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Legislative Update: WIA reauth, Census, and more

This week, C2ER joined its partners in the Workforce Data Quality Campaign for a private briefing on the Hill, voicing its support for continued commitment to education and workforce data.

The big news this week was the House and Senate leadership announcing the release of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which was due for reauthorization eleven years ago. The National Skills Coalition has a page of resources including a summary, statements, and text of the bill. According the The Hill (the publication not the institution), WIOA would eliminate 15 federal programs and overhaul requirements throughout the job training system in a bid to help job seekers gain valuable employment skills. The Chronicle of Higher Education says that while community colleges are generally happy with the compromise, some are also frustrated that the bill would continue to require colleges that accept vouchers to report employment and earnings information for all of their students, and that it would not guarantee the institutions a seat on statewide workforce development boards.

In other data legislation news, according to the Census Project, next week the House will consider action that could cut the Census Bureau budget by 9%, including $56 million from the Census 2020 planning. CP has posted three factsheets to help you voce your support for a fully-funded Census.

On the data protection front, some feel that members of Congress will likely move forward on bipartisan cybersecurity legislation this summer. Past efforts to develop comprehensive cybersecurity laws have to this point stalled on the Hill. But, the increasing number and severity of breaches have continued to keep the issue in the news, as last year’s publicized breach at retail giant Target demonstrated.

At the state level, a Utah representative is looking to give greater protection to student data collected by the state’s public education institutions. The legislation is called the “Student Privacy Act”, which would provide parents more control of the information that schools collect on their students. It’s set to be considered in the 2015 session.