After a flurry of activity late last year, public activity on Perkins reauthorization has been relatively absent over the past few months. However, even as congressional and media attention is largely focused on higher profile issues, such as the Supreme Court nomination, federal budget, and of course, the presidential election, behind-the-scenes work on Perkins reauthorization continues.
In particular, staff of Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee leaders have been meeting to flesh out the priorities the Committee released last fall and put together a bipartisan reauthorization bill. It is possible we will see the draft of their bill released in the next few weeks. Over on the House side, discussions are also ongoing, and completing Perkins reauthorization remains a priority of Education and the Workforce Committee leaders.
As we await the release of the comprehensive bills that will be drafted by the House and Senate Committees, several other Members of Congress are also working on more focused pieces of legislation that can help to inform reauthorization. Most recently, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced the CTE Equity and Excellence Act (S. 2718) to revise Title II of Perkins to fund innovative high school reform efforts focused on CTE. We will be working with them, and other Members of Congress, to identify areas of their priorities and goals that align with our Perkins principles, and then to fit those ideas into broader reauthorization efforts as discussion continue.