Congress Considers Short-term Pell Grant Expansion
Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mike Braun (R-IN) reintroduced the Jumpstarting our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act (S.161)– legislation that would expand federal Pell grant funding eligibility to high-quality, shorter-term CTE programs that meet certain criteria. Most recently companion legislation has been introduced in the House (H.R. 793) by Representatives Bill Johnson (R-OH), Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-DE), Michael Turner (R-OH) and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ). This legislation is a key and longstanding federal policy priority for Advance CTE as it is an important way to expand learner access to high-quality CTE program opportunities at the postsecondary level.
Foxx Chairs House Education and Workforce Committee
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) was named to chair the House Education and Workforce Committee. She has begun several promised oversight activities, outlined in a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. Read the letter here.
Secretary of Labor Walsh Resigns
After serving as U.S. Secretary of Labor for the last two years, Marty Walsh has announced that he will be resigning from this position in mid-March. In a goodbye letter to his Department, Walsh acknowledged Julie Su, his nominated successor, and the leadership and talent assembled across the department. Walsh is leaving the department to lead the National Hockey League’s Players’ Association as the group’s next Executive Director.
Senate Appropriations Committee Takes Shape
Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee announced the leaders for the individual subcommittees that compose the appropriations committee and oversee federal funding for the 12 spending accounts that make up the federal budget. Of note for the CTE community, Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus. Moore Capito (R-WV), will serve as Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee—the entity that oversees and determines annual investments in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and other federal education and workforce programs of interest to the CTE community. More information on the announcement can be found here.
Bill Passed Promoting Interstate Teacher Mobility for Military Spouses
Prior to the end of the 117th Congress, language similar to the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act was passed via the Veterans Auto and Education Improvement Act of 2022, H.R. 7939, and signed into law on Jan. 5. This is a significant victory for career and technical education (CTE) educators, programs and learners near military bases who are impacted by teacher shortages. More information here.
New Report Analyzes Current State of Prison Education
In January, the Mackinac Policy Center published an informative report, entitled "Are Education Programs in Prison Worth It?" It evaluates the impact of four kinds of education programs—Adult Basic Education, Secondary Education, Vocational Education (including skills training), and College Education on recidivism, employment after incarceration, and wages after incarceration. Of special interest to the MSSC Community: the ROI in vocational education was 122%, with vocational education providing the highest return for each dollar spent ($3.10). This report’s policy recommendations included expansion of programs in all four kinds of education in prison. Gain access to the full report here.
Funding Opportunity Announced: CHIPS for America
As part of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, the Department of Commerce’s CHIPS for America initiative will invest $50 billion to revitalize the domestic semiconductor industry, protect U.S. national and economic security, preserve U.S. leadership in the industries of the future, create good-paying jobs, and build strong communities. On February 28, 2023, the CHIPS Program Office released its first funding opportunity to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing, solidify America’s technological leadership, and promote U.S. economic and national security. The first funding opportunity details the application process and outlines how the department will evaluate applications, including a primary focus on how projects advance U.S. economic and national security. Applications will also be evaluated for commercial viability, financial strength, technical feasibility and readiness, workforce development, and efforts to spur inclusive economic growth. Read more about this funding opportunity here.
State of the State 2023
Governors of states, territories and commonwealths are outlining their priorities for 2023 in state of the state or commonwealth addresses, as well as inaugural addresses for new and re-elected Governors. To showcase their leadership and priorities for the year ahead, the National Governors Association is collecting their addresses and sharing them here.
High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Need a College Degree
The Hechinger Report just published an article on this topic, which started by citing a BLS report that ironworker salaries have been increasing steadily, now earning, on average $27.48 per hr., or $57,160 per annum, plus benefits. “While a shortage of workers pushes wages higher in the skilled trades, the financial return from a bachelor’s degree is softening, even as the price, and the average debt into which it plunges students, remain high.” The article cited President Biden in his State of the Union message who spoke of “jobs paying an average of $130,000 per year, and many do not require a college degree.” See here for more info.
State Policies Impacting CTE: 2022 Year In Review
Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) tracked state
activity, cataloged final state policy actions and categorized trends based on the policy areas of focus and published State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review. This year’s report provides an analysis that spans 37 states who enacted 123 policies. All policies that were passed in 2022 affected the secondary education, postsecondary education, adult education and/or workforce systems. The report can be found here.
Data Shows Rise in Students in Apprenticeship Programs
There has been a 64% increase in the number of registered apprentices nationwide from 10 years ago, says data from the US Department of Labor. Tom Howard, owner of Lee’s Air, says the California company’s apprenticeship program -- which places apprentices with full-time jobs -- is intended to help strengthen the workforce pipeline because “we are desperate for labor.” The report can be found here.
Government Stats Show More Truck, Warehouse Workers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised its 2022 counts for truck transportation workers upwards to more than 1.55 million jobs and made similar adjustments for warehouse workers, which it says totaled more than 1.93 million jobs. The bureau also counted 149,400 rail jobs in January, which is the highest level since the onset of the pandemic. Read the full report here.
Recent NC Data Shows current State of Post-secondary Education
According to myFutureNC, the most recent data shows that for every 100 ninth-grade public school students in North Carolina, only 28 earn a degree or credential within six years of graduating high school. Meanwhile, community college enrollment is down 13% since before the pandemic, and jobs requiring a postsecondary degree or credential are projected to increase by 12% by 2030. MyFutureNC is a statewide nonprofit organization focused on educational attainment and is a result of the collaboration between North Carolina leaders in education, business, and government.
Secretary Cardona Announces Department of Education's "Raise the Bar: Lead the World" Initiative
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona laid out his vision for the direction the agency will follow in 2023 to promote academic excellence, improve learning conditions, and prepare our students for a world where global engagement is critical to our nation’s standing. In his address Secretary Cardona remarked that “Raise the Bar: Lead the World” is not a list of new priorities, but a call to strengthen our will to transform education for the better, building on approaches that we know work in education. More info here.