IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 12, 2013
Mr. Begich introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a new counseling program.
This Act may be cited as
Counseling for Career Choice
Congress finds the following:
A career guidance and counseling program develops an individual's competencies in self-knowledge, educational and occupational exploration, and career planning.
Career guidance and counseling programs help individuals acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to identify options, explore alternatives, and succeed in a 21st century society.
The American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-counselor ratio of 250 to 1. Forty-seven States do not meet this recommendation.
Professional school counselors design and implement comprehensive school counseling programs that include educational and career planning activities for all students that are designed to assist students in reaching academic, career, and personal goals.
4 out of 5 graduates of secondary-level career or technical education programs who pursued postsecondary education after secondary school had earned a credential or were still enrolled in postsecondary education 2 years later.
Students at schools with highly integrated rigorous academic and career and technical education programs have significantly higher achievement in reading, mathematics, and science than do students at schools with less integrated programs.
Counseling for career choice
Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6601 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Counseling for career choice
In this part:
The term community college means—
a junior or community college, as such term is defined in section 312(f) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or
a 4-year public institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) that awards a significant number of degrees and certificates, as determined by the Secretary, that are not—
baccalaureate degrees (or an equivalent); or
master's, professional, or other advanced degrees.
The term eligible entity means—
a local educational agency, including an educational service agency; or
a consortium that may consist of any combination of 2 or more local educational agencies, educational service agencies, non-profit organizations with demonstrated expertise in counseling or career and technical education, or tribal organizations.
The term industry-recognized, when used with respect to a credential, means a credential that—
is sought or accepted by employers within the industry or sector involved as a recognized, preferred, or required credential for recruitment, screening, hiring, retention, or advancement purposes; and
where appropriate, is endorsed by a nationally recognized trade association or organization representing a significant part of the industry or sector.
Local workforce investment board
The term local workforce investment board means a local workforce investment board established under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2832).
The term school counselor has the meaning given the term in section 5421.
The term stakeholders includes local educational agencies, school counselors, secondary schools, institutions of higher education (including community colleges), the State workforce investment board, the State agency responsible for labor market information, other applicable State agencies as determined by the Secretary, local workforce investment boards, regional economic development agencies, area career and technical education schools (as defined in section 3 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006), local businesses and industries, organizations offering apprenticeship programs, tribal organizations, labor organizations, programs leading to postsecondary credentials, including industry-recognized credentials, other career and technical educational programs (as defined by the Secretary), and any other individuals or persons that the Secretary determines appropriate to carry out the purposes of this part.
Statewide counseling framework
The term statewide counseling framework means a framework that encompasses grades 6 through 12 and postsecondary education and that includes information on career awareness, skills assessment, skills training, student interest surveys, postsecondary education entrance requirements, secondary school graduation requirements, financial aid, institutions of higher education, community colleges, programs leading to industry-recognized credentials, career and technical education programs, internships, dual enrollment programs, apprenticeships, and professional development opportunities for school counselors.
State workforce investment board
The term State workforce investment board means a State workforce investment board established under section 111 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2821).
The term tribal organization has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
Establishment and capacity-building grants
From amounts appropriated to carry out this part and not reserved by the Secretary under subsection (b), the Secretary shall award establishment grants, on a competitive basis, to State educational agencies to enable the State educational agencies to carry out the activities described in section 2504.
Each establishment grant under this subsection shall be for a period of not more than 2 years.
The Secretary may extend a grant awarded under this subsection for additional 3-year periods if the State educational agency—
is achieving the intended outcomes of the grant;
shows continued engagement with stakeholders; and
has established a statewide counseling framework.
State capacity-Building grants
The Secretary shall reserve not less than 10 percent and not more than 20 percent of the amounts appropriated to carry out this part for any fiscal year to award capacity-building grants, on a competitive basis, to State educational agencies that do not receive an establishment grant under subsection (a) for such year.
A State educational agency that receives a capacity-building grant under this subsection shall use grant funds—
to carry out 1 or more of the activities from the State educational agency's application under section 2503 that the Secretary determines is an acceptable use of funds; or
to improve the State educational agency's application for the next competition for establishment grants under subsection (a).
Special rule for alternate grantees
Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, if a State educational agency does not apply for a grant under this section for an award year, a consortium of stakeholders representing the State may apply for a grant under this section for the subsequent award year by submitting to the Secretary an application that meets the requirements of section 2503 and includes any additional information that the Secretary may require. The Secretary shall give such application the same consideration in the grant award process as is given an application submitted by a State educational agency, and may award one consortium in the State an establishment grant under subsection (a) or a capacity building grant under subsection (b) to enable the consortium to carry out the activities described in section 2504 or subsection (b), respectively, in the State. The provisions in this part shall apply to a consortium that receives an grant under this subsection in the same manner as such provisions apply to a State educational agency.
A State educational agency desiring a grant under this part shall submit an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require. The application shall include—
a description of a proposed statewide counseling framework that is developed in consultation with not less than 5 stakeholders, of which at least 1 stakeholder shall be a local business or industry or statewide industry organization and 1 stakeholder shall be a local educational agency or secondary school;
a detailed plan to implement a statewide counseling framework that is developed in consultation with not less than 5 stakeholders, of which at least 1 stakeholder shall be a local business or industry or statewide industry organization and 1 shall be a local educational agency or secondary school; or
evidence of an existing statewide counseling framework and implementation plan supported by not less than 5 stakeholders, of which at least 1 stakeholder shall be a local business or industry or statewide industry organization and 1 shall be a local educational agency or secondary school;
a description, if applicable, of any program leading to an industry-recognized credential that—
will be included as one of the postsecondary opportunities described in section 2504(a)(9);
serves as one of the stakeholders for purposes of paragraph (1); or
will be described in the information included in the statewide counseling framework for the activities carried out under the grant; and
a description of how the State educational agency will award subgrants and ensure that the activities described in section 2504 are carried out.
A State educational agency receiving an establishment grant under section 2502(a) shall use grant funds to—
develop and implement comprehensive school counseling programs that align with the statewide counseling framework proposed or described in the State educational agency's application;
identify and assess school counseling activities and postsecondary options available within the State, and outside the State as applicable;
hire additional school counselors to effectively serve more students in postsecondary education planning and career guidance activities, where applicable;
identify regional workforce trends in collaboration with entities at the State and regional level with expertise in identifying such trends, such as State workforce investment boards, local workforce investment boards, regional economic development organizations, or State employment agencies;
train counselors to effectively provide students with labor market information;
develop and implement a process for school counselors and school counselor programs to access the statewide counseling framework and information regarding the regional workforce trends identified in paragraph (4);
develop and implement professional development programs for counselors and other educators involved in preparing students for postsecondary opportunities;
develop a searchable method by which counseling professional development opportunities from around the State are collected, maintained, and disseminated to school counselors;
establish, improve, or coordinate postsecondary opportunities, which may include individual career planning, personalized learning plans, registered apprenticeships, internships, dual enrollment programs, programs leading to industry-recognized credentials (including programs at a secondary school), 2-year degree programs, 4-year degree programs, and other applicable postsecondary opportunities;
provide recommendations to improve a local educational agency's curriculum to better align with workforce trends and available postsecondary opportunities; and
conduct other activities pertaining to the administration of the statewide framework.
A State educational agency that receives an establishment grant may carry out the activities described in subsection (a) directly or through awarding subgrants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to enable the eligible entities to carry out any of the activities.
An eligible entity that desires a subgrant under this subsection shall submit an application to the State educational agency at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the State educational agency may reasonably require, including a description of the comprehensive counseling program for participating schools and students that the eligible entity proposes to develop and implement using subgrant funds.
Hiring of personnel
An eligible entity that receives an establishment grant under section 2502(a) may use grant funds to hire additional school personnel to carry out the activities described in subsection (a).
Supplement not supplant
Funds made available under this part shall be used to supplement, and not supplant, other Federal, State, and local funds available to carry out the activities supported under this part.
Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of the Counseling for Career Choice Act, and every 3 years thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the progress made by the eligible entities receiving grants under this part in implementing grant activities.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this part such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.