SKILLS Act Passes House Committee & Democrats Walk Out
During a markup
on March 6, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce voted to
pass the Strengthening Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization bill. The markup sparked some heated
comments from the committee Democrats on the partisan nature of the SKILLS Act
and the proceedings surrounding the Act.
Democrats on the committee believe that the SKILLS Act is
moving too quickly through the legislative process to allow for debate and
negotiations between committee members. Subcommittee on Higher Education and
Workforce Training Chairman Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) expressed
his disappointment with the partisan nature of the WIA reauthorization effort
during his opening statement. Later during the markup, Rep. Hinojosa reiterated
his disappointment and asked his fellow committee Democrats to boycott the
proceedings by walking
out of the markup with him.
Following the walk out of the committee Democrats, the
markup continued forward with the amendment process. Three amendments were offered
and subsequently adopted for the SKILLS Act:
In the end, the remaining Republican members of the
committee voted to pass the SKILLS Act out of the committee and send it to the
House floor for consideration. The final vote was 23 – 0 with 18 Democrats not
present to vote.
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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