House Passes Bill to Improve, Strengthen Career and Technical Education

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) is the first major overhaul of the program since 2006
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Last week the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) is the first major overhaul of the program since 2006.

The Perkins Act provides federal support to state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs. The new legislation aims to improve current CTE policies to help more Americans and permanently close the skills gap.

The House-approved bill includes:

  • More flexibility for states to use federal resources in response to changing education and economic needs
  • Ensuring career and technical education prepares all students
  • Improving alignment with in-demand jobs
  • Enhancing CTE through increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities and meaningful credentialing
  • Streamlines performance measures
  • Reducing administrative burdens
  • Providing a voice for parents, students and stakeholders
  • Empowering state and local leaders to develop plans to improve quality of CTE

“House passage of new career and technical education legislation is an important step for creating the kind of programs needed to recruit and prepare students for high-paying careers in construction," said chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr. "The legislation embraces key reforms we have long championed, including allowing school officials to tailor programs to the skills needed by local employers. It also paves the way for more widespread acceptance of industry-recognized credentials, another reform we have long supported.

“The overwhelming bipartisan House support for this much-needed legislation is a clear sign many in Congress understand the need to better align our educational offerings with the needs of employers across the country. The Senate should follow suit in short order and send the bill to the president’s desk for his signature. Enactment of this measure will be a resounding win for students looking for skills that will earn them high-paying jobs, for employers in search of skilled workers, and for U.S. economic growth and job creation.”

(more on the House's reauthorization of the Perkins Act...)