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Carl Perkins Career Technical Education Act Reauthorized by Congress

August 7, 2018

On July 25, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) applauded the bipartisan effort that has resulted in the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (CTE Act). Last reauthorized in 2006, the CTE Act is a vital source of federal support for our students, helping them gain the academic and practical skills they need for successful careers.

“We appreciate the modernization of this crucial piece of legislation that will expand college- and career-readiness opportunities for our public school students and strengthen both local and national economies,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director & CEO.

The leadership provided by Chairwoman Virginia Foxx and Ranking Member Robert “Bobby” Scott of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, as well as Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, was key to a law that fosters innovation, strengthens curricula, and forges meaningful partnerships among our school districts, institutions of higher education, and businesses. The work to bring about the bipartisan effort that will benefit many students was also the result of the tireless work of Representatives Glenn “GT” Thompson and Raja Krishnamoorthi, Senators Mike Enzi and Bob Casey, as well as other members of Congress and their staff.

“We look forward to continued work on CTE as we develop recommendations for implementation and oversight of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” said Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., NSBA’s Chief Legal Officer and interim Chief Advocacy Officer.

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act  seeks greater alignment with the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to leverage more collaborative partnerships with increased apprenticeships and other forms of work-based learning among all students. This legislation will benefit businesses as they work with school districts to address the skills gaps associated with six million unfilled positions and it would acclimate students to CTE in earlier grades to ensure economic productivity and workforce sustainability.

According to NSBA’s Center for Public Education, the number of apprentices represents only 1.5 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in the U.S., which is far short of the workforce demand. This bipartisan legislation will be useful in addressing long-term workforce investment strategies, as this is the goal of the recent Presidential Executive Order to expand apprenticeships. In addition, data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC) shows that individuals with apprenticeships are more likely to affirm the usefulness of their formal education and their abilities as life-long learners than their peers without such experience. The individuals with apprenticeship experience are also more likely to learn from coworkers and develop communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills at work.

NSBA’s Center for Public Education has also conducted research on this important issue. In its report, Career and Technical Education: Building New Pathways into the Labor Market, CPE found that advanced courses with an occupational focus make a difference in student outcomes. The report features data about career clusters, demographics of students enrolled in CTE, best practices and success stories.

Source: National School Boards Association



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