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house Bill H.R. 2353

Reauthorizing and Reforming Career and Technical Education Programs

Argument in favor

America’s workforce needs people who have skill sets that are specific to technical careers, and this bill would overhaul career and technical education programs increases the ability of state’s to customize their programs to local economic and educational needs.

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06/03/2017
You had me at "It would lift burdensome requirements on state and local leaders to ensure that the federal government’s role is limited." Exactly the type of thing the federal government has no constitutional business mandating, so increasing state sovereignty is moving in the right direction.
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Loraki's Opinion
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06/03/2017
This bill is a step in the right direction! I'm glad to see ANY lessening of federal interference in states' affairs. Education and vocational training are NOT the business of the FEDERAL government! ABOLISH the Department of Education and leave ALL such matters to the states and local governments! I think We the People are smart enough to figure out what kinds of training are needed to meet the needs of our workforce. We don't need Big Brother deciding that for us. As for federal funding, what part of $20 TRILLION DOLLARS IN NATIONAL DEBT does Congress not understand?! Exactly what is the point of collecting TAXES, if you're going to just turn around and dole the money back out to the states, businesses and other organizations in the form of grants??? Obviously, the point is to maintain federal CONTROL! Keep working on DOWNSIZING the federal government! I keep wondering if most of the people we send to D.C. have ever actually READ the Constitution! I VOTE YEA, with reservations.
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IAmTheSenate's Opinion
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06/03/2017
It doesn't really matter if the Federal or State governments carry out this law. We can reignite growth in the middle class by getting kids into skilled trades. Many believe that a job in skilled trades has no future. But if you live in a building with plumbing, electricity, heat, or air conditioning, you need someone with a trade to install and fix it. Skilled trades will always be a part of America.
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Argument opposed

While there may be elements of this bipartisan bill that should be pursued, it goes astray by giving states too much autonomy in deciding how federal dollars get spent and what performance metrics to use.

Ticktock's Opinion
···
06/03/2017
Everyone assumes that a better job can be done on everything if it were administered at the state or local level? If that were so why is there such a huge disparity in the funds spent on education per student state by state? Also why is there such a disparity within localities within states? The rich white school kids get biggest and best and the minority kids get what's left over or nothing at all. Now that is true in the Public schools. DeVos is wanting a primary voucher system to largely replace public schools and has stated that public funds would be allowed to be used for schools that discriminate. (You remember by race, religion.....) Local governments now have a large say about how tax dollars are spent and the system currently is not equitable. It would be even more inequitable if there were no oversight by the Federal Government. Remove that, add Mrs DeVos voucher system and guess where the best schools will be. They will discriminate and be out of commuting or price range for the poor and minorities even with a voucher system. The vouchers will not cover all school expense. If you want inequality, this is the way to go. Lastly we all must remember where this government came from, it's an extremist right government. That includes the Republicans in Congress and more clearly the President, his Cabinet and appointees. I feel that anything proposed during this Administration should be viewed in that light. There are already curricula available at the local level that allow for special tailored instruction at the high school and community college level. There are OJT Programs that can be used beyond high school. The proposal does offer any thing new except the removal of Federal laws against discrimination, financial abuse and uniform education standards. I've worked in the field and seen the creative ways people manipulate at the local level. If there is going to be corruption it'll be where the funds are spent and that is where the students are, your states and cities.
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Jlshannon's Opinion
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06/03/2017
While I'm certainly for the idea of improving technical education and allowing better local targeting of skill sets needed and provided, I'm concerned by the clause stipulating that the federal government could not withhold funds from programs failing to meet established criteria. It also suggests that there would be a lessening of oversight overall -- just, give us federal money and stay out. This suggests lack of accountability. This then recalls Ms. DeVos' rather controversial support of providing federal funds to faith-based and charter schools but without requiring such schools to be held accountable to any sort of performance, quality or ethics criteria. She and others like her have long argued that the Dept. of Education, which she now heads, should be eliminated and it seems this bill might be yet another attempt to undermine further that department and the role it plays in supporting education nationwide. While we definitely need dramatic improvement of the DoE, elimination of it is surely not the answer, nor is further undermining of it. Ms. DeVos is woefully under-qualified to head the DoE and does not belong there. Her ideological battle against public education does not belong in the DoE. Bills such as this one seeking to undermine the DoE, not actually improve education, do not deserve your support.
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IllWill's Opinion
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06/03/2017
I'm suspicious of any bill that gives more control to the states and is very broad in its wording. The bill says that it will allow states to use federal funds for "innovative state-based policies." What exactly does that mean? Also, we should not be streamlining and reducing performance expectations. All states should be subject to the same performance goals. Students in one state should not have lower standards compared to students from another. We're not dealing with different countries here. We're dealing with one country: The United States of America and our students should receive the best education no matter where they are and not just for their local area, but for anywhere in the country.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2353?

This bill would reform career and technical education (CTE) to ensure that programs offered at the middle school, high school, and postsecondary levels of the education system meet the needs of today’s workforce. It would lift burdensome requirements on state and local leaders to ensure that the federal government’s role is limited, while also increasing transparency and accountability. Such programs would be reauthorized through 2023.

Requirements that states must abide by when applying for federal funds to use in career and technical education would be simplified so that it’s aligned with the process states have to use when submitting their workforce development plan. Local leadership would be able to submit a simpler application than the lengthy and duplicative plans they’re currently required to provide. Every two years, local leaders would meet with community stakeholders to prepare

States would be able to set aside up to 15 percent of the federal funds they receive for helping eligible students in rural areas or places that have significant numbers of CTE students. Additionally, states would be afforded more flexibility in how they use federal funds to support CTE programs that either focus on unique local education or economic needs, or pursue innovative state-based policies.

To better prepare students for the workforce, work-based learning would be promoted by this bill and CTE providers would be evaluated based on how their students developed their skills. State leaders would be encouraged to integrate their CTE services with other state-led job training programs so that there’s a seamless workforce development system in that state.

Local business leaders would be involved in the development of CTE programs and performance goals that are set at the state and local level. These reforms are intended to ensure that CTE students are prepared for the jobs of the future, rather than those of the past. State and local leaders will be able to direct federal funds to programs that focus on in-demand jobs.

States would develop a metric to use in determining whether or not CTE programs at the high school level are effectively preparing students to continue their education or start their careers. For postsecondary CTE programs, the number of performance measures would be streamlined.

Under this bill states would no longer have to negotiate their performance goals with the Secretary of Education, instead using a process that gets public input from local education leaders, parents, and students — in addition to community and business leaders. These performance measures would be included in each state’s plan, and annual reports would be published with how they fared to give students, taxpayers, and leaders the information they need to hold CTE programs accountable.

The Secretary of Education would be prohibited from withholding funds from a state that doesn’t meet certain performance targets, instead allowing state leaders to develop an improvement plan that would be developed by local stakeholders and overseen by state leaders. The Dept. of Education wouldn’t be responsible for carrying out a plan for research, development, dissemination, and evaluation — as an independent entity would be given that job instead.

Impact

Students and their families; CTE programs; local businesses, community leaders, and other stakeholders; state and local governments; the Dept. of Education; and the Secretary of Education.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2353

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) emphasized that the importance of career and technical education in improving the skill level America’s workforce in an introductory press release:

“Given the dramatic evolution of our nation's workforce, it is imperative that we create clear pathways to education and training for students interested in pursuing careers in high-demand industries and technical fields. As Co-Chair of the Career and Technical Education Caucus, I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act -- a well-engineered, bipartisan reauthorization aimed at permanently closing our nation's skills gap.”

The bill’s lead cosponsor, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), agreed with her colleague and added that the legislation would help students succeed in the modern workforce:

“Preparing our students and workers for good-paying, middle-class jobs through career and technical education is one of the best investments we can make. This legislation would modernize and strengthen these vital resources to ensure that students have the skills employers demand in our 21st century economy. The training programs funded by this bill will help hardworking families pursue more fulfilling futures while also supporting our nation's continued leadership in a global economy.”

This legislation was passed unanimously by the House Education and Workforce Committee on a 37-0 vote, and has the support of 28 bipartisan cosponsors — including 18 Republicans and 10 Democrats. During the last session of Congress, the House passed this bill on a 405-5 vote but it wasn't considered by the Senate before the 114th Congress concluded.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: U.S. Navy / Creative Commons)

AKA

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Official Title

To reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

bill Progress


  • EnactedJuly 31st, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed July 23rd, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house Passed June 22nd, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedMay 4th, 2017

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    You had me at "It would lift burdensome requirements on state and local leaders to ensure that the federal government’s role is limited." Exactly the type of thing the federal government has no constitutional business mandating, so increasing state sovereignty is moving in the right direction.
    Like (57)
    Follow
    Share
    Everyone assumes that a better job can be done on everything if it were administered at the state or local level? If that were so why is there such a huge disparity in the funds spent on education per student state by state? Also why is there such a disparity within localities within states? The rich white school kids get biggest and best and the minority kids get what's left over or nothing at all. Now that is true in the Public schools. DeVos is wanting a primary voucher system to largely replace public schools and has stated that public funds would be allowed to be used for schools that discriminate. (You remember by race, religion.....) Local governments now have a large say about how tax dollars are spent and the system currently is not equitable. It would be even more inequitable if there were no oversight by the Federal Government. Remove that, add Mrs DeVos voucher system and guess where the best schools will be. They will discriminate and be out of commuting or price range for the poor and minorities even with a voucher system. The vouchers will not cover all school expense. If you want inequality, this is the way to go. Lastly we all must remember where this government came from, it's an extremist right government. That includes the Republicans in Congress and more clearly the President, his Cabinet and appointees. I feel that anything proposed during this Administration should be viewed in that light. There are already curricula available at the local level that allow for special tailored instruction at the high school and community college level. There are OJT Programs that can be used beyond high school. The proposal does offer any thing new except the removal of Federal laws against discrimination, financial abuse and uniform education standards. I've worked in the field and seen the creative ways people manipulate at the local level. If there is going to be corruption it'll be where the funds are spent and that is where the students are, your states and cities.
    Like (199)
    Follow
    Share
    While I'm certainly for the idea of improving technical education and allowing better local targeting of skill sets needed and provided, I'm concerned by the clause stipulating that the federal government could not withhold funds from programs failing to meet established criteria. It also suggests that there would be a lessening of oversight overall -- just, give us federal money and stay out. This suggests lack of accountability. This then recalls Ms. DeVos' rather controversial support of providing federal funds to faith-based and charter schools but without requiring such schools to be held accountable to any sort of performance, quality or ethics criteria. She and others like her have long argued that the Dept. of Education, which she now heads, should be eliminated and it seems this bill might be yet another attempt to undermine further that department and the role it plays in supporting education nationwide. While we definitely need dramatic improvement of the DoE, elimination of it is surely not the answer, nor is further undermining of it. Ms. DeVos is woefully under-qualified to head the DoE and does not belong there. Her ideological battle against public education does not belong in the DoE. Bills such as this one seeking to undermine the DoE, not actually improve education, do not deserve your support.
    Like (114)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm suspicious of any bill that gives more control to the states and is very broad in its wording. The bill says that it will allow states to use federal funds for "innovative state-based policies." What exactly does that mean? Also, we should not be streamlining and reducing performance expectations. All states should be subject to the same performance goals. Students in one state should not have lower standards compared to students from another. We're not dealing with different countries here. We're dealing with one country: The United States of America and our students should receive the best education no matter where they are and not just for their local area, but for anywhere in the country.
    Like (73)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is a step in the right direction! I'm glad to see ANY lessening of federal interference in states' affairs. Education and vocational training are NOT the business of the FEDERAL government! ABOLISH the Department of Education and leave ALL such matters to the states and local governments! I think We the People are smart enough to figure out what kinds of training are needed to meet the needs of our workforce. We don't need Big Brother deciding that for us. As for federal funding, what part of $20 TRILLION DOLLARS IN NATIONAL DEBT does Congress not understand?! Exactly what is the point of collecting TAXES, if you're going to just turn around and dole the money back out to the states, businesses and other organizations in the form of grants??? Obviously, the point is to maintain federal CONTROL! Keep working on DOWNSIZING the federal government! I keep wondering if most of the people we send to D.C. have ever actually READ the Constitution! I VOTE YEA, with reservations.
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    I like the idea of improving career and technology education. If they'd have stopped there I would probably support this. But as presented my vote is nay. There are a couple of things in particular that concern me, primarily more state control with less oversight or attention to establishing and meeting metrics. This is basically outsourcing to the states decisions that should fall under the purview of the Department of Education. Such a strategy raises real concerns about uniform quality of education for all students from state to state. Beyond that, considering current Secretary of Education DeVos' history of undermining public education as well as the agency she now heads any move she supports must be viewed with the deepest suspicion. I think it might go something like this. Step one: turn control over to the states and relinquish oversight. Step two: cut promised funding, which leads to states cutting services when they are unable to replace the federal funding they were relying on. Step three: private technology schools pop up everywhere to fill the gap which are completely free from government oversight and only available to those who can afford them. Step four: as more and more of the work intended for the Department of Education is diverted to the states and others the agency loses relevance and is eventually eliminated. I believe this bill to be but an opening volley by the GOP in a long game strategy intent upon promoting elitism by destroying public education in America and in the process the fabric of this nation. Improve vocational education, but not with this bill.
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    It doesn't really matter if the Federal or State governments carry out this law. We can reignite growth in the middle class by getting kids into skilled trades. Many believe that a job in skilled trades has no future. But if you live in a building with plumbing, electricity, heat, or air conditioning, you need someone with a trade to install and fix it. Skilled trades will always be a part of America.
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    Not while Betsy DeVos has control.
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    I would need to read this legislation, but unfortunately what sounds good as a headline or description isn't always the case. I am suspicious that what is happening here is what has happened in several states, where CTE courses are being required for all students. Sounds good, right? However it is an unfunded mandate, so not only are schools on the hook to buy all of the necessary expensive technology to teach the classes, but the big problem is that it eliminates other elective choices that students and parents may want to take. (If students have 2 electives they can take a year and have to take a foreign language for one of them and CTE for the other, there's no room in their schedule for art, band, chorus, computer/typing, creative writing, drama, home economics, newspaper, orchestra, peer counseling, psychology, yearbook, etc.). CTE skills are important, and it's a good class. However, ALL electives are "career studies", and it's important that students are able to take and learn skills that they are interested in, cater to their strengths, and may lead to their employment as adults.
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    Are we one UNIFIED Country Identified as The United States of America, or are we separate, individual, rogue sovereign nations? This appears to be another divisive Conservative tactic. Their theology and their philosophy is to pit everyone against everyone, divide and conquer, and to give the Haves everything that they are entitled to and to make sure that the Have-Nots do not have anything. Conservatives say they want the Federal Government to stay out States business, yet they will use the Federal Government to afflict drug laws and alcohol laws and contraception laws and sexual orientation laws and tell you what you can do with your bodies, in your bedrooms and with whom, etc. They seek to take control over every aspect of a person's life and they do not believe that every person should have an education. They want a world that only those who they deem are entitled to wealth and privilege, can have an education, can go on vacation and can enjoy the freedoms that are preached of America. They are entitled to be educated and they will tell you what you are allowed to learn, what you should learn, and where you can learn, when they want you to, and only if you can afford to pay the price that they have set for education, which will likely keep those (whom they do not want to learn) out of their education system. If you cannot afford the education that they are allowing you the privilege to have, but you can demonstrate that you possess the belief in their unethical, immoral, corrupt, inhumane philosophies, then they may consider that you qualify for a scholarship of their choosing. They will then tell you what you are allowed to learn and where you can go to learn it.
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    This would be a good bill if it were regulated by the federal government... then again, our Department of Education is being run by morons. I would agree with most of this bill, but if it were left up to the states, this money would, no doubt, re-appropriated to something other than education, and create a huge disparity gap between states. I know how all the "let the states handle their education" thing goes because I live in a state that wildly misappropriates their education budgets resulting in one of the lowest academic states in the country.
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    I have gone through a federal funded program known as job corps, I would not be where I am today, it saved my life and more funding would help programs like this reach more people.
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    I darn sure don't trust my Governor or my state legislature to properly do anything let alone make decisions about where federal education money gets spent. Not that I trust the federal government either.
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    Abolish the Department of Education and get the Federal Government out of the business of educating our children once and for all👎❗️Their feeble attempts to date are a national embarrassment❗️
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    This is the beginning of the reforms we need
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    We need technical schools and educational programs now more than ever!!
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    While a good thought, this bill gives states too much autonomy in deciding how to use federal dollars with very little oversight. And with DeVos at the helm, that's VERY concerning.
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    In Arizona the political leaders of the state are more concerned in saving money and not educating the people that really need it.
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    Yes, by all means. Not everyone is meant for college and like wise as a society we need welders, carpenters, plumbers, etc. We need to support trade schools and shop class for everyone in high school.
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    We live in a time where transparency is needed now more than ever!
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