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CTE Policy Watch

House Workforce Hearing Sets up Contentious Markup



By: Brendan

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 representatives.

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.

Update 3/1/13:
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.

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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

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!


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