OSHA, citing Covid failures, moves to strip three states of workplace safety authority.

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The Occupational Security and Well being Administration mentioned Tuesday that it was taking steps that might strip three states — Arizona, South Carolina and Utah — of their authority to control office security, citing shortcomings in insurance policies on coronavirus safety.

Underneath federal legislation, states can assume duty for occupational security if the federal government approves their plan for doing so and if the plan stays at the least as efficient as federal enforcement.

Federal officers mentioned Tuesday that the three states had did not undertake a rule that OSHA issued in June — or to undertake one at the least as efficient — requiring sure Covid-related security measures by employers, like offering protecting gear.

“OSHA has labored in good religion to assist these three state plans come into compliance,” Jim Frederick, the company’s performing director, mentioned on a convention name. “However their continued refusal is a failure to take care of their state plan dedication to 1000’s of staff of their state.”

Emily H. Farr, the director of South Carolina’s Division of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, expressed disappointment within the motion, saying that the state’s program had “confirmed efficient as South Carolina has constantly had one of many lowest damage and sickness charges within the nation.”

Arizona’s governor, Doug Ducey, mentioned in an announcement that its office security regulator had instructed OSHA that it believed the state was already in compliance with the brand new rule and that it had promptly initiated a rule-making course of to “assessment the mandate” as soon as the federal company knowledgeable the state that it was not in compliance.

Gov. Spencer J. Cox of Utah mentioned in an announcement that the state had beforehand expressed concern to the Labor Division that the rule would place an undue burden on the well being care trade. The state rejected the conclusion that its plan was much less efficient than the federal plan.

Twenty-eight states or territories have OSHA-approved plans for imposing office security. The place no plan has been accepted, OSHA retains major authority.

The motion comes as OSHA prepares to launch a rule mandating that firms with 100 or extra staff require staff to be vaccinated or to undergo weekly Covid-19 testing. Some states have indicated that they are going to problem the rule, although the authorized foundation for doing so seems weak.

OSHA, which is a part of the Labor Division, will publish a discover within the Federal Register saying its proposal to rethink and revoke approval of the three states’ self-regulation plans. There might be a 35-day remark interval on the proposal earlier than it may be finalized.

Seema Nanda, the Labor Division solicitor, mentioned that on account of the method, the states’ authority to control office security might be revoked completely or partially, equivalent to for sure industries.

New Resource Highlights How States Use American Rescue Plan Funds to Reengage Students through Career and Technical Education

In the present day, the U.S. Division of Schooling launched a new truth sheet highlighting methods states and college districts are utilizing American Rescue Plan funds to reengage college students and improve tutorial studying by increasing profession and technical schooling (CTE) alternatives. As colleges assist college students deal with misplaced tutorial time, high-quality CTE packages generally is a highly effective device to spice up college engagement and on-time commencement.

“As our nation recovers from the pandemic, we should guarantee immediately’s college students are prepared to satisfy tomorrow’s wants.  Investments in Profession and Technical Schooling – packages which might be confirmed to efficiently reengage college students and put together them for in-demand, good paying jobs – are key to that objective,” stated U.S. Secretary of Schooling Miguel Cardona.  “Expanded pathways from highschool to the workforce may help college students achieve the talents and earn the credentials wanted for high-growth jobs, together with people who do not require a four-year faculty diploma.”

The American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary College Emergency Reduction Fund (ARP ESSER) has supplied almost $122 billion to states and college districts to put money into Okay-12 colleges and meet the pressing wants of faculties and college students on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The brand new truth sheet highlights examples of how states are utilizing reduction funds for CTE packages in excessive colleges as a part of their work to assist college students and communities recuperate and create alternatives for college students to pursue larger schooling and profitable careers.

College students who full a sequence of CTE programs in highschool are extra possible to graduate on time and enroll in postsecondary schooling. Course sequences can embrace alternatives to take part in work-based studying and to earn postsecondary credit score or industry-recognized credentials in highschool.   

Earlier this yr, Secretary Cardona highlighted the significance of constructing larger schooling extra inclusive and inexpensive as he laid out his imaginative and prescient and priorities for schooling in America. He additionally burdened that college students ought to have pathways by larger schooling that result in profitable careers. To realize that, he known as for reimagining the connection amongst p-12, larger schooling, and the workforce.

Learn extra about state and native investments in CTE packages utilizing ARP ESSER funds within the truth sheet. A brand new Homeroom weblog put up for college students, households and educators particulars how CTE packages put together college students for in-demand profession pathways by offering alternatives for hands-on experiences and tutorial time, a lot of which was interrupted as a result of COVID-19 challenges.

Rocky Mountain states to team up on hydrogen tech proposal

FILE - In this photo taken Nov. 17, 2014, a Toyota Motor Corp.'s new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Mirai arrives at a charge station near Toyota's showroom in Tokyo. Four Rocky Mountain states announced plans Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, to cooperate on making the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen, more readily available and useful as fuel for cars, trucks and industry. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — 4 Rocky Mountain states will cooperate on growing methods to take advantage of considerable component within the universe, hydrogen, extra obtainable and helpful as clean-burning gas for automobiles, vehicles and trains, the states’ governors introduced Thursday.

Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming will plan a “hydrogen hub” to be constructed someplace within the area, drawing from $8 billion in not too long ago accepted federal infrastructure funding for 4 or extra such regional hubs within the U.S.

“This coalition represents a shared imaginative and prescient for the way forward for hydrogen within the Mountain West area,” Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon stated in a joint assertion with governors Jared Polis of Colorado, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Spencer Cox of Utah.

The Western Inter-State Hydrogen Hub can have amenities in all 4 states underneath plans to be submitted to the U.S. Division of Vitality, in keeping with an settlement signed Wednesday.

Objectives will embrace financial improvement and the “newest science, analysis and know-how for cost-effective technology, transportation, and use of fresh hydrogen,” the states’ settlement stated.

ED Invites Applications from States to Support Innovation in Assessment Systems

By Donald Peasley, Evaluation Staff Lead, College Help & Accountability, Workplace of Elementary and Secondary Schooling

ED invites applications from states to support innovation in assessment systems

Over the previous two years, the pandemic has introduced immense challenges to our nation’s college students, faculties, and communities. Only one yr in the past, solely 46% of our nation’s Okay-12 faculties have been open for in-person studying, and numerous college students skilled traumas, psychological well being challenges, and educational disruptions. Some college students fell behind, and a few disconnected from their faculties altogether. That’s why since Day One of many Biden Administration, the Division of Schooling has been targeted on reopening our faculties safely, getting extra Individuals vaccinated, and addressing the impacts of the pandemic on college students of all ages. As a part of this effort, we invested $130 billion in America’s Okay-12 faculties by way of the American Rescue Plan, and we allowed for unprecedented flexibilities in our Okay-12 evaluation techniques, so faculties and districts may give attention to getting college students again in school rooms safely, firstly.

The Division of Schooling is proud that in only one yr, we’ve returned to pre-pandemic ranges of colleges being open. At this time, practically all faculty districts are again to in-person studying 5 days per week. We’re seeing college students day-after-day interacting with their academics, friends, and college employees, receiving the tutorial and psychological well being helps they should get well. And whereas this pandemic has underscored simply how necessary it’s for our college students to be receiving in-person instruction to make sure all college students are receiving high-quality, equitable training, it additionally has made clearer the gaps in our training system—and introduced a chance for us to get well stronger than we have been earlier than.

That’s why right now the U.S. Division of Schooling is releasing the 2022 discover inviting functions for the Aggressive Grants for State Assessments program, a program designed to boost the standard of state evaluation techniques to higher replicate the wants and experiences of our nation’s college students and communities. This system will permit for states to proceed to make use of assessments to quantify the impacts the pandemic has had on our nation’s college students, determine gaps which can have gotten worse, and discover methods to direct assets and funding to deal with these gaps and roadblocks to scholar achievement. This system will even permit the Division to determine, elevate up, and assist scale progressive approaches to assessments that advance educating and studying that may higher meet the wants of our evolving training system.

This system will award as much as $17.7 million in grants to 4-6 state academic companies, with estimated grant awards of as much as $3 million per grantee. Grantees will use these grant funds over a interval of as much as 4 years. This system will give attention to evaluation techniques based mostly on a number of measures, competency-based training, and improved reporting of evaluation outcomes to folks and educators.

State academic companies (or a consortium of state academic companies) are invited to submit functions that 1) develop or implement evaluation techniques that use a number of measures of educational achievement; or 2) develop or implement complete educational assessments that emphasize the mastery of requirements and aligned competencies in a competency-based training mannequin. This system additionally features a aggressive precedence that focuses on enhancing how evaluation outcomes are reported to folks and educators, so members of college communities can higher help how instruction is designed to fulfill the tutorial wants of kids.

Functions might be due on April 18, 2022. Profitable candidates might be chosen, and awards might be made, by September 2022. Officers from the Division’s Workplace of Elementary and Secondary Schooling will even conduct a webinar for potential candidates within the coming weeks. Registration info for the webinar, the applying for this grant program, and extra details about the Aggressive Grants for State Assessments program is on the market at https://oese.ed.gov/places of work/office-of-formula-grants/school-support-and-accountability/competitive-grants-for-state-assessments/applicant-information/.

As we proceed our work to help our nation’s college students of their restoration from the pandemic, we stay up for working in partnership with faculties, households, educators, and communities to strengthen our evaluation and training techniques, so each scholar has the chance to succeed academically and thrive.