House Workforce Hearing Sets up Contentious Markup
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s
Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training held a hearing
yesterday, February 26, to discuss the current state of the workforce system.
Testifying at the hearing yesterday was:
While the hearing was originally scheduled to discuss the
current state of the workforce system, it evolved into a discussion of Rep.
Virginia Foxx’s (R-NC) recently introduced Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
reauthorization bill, the Strengthening Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act. The Act includes
some controversial measures including consolidating 35 job training programs
into a single fund controlled by state governors, allowing governors to
determine local workforce areas and eliminating all required members of state
and local workforce boards except for business and economic agency
While all of the witnesses that testified were in agreement
that WIA and the workforce system is in desperate need of reform, their
opinions on best practices for reauthorization differ. Dr. Holzer advocated for
a greater emphasis on performance and adequate investment in the workforce
system. On the other side, Mr. Hart and Mr. Gustafson both agreed that the
SKILLS Act will produce greater outcomes for the workforce system.
Despite the disagreements among witnesses and members of the
committee that were voiced throughout
the hearing, Rep. Foxx will move the SKILLS Act forward to a full committee markup next week. The markup
will allow committee members a chance to offer amendments to the bill.
The markup will take place during ACTE's National Policy Seminar on Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building.
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