Congress Raises Budget Caps, Recognizes CTE Month

February 1 officially marked the start of Career Technical Education (CTE) Month and Congress has recognized its importance! Read below to find out more about CTE Month resolutions, hearings in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and a status update on the Fiscal Year 2018 budget and appropriations process.
Congress Supports Resolutions to Recognize CTE Month

On February 7, Representatives Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus, introduced a resolution to recognize national CTE month. The bipartisan resolution was co-sponsored by 38 additional Representatives.

Senators Kaine (D-VA), Baldwin (D-WI), Portman (R-OH) and Young (R-IN), co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, are co-sponsoring a CTE Month resolution. Please encourage your Senator to co-sponsor the CTE Month resolution by visiting the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) CTE Action Center here. The deadline for additional co-sponsors is 5pm Eastern Time on Monday, February 12.
Hearings on Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA) Continue
As we reported, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has held a series of hearings on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). On January 30, the hearing, “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Accountability and Risk to Taxpayers” featured testimony from Anthony Carnevale (Research Professor And Director, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce), Jose Luis Cruz (President, Herbert H. Lehman College City University of New York), Jason D. Delisle (Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute), Ben Miller (Senior Director, Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress) and Mamie Voight (Vice President Of Policy Research, Institute for Higher Education Policy). The hearing focused on a number of topics including how the law’s accountability, data and public reporting provisions can be updated or reformed.
The latest hearing, “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Improving College Affordability” was on February 6, and included a broad discussion of federal student aid that touched on expenses associated with postsecondary education, college completion and more.
House Committee Hearing Focuses on Use of Education Data
On January 30, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing, “Protecting Privacy, Promoting Policy: Evidence-Based Policymaking and the Future of Education.” The hearing included a discussion of the federal laws that govern the use of student data and data privacy practices. Witnesses also testified about how education data and research can be used to inform policy, drive decisions and evaluate programs.
Congress Raises Budget Caps, Funds Government Through March 23
The last short-term funding measure, known as a continuing resolution, that Congress passed to keep the government funded at its current levels expired on February 8 at midnight. Early on February 9, Congress passed a measure that will fund the government through March 23 and also raise the current budget caps in place for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 by $296 billion. President Trump signed the measure on February 9. With the new caps in place, Congressional appropriators will likely turn their attention to finalizing an omnibus appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2018 before March 23.
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy