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CTE Policy Watch

SKILLS Act Passes House Committee & Democrats Walk Out



By: Brendan

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.

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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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