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Legislative Update - July 2017
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The National Council for Workforce Education

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

July 2017

FEDERAL NEWS
Perkins Reauthorization Passes House
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides states with funding for secondary and post-secondary workforce programs. The House passed the bill last year as well, but the Senate did not. The Senate has not released a bill nor scheduled any hearings on Perkins.

New Gainful Employment Disclosure Rules Postponed
The U.S. Department of Education suspended the new Gainful Employment Disclosure requirements until July 1, 2018. Gainful Employment Disclosure was designed to provide useful information to prospective students about job training programs, including costs, student debt, and job placement. However, they have been criticized by many as being too onerous for institutions to implement. The new requirements, which have been suspended, would have required more aggressive outreach to be sure that prospective students received and understood the information.

Mixed Messages on Apprenticeship
The Trump Administration issued an executive order to expand apprenticeship, although many details will need to be worked out to determine what the impact will be. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee has released a draft bill that would make significant cuts to the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services – including apprenticeship

Bipartisan BUILDS Act Introduced
Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Building U.S. Infrastructure to Leverage Demand for Skills (BUILDS) Act to support local partnerships between businesses and other community stakeholders to prepare workers for jobs in transportation, construction, and other infrastructure sectors.


STATE NEWS

  • Ohio joined a growing number of states that allow two-year colleges to offer applied baccalaureate degrees in high-demand workforce fields. Clark State Community College and Sinclair Community College have expressed interest in offering a limited number of these degrees
  • Nevada is starting a free community college program for recent high school graduates. This idea was first considered by the Legislature last year, and ultimately passed in the most recent legislative session
  • Connecticut passed a law to codify its longitudinal workforce data system and create a universal intake form for job seekers at government facilities
  • Mississippi is promoting a degree completion programs for adults, including reverse transfer programs. A new website, Complete to Compete, will market the initiative and help working adults find suitable programs
  • Meanwhile, Mississippi and Florida colleges have both seen setbacks this year. Due to state budget cuts, community colleges in Mississippi are slated to cut nearly 250 jobs. In Florida, the Governor vetoed a bill that would have restored full scholarships to high-performing high school students who attend a public college or university in the state
  • Washington State's budget demonstrates continued support for the community and technical college system with funds for Guided Pathways, MESA and I-BEST expansion. Washington State also passed legislation to extend the 12-month time limit for full-time vocational education for TANF recipients to 24 months for state fiscal years 2017-19

Special thanks to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), National Skills Coalition (NSC), Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the Workforce Data Quality Campaign, and the (Washington) State Board for Community and Technical Colleges) for much of the information contained in this update.


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