Federal Flash: Three Important Things In the New Perkins Career and Technical Education Law

In this week’s Federal Flash we’ll tell you three important things in the new federal career and technical education (CTE) law that is on its way to President Trump’s desk.

We’ll also review the Education Department’s proposed new rules for the charter school program and a proposal from House Democrats to renew the Higher Education Act.

It’s not every week that we have good news to share from Capitol Hill, but we certainly do today.  

With time running out before members of Congress head home to campaign for the midterm election in August, a rewrite of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act had to happen quickly.  

Usually the House passes one version of a bill, the Senate passes another, and they meet to work on a compromise of the two versions in a conference committee. Then each chamber passes the compromise bill. That process typically takes a while. 

This time, the Senate education committee passed its bill in late June and the full Senate raced to pass a slightly modified version of that bill on Monday. On Wednesday, the House passed the Senate’s bill, allowing them to avoid a conference committee altogether and send the bill to President Trump for his signature. 

This is an example where good politics actually pushed good policy.  

The Perkins rewrite had been stalled for a while, but the urge to use the rewrite on the campaign trail helped to push Congress to finish the job. And this urge to get something done didn’t just come from Congress. The White House stepped in to move things along, including the personal involvement of Ivanka Trump. 

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