OCTAE Connection Flash Edition - February 4, 2015 - 2016 Budget

OCTAE Newsletter

OCTAE Connection - Flash Edition

February 4, 2015


The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget

On Monday, Feb. 2, the president released that shows what is possible if we invest in America's future and commit to an economy that rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the country’s growing prosperity. 

The president’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2016 lays out a strategy to strengthen the middle class and help America’s hard-working families get ahead – and it does so while achieving fiscal responsibility and promoting sustainable growth. Below are some highlights of proposals that relate directly to your work in adult education, career and technical education, and community colleges.

$1.36 billion, equal to a $60.3 billion investment over 10 years, would fund the signature initiative America’s College Promise to make two years of community college free for responsible students as a ticket to the middle class. America’s College Promise will allow those students to earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree and acquire the skills needed in the workforce at no cost. The proposal would create a new partnership with states to help them waive tuition for high-quality programs at public institutions while promoting key reforms to help more students complete at least two years of college.

The 2016 proposal requests $200 million for the American Technical Training Fund, within the proposed CTE Innovation Fund. The fund is meant to expand innovative, high-quality technical training programs that use evidence-based practices, have strong employer partnerships, include work-based learning opportunities, provide accelerated training, and are scheduled to accommodate part-time work. The focus of this discretionary budget proposal is to help high-potential, low-wage workers gain the skills needed to work in growing fields with significant numbers of jobs that pay middle-class wages and that local employers are trying to fill, such as energy, IT, and advanced manufacturing. The Department would make grant awards to institutions of higher education, local education agencies serving high school students, or non-accredited training providers in consortia with industry organizations, employers, workforce investment boards, and economic development agencies. This fund would be administered jointly with the Department of Labor to help ensure that projects are well-integrated into the workforce system.

The budget proposes $589 million for adult education to assist adults without a high school diploma, or its equivalent, in becoming literate and obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary education, employment, and economic self-sufficiency. The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998, authorized as Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, promotes better alignment of the adult education program with federal job training programs and the postsecondary education system. Funds proposed for National Leadership Activities would continue to support efforts to increase the literacy and workforce skills of adults born in the U.S. They would also support the ongoing need to address the English language acquisition, literacy, and workforce skills gaps of immigrant populations and promote reentry education. The president proposed a $6 million increase that would be used to support state-based efforts to improve adult education standards and assessments, and to carry out data collection activities during the first year of full implementation of the reauthorized adult education programs.

The budget proposes $200 million for the First in the World Program under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, a $140 million increase. The funds are for competitive awards to support the scaling up of innovative, promising, and evidence-based strategies to improve postsecondary completion rates and rigorous evaluations that test the effectiveness of these strategies when implemented in varied settings and when delivered to a wide range of students. The administration plans to set aside up to 30 percent of the funds available for the competition to support the implementation of projects at Minority Serving Institutions.

The 2016 request also includes significant investments in effective and innovative schools, including $125 million for a STEM-focused Next Generation High School proposal designed to transform the high school experience for the 21st century. This is to be accomplished in part through closer links to postsecondary, research, and business partners in the public, private, and non-profit sectors that can help high schools prepare students to apply academic concepts to real-world challenges. The Department would place a strong focus on projects designed to improve readiness for college and careers in STEM fields, particularly for student groups historically underrepresented in those fields.

The president’s budget also included a request for the authority to establish Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) for disconnected youth.

In his State of the Union address, the president emphasized that education is a vital investment in America’s economic competitiveness, its communities, and its people. The president’s 2016 budget demonstrates this commitment to education as a major way to invest in our nation’s future and commits to an economy that rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the prosperity of a growing America.

For more information regarding key education investments in the president’s 2016 budget proposal, please click here.