policy Watch Blog
Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill
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
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
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