NPS - It's Electric! (Electronic, At Least)
March 12, 2013
By: Robin McLean, ACTE Teacher of the Year
As I finish sending my last email to thank Senate and House
staff who met with the New Jersey delegation during National Policy Seminar
(NPS), I can finally sit down to share about the experience. Last week, I
attended my first ever National Policy Seminar. I went with no expectations
other than I might be tweeting a
lot, so I packed a back-up battery for my phone. The presenters did not
disappoint. Jim Stone with the National
Research Center for Career and Technical Education provided a strong start
with “Making the Case for CTE.” There was live tweeting from the session and
the key takeaway points from the session entered my discussions as I made
visits on Capitol Hill. I was equally inspired by Ashley Parker’s presentation,
“Delivering the Message that ‘CTE Works’ to Media and the Public.” Although I am fairly
active on social media, the tools for building relationships with news outlets
will prove to be beneficial.
The real reason we were in Washington, DC was to visit with
our legislators and help share the message that career and technical education
works. As we visited our Congressmen and their staff, we made sure to issue an
invitation to join the CTE Caucus. Our trio of New Jersey CTE teachers shared
examples of what our programs were doing and how CTE helps prepare students
with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, as well as to be
career ready. Of course, I was taking photos and uploading them to Twitter to
help build the story of #climbingthehill
on Twubs. Additionally, following our time in DC, I tweeted a thank you to
any legislators who had a Twitter handle.
Besides working on building relationships with legislators,
I was able to further develop the relationships with some of the people I
“follow” on Twitter and actually put real names and faces together. One of
these meetings inspired the creation of a #CTEChat that will happen at 8pm EST
on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Our first chat will be this
Wednesday, March 13 and will be a debrief of NPS. Hopefully you can join the
Additionally, I was at NPS was to share my story as ACTE
Teacher of the Year. Through the theme of “Tell
Your Story,” I posed questions to hopefully get people thinking about how
they can tell their own and their students’ stories of why career and technical
education works. I hope I can live up to my own challenge issued towards the
end: “How will you be a consistent advocate for career and technical
education?” I know that electronic media from Twitter to email to the resources
provided by ACTE can help me live up to that challenge.
Robin McLean is the
current ACTE Teacher of the Year and an agriscience
teacher and FFA adviser at Northern Burlington County Regional School District
in Columbus, New Jersey. You can follow Robin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rcmclean.
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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