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2022 Federal Legislative Priorities

The American Association of Community and Technical Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) unite efforts to support a set of federal legislative priorities for each meeting of Congress. The 117th United States Congress meets in Washington, D.C. —spanning two years — from Jan. 3, 2021, to Jan. 3, 2023.

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), the Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT), its members and stakeholders work with AACC and ACT to support their joint agenda.

America's College Promise Act

Pass the America’s College Promise Act to create a federal-state partnership that waives community and technical college tuition and fees for all eligible students. The act would also: 

  • help community and technical college students in the most financial need by providing student aid for non-tuition expenses
  • facilitate direct entry into college programs for high school graduates
  • facilitate seamless transfer to baccalaureate programs
  • fund evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes

Community and Technical College Infrastructure 

Pass the American Jobs Plan to invest in existing physical and technological community and technical college infrastructure needs. Funds would: 

  • dramatically and visibly improve community and technical college campuses
  • build broadband infrastructure that supports equity of access to high-speed internet
  • further support digital equity through digital literacy upskilling grants that improve digital literacy skills among working age adults 

Pell Grants 

Pass the Tax Free Pell Grants Act to ensure that Pell Grants are not treated as taxable income when used for non-tuition education expenses. Double the Pell Grant maximum, maintain the Ability to Benefit provision, and pass the JOBS Act to extend eligibility to short-term training programs.

Workforce Development 

Increase funding for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and registered apprenticeships. Fund the Biden Administration’s $9 billion request for industry-based sector partnerships that align community and technical college training programs with industry needs. In addition, support an additional $1 billion in funding for adult education that teaches basic skills in the context of these training programs. 

Student Success 

Pass the American Families Plan, a $62 billion investment in evidence-based student success strategies at institutions like community and technical colleges that serve higher numbers of students from historically disadvantaged communities. 

Additional Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations 

Pass the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Funding Bill. Highlights include: 

  • an increase of $345 million to assist primarily Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in the Aid for Institutional Development account
  • $95 million for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School
  • fund the Strengthening Community College Training Grant Program at $100 million

Veterans

Fund new and existing programs to better serve veteran students. 

Enact reforms that protect veterans against exploitation of their GI Bill education benefits.

Dreamers

Establish a path to citizenship for qualifying undocumented students and provide access to student federal aid. 

Protect Dreamers from deportation and establish pathways to permanent legal status.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Replace the state work participation rate with an outcomes-based performance measurement system that would evaluate states on how well they did in helping TANF recipients achieve employment, earnings, and credential-attainment goals using metrics similar to those in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

Increase the lifetime cap on vocational training for TANF recipients from 12 to 24 months. This will align with Washington state’s WorkFirst program and help students reach credentials that lead to living-wage jobs. 

Remove the distinction between “core” and “noncore” activities that count toward a TANF recipient’s work requirement. A non-core activity — which includes adult basic education — counts only when the recipient spends a certain number of hours in a “core” activity (such as employment).

American Association of Community and Technical Colleges (AACC)

As the largest sector of higher education, community colleges offer a strong voice to legislators on the impact of critical programs and the needs of the millions of students served annually.

In addition to working with the regulatory agencies that administer funding and reporting programs at the national level, AACC supports the following legislative agenda for the 117th Congress.

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT)

Among other things, ACCT supports college boards in their efforts to govern and develop policies that focus on meeting community needs and helps build community college board leadership and advocacy capacity through education and training programs.

Whether through Pell Grants, institutional aid, or workforce development programs, the federal government has a significant impact on community colleges. ACCT strongly believes that civic action is an important part of working for community colleges.

ACCT provides advocacy tools and training for its member organizations to help trustees become more informed about what is happening in Washington, gain knowledge as how to be the best advocate, and take action on behalf of their institutions.

Page Manager: jwalter@sbctc.edu
Last Modified: 9/20/21, 4:21 PM

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