House Passes Congressman Issa-Supported Legislation To Strengthen Career and Technical Education
Sep 13, 2016
Today the House of Representatives approved legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Darrell Issa to increase Americans’ access to career and technical education. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587) reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to help position young Americans with the skills needed for today’s new economy and high-demand fields. The bill aims to give states increased flexibility over federal funds to better align training with current economic needs.
Following passage, Congressman Darrell Issa released the following statement: “Every student deserves a high-quality education that prepares them for life-long success. This legislation is an important step that helps equip America’s next generation for opportunities in our 21st Century economy. By making career and technical training programs more accessible and flexible to changing needs, we can better ensure every child has an equal chance to excel.”
BACKGROUND: Since 1984, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act has provided federal support to state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs. These programs offer students the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to compete for jobs in a broad range of fields, such as health care and technology. However, because federal law has not been updated in more than a decade, it no longer reflects the realities and challenges facing today’s students and workers.
Building on recent reforms to K-12 education and the workforce development system, Reps, the bipartisan legislation will:
- Deliver states more flexibility to use federal resources in response to changing education and economic needs.
- Ensure career and technical education prepares all students, including historically disadvantaged and vulnerable students, for success in high-skill, high-wage occupations and careers in nontraditional fields.
- Improve alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
- Enhance career and technical education through increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful credentialing so students are prepared to enter the workforce poised for success.
- Streamline performance measures to ensure career and technical education programs deliver results for students and taxpayers.
- Reduce administrative burdens and simplify the process for states to apply for federal resources.
- Reward success and innovation by directing federal resources to replicate promising practices that best serve students and employers.
- Provide parents, students, and stakeholders a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
- Empower state and local leaders to develop plans that improve the quality of career and technical education and take into account unique local and state needs.
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