UPDATE -- 10-02-18
The Senate voted 93-7 on September 18 to advance an FY19 appropriations package that includes the Labor-HHS-Ed appropriations bill (which includes key investments in education and workforce programs). On September 26, the House voted to approve that package (361-61) and the President signed it on September 28. This bill includes a $70 million increase in the federal investment in Perkins Basic State Grants - check out the press statement from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) to learn more. You can also find the bill's specific levels of investment in key U.S. Department of Education programs in this table from the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and in key U.S. Department of Labor programs in this table from National Skills Coalition.
In addition, this legislation included language from the conferees (the Members of Congress who served on a committee determine the final Labor-HHS-Ed FY19 bill) about the use of Perkins for National Activities, the importance of computer science education and the role of the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE). First, it directs the U.S. Secretary of Education to award innovation and modernization grants through Perkins and notes that these funds could "support coding programs that can be particularly important in rural and underserved areas that do not have access to coding resources." The legislation also discusses computer science education more broadly, noting that "computer science education programs, including coding academies, can provide important benefits to local industries and the economy and help meet in-demand workforce needs. Therefore, the Departments of Labor and Education should work together with industry to improve and expand computer science education programs and opportunities, including through apprenticeships." Lastly, the legislation also affirms the value of OCTAE and notes the conferees' concerns about its elimination or consolidation in terms of achieving OCTAE's mission and implementation of programs. Importantly, it confirms that "OCTAE is authorized expressly in statute and cannot be consolidated or reorganized except by specific authority granted by Congress."
Fiscal Year 19 Perkins Appropriations -- Last week, a conference committee comprised of members of both the House and Senate was formed to negotiate the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) final appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education). The Senate passed their FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill on August 23. The Senate bill includes level funding at the amount provided in FY18 for the Perkins Basic State Grants. The House Appropriations Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies out of Committee over the summer, which included a $102 million increase above the amount provided in FY18 for Perkins Basic State Grants. Now, the conference committee will determine whether or not to include this increase in the final FY19 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (along with resolving other differences between the two bills). Read below to learn more about how to contact your Member of Congress to support a $102 million increase for Perkins.
Now is the time to contact your Members of Congress using the CTE Action Center (provided by our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education) or by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Please let them know that a conference committee will soon consider the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill and be sure to ask them to support a $102 million increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant program in this bill, as proposed by the House. It is particularly important to contact Members of Congress on the conference committee, who are listed below:
House: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Senate: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)