Legislation Update: National Apprenticeship Act Reauthorization and New Data Tool from ED


Legislation Update: National Apprenticeship Act Reauthorization and New Data Tool from ED

News this Week:
This week, the House passed a bill to reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act. Read below to learn more about this bill, as well as a new online portal to track education stimulus funding, a summary from a convening on work-based learning and Advance CTE’s priorities for the new administration. 
House Passes National Apprenticeship Act 
The House passed a bill earlier today, mainly on party lines, that would reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act (H.R. 8294). This bill would: 

  • Authorize $400 million for FY21, increasing by $100 million every year up to $800 million in FY25; 
  • Codify and streamline standards for registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeships; 
  • Codify existing regulations and practices for equitable participation and increased diversity in apprenticeship programs; 
  • Codify the roles and responsibilities of the DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship; 
  • Codify the roles and responsibilities of the State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAAs); and
  • Strengthen the connection between the DOL and U.S. Department of Education (ED). 

There were many amendments that were adopted into this bill, including one from Co-Chair of the Congressional Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucus Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) that would provide stipends to those in a pre-apprenticeship program. 
It is unlikely that this bill will move in the Senate during the remainder of this Congress. 
 Advance CTE is pleased to endorse the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020.
ED Releases Virtual Platform to Track CARES Act Funding 
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a new online portal to track if and how states, local education agencies and institutions of higher education are using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The interactive data map shows how funding through the Education Stabilization Fund of the CARES Act was allocated to each state, as well as a breakdown by state of money for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. All data included in the portal was reported by September 30, 2020. 
ED Holds Event on Rethinking Work-Based Learning
Last week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office for Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) convened education, workforce and business leaders for a “Rethink Work-Based Learning” discussion. OCTAE Assistant Secretary Scott Stump moderated the event and encouraged increasing work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities. A full readout from the event can be found here
Advance CTE Shares Priorities for the Administration 
This week Advance CTE published transition priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration. These priorities respond to the short and long term needs of the CTE community.
In order to achieve a full, equitable economic recovery and ensure that every learner has access to high-quality Career Technical Education, the next Administration must:

  • Embrace and promote CTE as a valued pathway for learners.
  • Make CTE a central part of the Administration’s economic recovery strategy.
  • Promote inter-connected education and workforce development systems.
  • Eliminate structures that embed systemic racism in education and workforce programs.
  • Ensure that states are fully supported in the implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act during COVID-19, including CTE-designated funding and statutory flexibility and waivers.
  • Attend to CTE-related challenges and supports during COVID-19 response and recovery.
  • Double the federal investment in CTE to respond to the need and demand for high-quality CTE.
  • Expand Pell Grant eligibility.

It is important to note that this transition planning is technically still informal, as the General Services Administration (GSA) has not begun the formal transfer of power or authorized transition funding to be used by the Biden-Harris team. 
The full recommendations can be found here
Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy