House of Representatives Holds First Education and Workforce Hearing of New Congress
February 6, 2013
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce held the
biennial first hearing of the new Congress yesterday. Titled “Challenges and
Opportunities Facing America’s Schools and Workplaces,” the hearing was a
general overview of the status of education and the workforce today, and where
the committee should be focusing its efforts going forward. Members of the
committee also used the time to stake out their positions for this legislative
The hearing witnesses provided testimony on the current
status of education and workforce training around the country, as well as the
effect they have on employers and the U.S. economy. Witnesses for the hearing
- Governor Gary Herbert of Utah
- Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornas
- Dr. Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy
- Mr. Jay Timmons, President, National Association
Topics brought up by committee members during the hearing
ranged from job training and education to the federal deficit and worker pay.
Though the topics and concerns varied from representative to representative,
there was one concern that resonated from both Republicans and Democrats; the
skills gap facing employers and workers and the current workforce and education
system that is trying to fill it.
Leading the charge for career and technical education’s
(CTE) role in filling the skills gap was Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA). Mr. Thompson
pressed the hearing’s witnesses to discuss their recommendations for using CTE
to fill the needs of employers. Following him, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), a
former senior vice president for Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana,
emphasized the important role that community and technical college play in
providing skill training programs for in-demand jobs and industries. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) noted during the
hearing that she is working on legislation to help and encourage business and
industry to partner with training programs.
The committee has made available the video
from the hearing on its Web site. It has also included the opening
remarks by Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and the expanded witness
CTE Policy Watch Blog
Administration’s Budget Proposal Restores Sequester Cut to CTE Funding but Still Falls Short of Need
Earlier today, the Obama Administration released its budget proposal
for FY 2014. This document, normally released in February but delayed
due to the other fiscal issues in play this spring, outlines the
Administration's spending priorities for the coming year.
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
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