Trump Signs Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act

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by Christopher Paslay

The legislation is a reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, a $1.2 billion program last overhauled by Congress in 2006.

On Tuesday, President Trump signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which provides funding for job training and related programs for high school students, many of whom may be seeking postsecondary options other than a four-year college degree, as well as for students in higher education.

According to Education Week:

The legislation is a reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, a $1.2 billion program last overhauled by Congress in 2006. The new law allows states to set their own goals for career and technical education programs without the education secretary’s approval, requires them to make progress toward those goals, and makes other changes to federal CTE law.

Trump celebrated the bill signing at a “Pledge to America’s Workers” event on Tuesday in Florida designed to showcase the administration’s focus on workforce development.

In a speech at Tampa Technical High School in Tampa, Fla., after the official bill signing at the White House, Trump said the new CTE law would contribute to the “booming economy.”

Thanks to the law, Trump told the crowd, “More than 11 million students and workers will have greater access to better training and more jobs.”

Career and technical education is attracting new attention and support, but it’s also facing new challenges as programs try to evolve to meet changing labor force demands. . . .

The Trump administration made reauthorizing Perkins a priority this year, and dispatched the president’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump to Capitol Hill to push senators to approve a bill. Shortly thereafter, the Senate education committee considered and unanimously passed a Perkins reauthorization bill, which was written by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

Last week, the Senate then passed the legislation, and the House quickly agreed to a Perkins reauthorization bill as amended by the Senate.

Business groups, the National Governors Association, and education groups like the Council of Chief State School Officers praised Congress’ quick work on CTE legislation over the past month.

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Trump Set to Give Career-Technical Education a Major Boost

CTE

by Christopher Paslay

President Trump prepares to sign a bipartisan overhaul of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, strengthening funding and support for CTE programs across the country.

Although the Philadelphia School District recently cut admission standards at its four CTE schools—sparking a “quality vs. equity” debate—there is some good news on the vocational education front: President Trump is set to sign a bill that will reenergize the $1.1 billion program and help America’s young people enter the work force with the skills they need to succeed.

According to Education Week:

Congress passed a bipartisan overhaul of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act on Wednesday and sent it for signature to President Donald Trump, who has made career and technical education, or CTE, a priority for his administration.

The $1.1 billion program, last reauthorized in 2006, provides funding for job training and related programs for high school students, many of whom may be seeking postsecondary options other than a four-year college degree, as well as for students in higher education. The Senate bill to revamp Perkins was co-authored by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and is called the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The House, which passed its own version of a Perkins reauthorization last year, approved CTE reauthorization as amended by the Senate version. The legislation passed via voice vote.

Momentum behind the Perkins legislation has grown in recent weeks, after a lobbying effort by the Trump administration on Capitol Hill that included presidential senior adviser Ivanka Trump, who is Trump’s daughter. The legislation sailed through the Senate education committee last month and was lavished with praise by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Some highlights of the bill include:

  • The secretary of education would be barred from dictating states’ CTE assessments or standards. States would also set their own goals under the legislation.
  • States would have to make “meaningful progress” toward meeting their own goals under the proposed bill.
  • The legislation creates “core indicators” for the performance of students concentrating in CTE, including their graduation rate and the percentage who continue on to either postsecondary education or advanced training within a certain time frame.
  • It also requires schools to align career and technical education programs with the needs of the state or local communities.

The reauthorization of the bill has been a priority of the business community as well as America’s teachers’ unions. Interestingly, the American Federation of Teachers and the Council of Chief State School Officers praised the legislation’s progress, including AFT President Randi Weingarten, who’s been lobbying lawmakers to increase spending on CTE.