Bipartisan Federal Career & Technical Education Bill Approved By Committee

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Update from NSBA: Education Week reports that on Thursday the U.S. House Education Committee unanimously approved re-authorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act, through the vehicle “The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” Committee members “praised the bill for its efforts to better align CTE programs with the economy, focus more program efforts on disadvantaged students, and for increasing both transparency and accountability of these programs.”

Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA) —along with Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Jim Langevin (D-RI), and Rick Nolan (D-MN)— introduced the  Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (CTE), which has not been updated since 2006.

Former school board member, Rep. Thompson stated, “This well-engineered and robust reauthorization aims to close our nation’s skills gap by creating clear pathways to education and training for students eager to pursue careers in vital technical fields.”

The newly introduced legislation seeks to address the concerns education advocates and business leaders have expressed in regard to the importance of aligning career and technical education programs with current and future workforce demands to help prepare students for both college and careers. Further, Rep. Clark said in the committee press release: “This bill ensures our career and technical education system is flexible enough to adapt to the needs of emerging industries, is accountable to ensure every child has a chance to succeed, and is providing robust support for our educators.”