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Trump Budget Cuts

Increased funding for Perkins is necessary – Trump’s budget does the opposite and cuts it

Perkins, OUTSET Magazine founder, 17

[Stephen S., founder of OUTSET Magazine (Dallas headquartered group with a team located throughout the United States), internally cites the Association for Career & Technical Education and a survey by Adecco, a U.S. staffing agency, June 5, 2017, OUTSET Magazine, “The Trump-DeVos Budget Won’t Make the Economy Great,”, accessed 6.30.2017]//TRossow

President Trump’s first budget proposal, titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” has received mixed reactions since its release a few weeks ago. Trump’s Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, labeled it as a “taxpayer first budget,” but critics point out that the proposal would cut funding to key programs and departments that taxpayers depend on.

While a few Departments, such as Defense and Homeland Security, would receive increased funding, much of the budget focuses on spending cuts. Among the proposed cuts are a 13.5% decrease in the Department of Education’s budget and a 21% reduction in the Department of Labor’s budget. While these reductions may not seem as austere as other proposed cuts, they affect programs that are essential to growing the economy and preparing the American workforce.

The Administration is proposing a 15% cut to the Department of Education’s “Perkins Grants,” which are discretionary funds that the federal government gives to states for the purpose of supporting Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. This amounts to a $168 million reduction.

While the potential cuts to each state vary, this proposal would put many states’ ability to train their workforces into jeopardy. Nevada, a state whose principal industries of agriculture, health care, and manufacturing employ hundreds of thousands, would receive the largest cut to CTE funding of all – about 52%.

Career and Technical Education is Vital to a Strong Economy

The benefits of career and technical education are far-reaching, and it provides students with a connection between their curriculum and the workplace. For high school students, these programswhich prepare students for careers in everything from agriculture and manufacturing to healthcare and business – keep kids from dropping out and motivate them to perform better in all areas of their academic career, according to the Association for Career & Technical Education. Students then take these skills into their postsecondary and career endeavors.

In economic terms, the need for career and technical education is at an all-time high, with many of the country’s top industries looking to employ those with a CTE background.

According to a survey by Adecco, a U.S. staffing agency, 92% of American business leaders believe American workers are not as skilled as they need to be. Further, 22% and 14% of those executives believe workers lack technical skills and leadership skills, respectively. When asked about the source of the skills gap, 59% said the U.S. education system was at fault.

An unskilled workforce leads to job vacancies, which costs employers nearly $1 million annually, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder study. An active economic policy would focus on reducing these job vacancies, not increasing them.

Another angle to the discussion around CTE is the idea that not everyone should go to college. In fact, Mike Rowe, the former host of Dirty Jobs, has been working the past few years to highlight the numerous alternative education and career options that are both in-demand and well-paying. These include many blue-collar jobs, such as auto mechanics or welding, as well as professional service jobs, such as cosmetology or nursing – all of which are available for study in high schools through CTE programs.

I know the effect these programs can have on a student because I was involved in DECA, a Career Technical Student Organization, in high school. This organization provided me with a diverse understanding and knowledge of business and marketing, and also allowed me to develop several “soft skills,” such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.

President Trump spoke many times during the campaign and into his administration about the need for training America’s future workforce.

“Secretary DeVos is working to ensure our workers are trained for the skilled technical jobs that will, in the future, power our country,” Trump said just last month at the signing ceremony for his Buy American, Hire American executive order.

Secretary Betsy DeVos echoed the President’s support for career training last week during her testimony to Congress.

“[CTE] clearly is an area that is of great focus on behalf of the President and this Administration,” DeVos told Rep. Moolenaar (R-MI) during the House’s hearing on the budget.

There is a significant discrepancy between the Trump administration’s words and actions. Despite Trump’s professed dedication to the working class, his budget signifies just the opposite. His administration’s proposal to reduce CTE funding would deal a major blow to the working class and the economy it powers.

Conservatives believe in a robust and prosperous economy. Support for career and technical education is paramount to ensuring just that. The good news is, the White House’s budget proposal is often not the one that gets adopted by Congress (if they even pass a budget, that is). Luckily, CTE enjoys broad bipartisan support. Given such, it is entirely likely that the final budget will include funding for these vital programs.

If President Trump wants to be remembered for enabling a period of prosperity, he should consider increasing the funding for programs like CTE, not cutting it.

Trump’s budget undercuts Perkins programming

Coppes, Association for Career and Technical Education Department of Public Policy Legislative Liaison, 17

[Mitch Coppes is the Legislative Liaison in the Department of Public Policy at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). He represents ACTE on Capitol Hill in all federal budget and appropriations issues. Mitch is graduate of Ohio Northern University, where he received a BA in political science in 2008. He previously worked at the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Republican Senatorial Committee before joining ACTE in 2011, May 23, 2017, Association for Career and Technical Education, “Trump Budget Pushes Big Cuts for Perkins,”, accessed 6.30.2017]//TRossow

Today, the White House released President Trump’s full budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. This document outlines the Administration's spending priorities for the coming year fiscal year, including federal education and workforce training programs. The budget proposes drastic cuts in federal support for CTE, including a $168 million cut in the Perkins Basic State Grant! It also proposes to put an additional $20 million in the Perkins National Programs to establish a new grant that would support only certain CTE programs in STEM fields that are able to compete for funds.

Despite past statements from the president and members of his Administration in support of CTE, this 15 percent cut in state grant funding would have a devastating impact on millions of students across the country. The cut would be so deep that it would actually trigger a “hold harmless” provision in the Perkins Act and its “ratable reduction” rule, which means that certain states would see disproportionately larger cuts to their funding allocations before all states are reduced. See the estimated impact of the president's budget on state allocations here.

In joint statement with Advance CTE, ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson said of the budget plan, “While the Trump Administration talks about supporting workforce and skills development, this dramatic cut is nothing short of an attack on CTE and the students and employers who benefit from it. ACTE’s full statement on the budget request is available here.

Overall, the budget would cut $9 billion (13 percent) in total from the Department of Education and $2.5 billion (21 percent) from the Department of Labor. Many programs supporting students and job seekers would be drastically cut or eliminated under the president’s budget plan, including:

  • Adult education would be cut by $96 million.

  • Teacher Quality Partnership Grants for teacher education would be eliminated.

  • ESSA Title IV grants that can support career guidance programs and other CTE-related initiatives would be eliminated.

  • ESSA Title II funds to support effective educators would be eliminated.

  • WIOA youth, adult, and dislocated worker state grants would see a combined cut of over $1 billion.

We call on Congress to reject the Trump cuts to education and job training. Take a few minutes to tell your lawmakers on Capitol Hill that we cannot cut our way to a 21st century workforce!

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