NAPE looks forward to promoting an innovative and equitable public policy agenda, which is practical, attainable and will ensure equity and accountability across the many areas we encompass. NAPE recommends the following:
Career and Technical Education
In the FY 2016 budget, maintain support for secondary and postsecondary CTE programs through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins IV).
- Enforce the accountability provisions in Perkins IV, particularly the measures to increase the participation and completion of underrepresented gender students in nontraditional career and technical education (CTE) programs. This includes the review of states reported accountability data and implementation of the improvement planning and sanctions provisions in Perkins IV.
- Require all states to collect and report Perkins IV mandated disaggregated data requirements for gender, race/ethnicity, and special populations. Support this effort by implementing federal policy that supports data sharing across agencies (i.e., UI wage data for placement measures and clarification of FERPA for educational accountability) at the national and state levels.
- Ensure high-quality programs and improved practice through a continued focus on research, evaluation, and dissemination. The Administration and Congress should ensure that the Perkins reauthorization continues to include equity and programs for special populations. The reauthorization should build on lessons-learned and innovation that increases the state’s ability to create excellent, sustainable programs informed by the success of high-performing states.
Reauthorization of the Perkins Act must continue to support programs and services that close equity gaps and unsure that every student is college and career ready. The Perkins Act reauthorization must maintain all current provisions supporting equity (see NAPE’s Perkins IV equity analysis) and strengthen the accountability mechanisms at the state and local level to close equity gaps in all measures.
Read NAPE Perkins Reauthorization Recommendations April 2015
Read NAPE’s one-page summary of Equity and Accountability in the Perkins Act
Read NAPE’s recommendations in response to the Senate HELP Committee Perkins Reauthorization Principles
Civil Rights Enforcement
Eliminate education discrimination particularly in CTE where sex-segregation continues to exist, and conduct oversight to ensure equitable practices.
- OCR must conduct business as an agency that enforces Title IX as it applies to education programs; Part of OCR’s investigations should focus on the continuing sex segregation of career and technical education.
- OCR must increase public awareness about the relevance of Title IX to a broader range of education programs, because it is currently viewed as an issue associated to athletics education.
- OCR must respond to pending requests for investigation of Title IX infractions immediately and respond quickly to any new complaints.
- OCR must ensure that gender equity concerns are carefully considered in the NCLB waiver process.
- OCR should ensure that state MOA Coordinators and state and local Title IX Coordinators receive ongoing professional development necessary to do their critical jobs well.
Every Student Succeeds Act
Congress should reauthorize and strengthen the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in order to improve educational opportunities for special populations and commit resources within schools to promote CTE as a standard priority.
- ESEA reauthorization must include and reauthorize the Women Educational Equity Act (WEEA). This law was first enacted in 1974 in order to help education agencies and institutions meet the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. When WEEA is used properly it can provide critical technical assistance to schools as they work to comply with Title IX.
- Reauthorization must include special populations in STEM: Special populations, specifically girls, and women are still vastly underrepresented in numerous STEM fields of study. More must be done to recognize and address barriers to the participation of women and girls in the STEM fields and to encourage women and girls to enroll in and complete STEM programs.
- CTE is central to high school reform for all students and provides the opportunity to apply academic knowledge in a contextual learning environment that adds relevance to the educational experience—leading to increased achievement and graduation. Ensure that CTE include professional development and accountability to eliminate bias and stereotyping and increase the participation and completion of underrepresented students in nontraditional CTE programs.
- As the states implement the Administration’s ESEA waivers to prepare children for college and careers, set new targets for improving achievement among all students, and focus help on poor-performing schools, the states and Administration must ensure a commitment to equity and professional development.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
TANF provides an important safety net for families in poverty and must contain provisions that support building both financial and educational assets leading to economic self-sufficiency.
- Focus on reducing poverty, helping parents earn family-sustaining wages and improving child well-being.
- Increase funding for TANF to at least keep up with inflation.
- Congress must remove limitations and allow vocational education to count for at least 24 months, along with allowing stand-alone adult education and English language services to count for at least 6 months of work participation. States should also be given the flexibility to provide the combination of education, job training, job search, and work that will help their TANF recipients obtain and retain better jobs with higher wages.
- Eliminate the 30% cap on the number of families in a state’s caseload who participate in vocational education and job training and be counted in federal work participation rates.
Paycheck Fairness Act
The Paycheck Fairness Act is a common sense that gives workers stronger tools to combat wage discrimination, bar retaliation against works for discussing salary information, and ensure full compensation for victims of gender-based pay discrimination. Congress must create a climate where wage discrimination is not tolerated, and give the administration the enforcement tools it needs to make real progress on pay equity.
- A record number of women are in the workforce. Pay equity is critical to both family economic security and the nation’s economic recovery.
- Women overall still earn approximately 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This rate is even lower for women of color at 64 cents for African American women and 55 cents for Latinas for every dollar paid to their male counterpart.
- The legislation should create stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, empower women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthen federal outreach, education and enforcement efforts.
- Enforcement tools are needed to make real progress on pay equity.
Support the Continuation of WANTO
Congress must maintain funding for the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations Act (P.L. 102-530) or WANTO, the only federal program designed specifically to help women enter non-traditional occupations, defined by law as those in which women make up 25% of the workforce or less. The Women’s Bureau lists over 120 occupations that meet the definition of ‘non-traditional occupation’. WANTO supports community-based organizations that provide training to women pre-apprenticeship programs and technical assistance to employers and labor unions. WANTO is jointly administered by the Women’s Bureau and the Employment Training Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor through a competitive application process. Over the past few years, Congress has appropriated approximately $1,000,000.00 annually for WANTO. The Administration’s proposed FY2016 budget proposes the elimination of WANTO, the only workforce program dedicated to providing opportunities for women to prepare for and enter high-wage, nontraditional jobs.