President Proposes Investments in CTE
February 13, 2012
On February 13, the president released his budget proposal, which outlines the Administration’s funding priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. This budget will serve as a blueprint for when Congress allocates funding to specific programs through the budget and appropriations process. In his budget, President Obama invests heavily in CTE areas. The overall funding level for Perkins is the same as Congress allocated in FY 2012, $1.1 billion, although this is contingent on proposed changes to the CTE system that will be unveiled at a later date (and that ACTE will weigh in on when appropriate). In this economic environment, and considering the Administration’s history of proposed funding cuts, this level of funding is a great victory for everyone in the CTE community. This level funding positions us well to fight for a restoration of recent funding cuts as the FY 2013 appropriations process unfolds.
Besides the investment in Perkins, the Administration has included several other programs that are related to CTE. The president proposes $1 billion over three years to expand career academies so that more students have access to this “successful educational model for young people.” The president also proposes $12.5 billion for the “Pathways Back to Work Fund.” This fund would support summer and year-round jobs for low-income youth and help connect long-term unemployed and low-income adults to training and subsidized employment. The Administration also bumps up funds to community college by proposing $8 billion over three years to strengthen job training programs and to connect community colleges with businesses.
ACTE is very pleased that the Administration sees the need to expand CTE programs and is anxious to see details related to its thoughts on the reauthorization of the Perkins Act and on the other newly proposed programs. It is important to remember that the president’s budget is just a guide for Congress. The House and Senate appropriations committee will use this as they develop allocations for specific programs. ACTE will continue to sort through the budget and will provide additional information as it becomes available.