NAPE is a consortium of state and local agencies, corporations, and national organizations committed to the advancement of equity and diversity in classrooms and workplaces. More specifically, NAPE strives to provide leadership in the following areas: Advocating on behalf of key equity issues, particularly regarding gender and special populations, in education; providing national professional development; increasing public awareness materials for equity in education, and collaborating with organizations that have similar missions.
With an innovative and equitable Administration and Congress, NAPE looks forward to promoting a 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 2013 Budget maintain current levels of 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 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 level.
- 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 increases the state’s ability to create excellent, sustainable programs informed by the success of high performing states.
Civil Rights Enforcement
Eliminate education discrimination particularly in career and technical education 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; as 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 Title IX state MOAs include a requirement for professional development and that state and local Title IX coordinators have the professional development necessary to do their critical jobs well.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA Reauthorization)
The reauthorization of WIA must prioritize services for those most in need of assistance, including low-income women with barriers to training and employment. It should focus on moving participants into high-wage, high-skill jobs to help them achieve family self-sufficiency.
- Ensure that WIA funding includes education and training for workers in need–those with the lowest skills, the working poor, and dislocated workers in order to help these populations find stable employment and better paying jobs.
- Structure WIA to actively provide opportunities that allow special population to train for nontraditional occupations and other high-wage, high-skill jobs.
Require states to use statewide funds to implement programs that increase the number of individuals training for and placed in nontraditional employment.
- Improve data collection and accountability to ensure that those workers most in need are not being excluded.
To eliminate “cream skimming” (only serving high-performing individuals), collect data on all participants and adjust performance measures for barriers to employment.
Require local plans to describe how services will be provided to special populations for nontraditional employment.
- Integrate innovative strategies such as sector initiatives and collaborative partnerships, but ensure that special populations have access.
- Ensure that the House Education and Workforce Committee’s bill “Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act” does not consolidate Perkins funds with WIA funds in states.
- Strengthen the connection between education and workforce development by ensuring that states create a systemic approach to workforce collaboration between departments of labor, education, and commerce.
- Maintain proper funding to ensure education membership on local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), WIA’s local governing body.
Maintaining partnership and education membership is crucial to a well-functioning local workforce system – those who are being asked to carry out workforce development functions should retain their seat at the table in order to be part of important decisions about funding and local priorities.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization
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 Career Technical Education 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.
- Career and Technical Education (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 programs 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 put forward plans under 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.
- Restore the TANF cuts found in the extension of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, P.L. 112-96 to states with special needs.
- TANF should measure its success on the number of people no longer living in poverty – not on the number of people no longer receiving assistance.
- Congress must remove limitations and allow vocational education to count for at least twenty-four months, along with allowing adult education and English language services to count for at least six 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 percent cap on the number of families in a state’s caseload who can participate in vocational education and be counted towards federal work participation rates.
- Allow education leading to a diploma, GED, certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or postsecondary degree to count toward federal work participation rates.
- Ensuring and maintaining that the 60-month time limit be implemented for all states is critical; reducing the time limit terms does not provide an accurate window of opportunity, nor allows for key outcomes on employment, income, and welfare receipt development.
Paycheck Fairness Act
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 still earn approximately 77 percent of what men earn. This rate is even lower for minority women at 68% for African American women and 58% for Latinas.
- The bill 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.
Department of Labor, Funding for Women
Congress must support women’s economic security.
- Continue full support for the Women’s Bureau, which has been “the voice of wage-earning women” in the Labor Department and across the country since 1920. The bureau brings together employers, public officials and community-based organizations to promote women’s employment in green jobs and nontraditional occupations, women’s entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and employer-based leave policies. It also has been the voice for equal pay for women at a time when the Census Bureau tells us that, in every field and at every educational level, men continue to earn more than women.
- Congress should not eliminate WANTO and keep it funded at the current one million dollar level. WANTO grants support technical assistance to employers and labor union-sponsored apprenticeship programs to recruit, train and retain women in nontraditional occupations, those in which women make up 25% or less of the current workforce.