ACTE’s work and that of other CTE advocates and stakeholders has paid off! Last week, Congress approved the long-awaited omnibus appropriations bill to fund federal programs for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, and Perkins Basic State Grants will receive a $75 million increase! This is the first increase in a number of years for Perkins (the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget actually requested a 15 percent cut to the state grant program) and it is a strong sign of the growing support for CTE on Capitol Hill.
Overall, the omnibus includes a $3.9 billion increase in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, and a $192 million increase for discretionary funding for the Department of Labor. In addition to the Perkins increase, other notable increases include:
- Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (ESSA Title IV-A) – Increased $700 million, to $1.1 billion in its second year of funding. This program can provide funding to CTE programs, particularly in the areas of career exploration and college and career guidance, technology and STEM.
- Pell Grants – Increases the maximum Pell grant by $175, to a total of $6,095.
- Work Study – Increased $140 million, to $1.1 billion.
- Apprenticeship Opportunities – Increased $50 million to a total of $145 million.
Congress is already working on FY 2019 funding, so it is important to continue to engage with your Members of Congress to thank them for this initial investment and keep up the momentum for increased CTE funding going forward.