This week, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce reported a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2353) to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (CTE). The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was introduced earlier this month by Representatives Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) with the goal of helping more students gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need for success in careers and in higher education. The Committee passed H.R. 2353 by a unanimous voice vote. During the Committee's consideration of the bill, an amendment introduced by Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) to strengthen dual and concurrent enrollment programs for students was approved by a voice vote. The amendment would direct states to include such programs in their state CTE plans that are submitted to the U.S. Department of Education and recognize them for postsecondary credits.
In its letter to Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Ranking Member Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA), NSBA stated that, "H.R. 2353 includes measures to help our school districts and states strengthen both the academic and technical skills of our students, particularly with the combination of core academic subjects and integrated career pathways. As many of our school districts work to expand partnerships to offer our students a well-rounded curriculum that addresses both college and career readiness, the need to modernize CTE as an integral part of the curriculum is a priority. The bill's focus on sustainable relationships among education, businesses, and other community stakeholders, including local industry or sector partnerships for continuous alignment of programs of study with skills in demand in each state, region, or local economy will help address what a number of employers have cited as a 'skills gap.'"
NSBA helped inform the Committee's work on H.R. 2353 and has shared research findings from NSBA's Center for Public Education report on Career and Technical Education: Building New Pathways into the Labor Market. Along with organizations, such as the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), NSBA has participated in Capitol Hill briefings and local site visits to school districts to highlight the importance of CTE programs for student achievement. Additional details are available here.