House Committee Releases CTE Draft Bill

Rachel Zinn
June 28, 2016

The House Education and Workforce Committee today released the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” a new bill that would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act through Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The bill makes the following changes to data and accountability requirements:

  • Strengthens alignment between postsecondary performance measures and the common indicators of performance for core programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), including requiring measures of employment and median earnings. A credential attainment metric uses the WIOA definition of a "recognized postsecondary credential," which includes certificates, licenses, and certifications awarded by industry. The bill eliminates current requirements that state eligible agencies negotiate performance rates with the Department of Education, but would require states to publicly report performance on the indicators.
  • Creates federal definitions of Career and Technical Education (CTE) concentrators and participants. These definitions would support consistent performance reporting across states.
  • Repeals authorization of technical assistance and state grants to support the use of labor market information for career exploration and program planning. This is a traditionally unfunded section of the law. Instead, the bill includes a conforming amendment to the Wagner-Peyser Act that would ensure that CTE leaders are accessing labor market information produced by the workforce system. This information is crucial for identifying in-demand industries and occupations.
  • References use of labor market data in state plans, as a tool to align programs of study and career pathways with state economic needs.

These provisions generally reflect WDQC recommendations. However, the draft bill does not include two recommendations: 1) requirement for using wage record data to report on employment outcomes, and 2) allowing national activities funding for pilots to improve credential attainment reporting.

The committee has also released a short summary of the bill. While a hearing date has not yet been announced, it is expected that the committee may try to mark up the draft as early as next week, with a goal of trying to advance the bill through the House before they adjourn for the summer on July 15.

Read more about the legislative proposal in analysis from National Skills Coalition, Association of Career and Technical Education, and Advance CTE.