How ESSA and New Federal Funding Rules Will Impact Career and Technical Education

The following is an excerpt from our white paper about the impact of ESSA and new federal funding rules on Career and Technical Education . Fill in the form at the bottom of the page to download the entire white paper.

Signed into law in December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is still in its early phases as the U.S. Department of Education has just released the final regulations for its implementation. The most profound shift is that most education decisions and responsibilities – about standards, interventions, and funding – will pass from federal to state governments. Under the new framework, states will take the lead on implementation, resources, interventions, accountability, and teacher evaluation systems. Although enforcement of the legislation shifts to the states, the federal government retains the power to enforce the law under existing civil rights legislation.

How Will ESSA Affect Career and Technical Education?

ESSA presents several new opportunities for providing and expanding CTE, which is specifically cited in the act as part of a “well-rounded education.” State accountability measures require alignment between academic and relevant CTE standards. Most importantly, ESSA allows an increase of Title I funds to qualified high schools to support high-quality CTE programs aligned to state standards and linked to industry-recognized credentials. ESSA also allows the use of Title I funds to support work-based learning programs that let students interact with industry professionals and support concurrent enrollment.

New Title IV funds, the combination of a number of federal programs, are essentially block grants that can be used for offering career guidance, training counselors to use labor market data to assist students with postsecondary preparation, partnering with in-demand fields, and mentoring. Title IV funds can also be used to deliver curricula through technology, and schools can offer service learning, CTE, internships, apprenticeships, and other connections to in-demand industries.

Title II allows states to expand alternative routes to teaching certification, making it easier for industry professionals to enter the classroom and for schools to recruit these professionals as teachers. Professional development can also be offered to integrate academic and CTE lessons.

Although School Improvement Grants (SIG) will be eliminated, under Title IV states are expected to evaluate the effectiveness of programs that complement the regular academic program; these evaluations may include career readiness indicators.

Title VIII clarifies the definition of “well-rounded education” to include courses, activities, and programming in CTE. At the secondary level, performance measures to evaluate CTE programs will be streamlined and aligned to measures established by each state. Finally, reforms are designed to help provide students the required skills for in-demand jobs rather than low-demand jobs.

Educators widely support more technical courses. In a recent survey by Phi Delta Kappa, 60 percent of respondents supported additional CTE courses as opposed to 21 percent who preferred to offer more honors or advanced placement courses.1

Blaschke, Charles. Washington Update, Sept 13, 2016.


How ESSA and New Federal Funding Rules Will Impact Career and Technical Education

This free white paper discusses the impact of ESSA and new federal funding rules on Career and Technical Education.