Cosponsor the Brat-Flake Universal Savings Account Act

Next week as you and your loved ones gather for Thanksgiving, take a moment to remember why we celebrate. After years of hardship and seeing their neighbors starve, the Pilgrims shifted from collective agriculture to private production. Instead of privation, they harvested a bounty.

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Cosponsor the Bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Opportunity Act

From: The Honorable Tammy Duckworth
Sent By:
Bill: H.R. 3964
Date: 11/18/2015

Endorsed by: Opportunity Nation, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), National Skills Coalition, United States Student Association, National Tooling and Machining Association, Precision Machined Products Association, Precision Metalforming Association and Third Way
Background: Community colleges and technical schools offer career and technical education (CTE) programs that deliver workforce development and occupational training services. CTE curriculums provide “ready to work” education that empowers students to learn new skills, train on new technologies and earn or maintain industry credentials, professional certificates and licenses. The demand for CTE is high. A 2013 American Institutes for Research estimated 5 million Americans enrolled in noncredit coursework in 2009 alone, accounting for nearly 39 percent of all community college enrollees. Furthermore, approximately 52 percent of noncredit courses offered by community colleges are occupational, vocational or technical in nature.
Problem: Yet, despite CTE’s vital role in training the workers in Illinois and across the Nation, under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, many students enrolled in CTE programs are not eligible for Federal student aid. One size fits all eligibility requirements result in a status quo where Federal student aid is only available to students enrolled in postsecondary programs that stretch over 15 weeks and 600 clock hours.
Solution: The CTE Opportunity Act opens the doors of opportunity for all CTE students by expanding Federal student loan eligibility under Title IV of the Higher Education Act to include students enrolled in short-term CTE programs. The bill will finally eliminate antiquated barriers that hinder Federal investments in “ready to work” education. Students enrolled in programs that lead to an industry-recognized credential and feature at least 250 clock hours, offered during a minimum of 5 weeks of instruction will now be eligible to receive Federal financial aid. The CTE Opportunity Act provides working students throughout America the opportunity to access CTE programs that will improve their skills and enable them to earn industry-recognized credentials that are frequently necessary to secure higher paying jobs.

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