Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Summary February 7, 2005
Section II. C. Vocational and Adult Education
Programs in the Vocational and Adult Education account, as they are currently configured, provide formula grants to States to further State and community efforts to improve vocational education programs and adult education and literacy systems. With the exception of two programs (Smaller Learning Communities and Community Technology Centers) authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, all programs in this account are subject to reauthorization in 2006.
The Administration is requesting no funding for current Vocational Education programs, although the new High School Initiative would allow States to continue such activities if they choose. Under the Administration's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), Vocational Education State Grants was rated Ineffective because it has produced little or no evidence of improved outcomes for students despite decades of Federal investment. In its Final Report to Congress in June 2004, the National Assessment of Vocational Education found no evidence that high school vocational courses themselves contribute to academic achievement or college enrollment.
The High School Intervention initiative (described under Elementary and Secondary Education) would expand the application of No Child Left Behind principles to high-school grades by providing States with a flexible resource that can be used for efforts to improve high school education and raise achievement, particularly the achievement of students most at risk of failure. States and school districts would be able to use the funds for vocational education, tech-prep programs, and other purposes, depending on State and local needs and priorities. The new initiative would give States and districts more flexibility than they have under the categorical programs it would replace, and would also have stronger accountability mechanisms.
In addition, the Community College Access program proposed under Higher Education Programs would create improved systems for preparing students (including vocational students) for college by supporting the expansion of "dual enrollment" programs, under which high school students take college-level courses and receive dual credit, and by creating better pathways for students to move from high school into college.
Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Vocational and Technical Institutions is currently authorized under the Perkins Act. The Administration is requesting funding for the program in the Higher Education account because, under the Administration's Higher Education Act reauthorization proposal, this activity would be authorized along with other programs that provide institutional support for postsecondary institutions.
The Administration requests $200 million for Adult Basic and Literacy Education State Grants, with the expectation that new authorizing legislation will be enacted in 2006. This request is consistent with the Administration's goal of decreasing funding for programs with limited impact or for which there is little or no evidence of effectiveness. A PART analysis of the program carried out as part of the fiscal year 2004 budget process produced a Results Not Demonstrated rating. The program was found to have a modest impact on adult literacy, skill attainment and job placement, but data quality problems and the lack of a national evaluation made it difficult to assess the program's effectiveness. The request for State Grants includes level funding for the English Language and Civics Education grants, which enable States experiencing high levels of immigration to respond to the specialized educational needs of the immigrant/limited English proficient population.
The request includes $6.6 million for the National Institute for Literacy, with the expectation that new authorizing legislation will continue support for its communication, capacity-building, and policy analysis activities. In addition, the budget provides $9.1 million for National Leadership Activities to continue support for national evaluations, technical assistance to States on program accountability and effectiveness, and development and dissemination of staff development and training models to improve teaching.
For further information contact the ED Budget Service.
This page last modifiedFebruary 7, 2005 (mjj).