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House Holds First Perkins Reauthorization Hearing


September 20, 2013


House Holds First Perkins Reauthorization Hearing

The House officially kicked off its Perkins reauthorization process today with a hearing in the House Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. The hearing was titled, “Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's Jobs: A Discussion on Career and Technical Education and Training Programs,” and focused on how effective CTE programs are meeting the needs of students and the economy.

In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chair Todd Rokita (R-IN) mentioned programs in his state at Ivy Tech’s Ivy Institute of Technology that prepare students for careers in areas such as automotives, manufacturing and welding through short-term, specialized training, but also highlighted the number of unemployed young adults. “By strengthening the career and technical education programs funded under the Perkins Act, we can help more of these young people gain an edge in the workforce,” he said

Witnesses testifying at the hearing included:

  • Alvin Bargas, President, Pelican Chapter Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA
  • Frank Britt, Chief Executive Officer, Penn Foster Inc., Scranton, PA
  • John Fischer, Deputy Commissioner, Transformation & Innovation, Vermont Agency of Education, Montpelier, VT
  • Sheila Harrity, Principal, Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA

A wide range of successful programs were highlighted by the witnesses, including such elements as digital learning, apprenticeships, dual enrollment, business and industry partnerships, industry certifications, internships and other work-based learning, and programs of study. Members of Congress also asked a range of questions, with several expressing further interest in how the federal government can help to ensure all students have access to programs like the ones highlighted. Chariman Rokita also asked witnesses to respond in writing after the hearing to a question about how we ensure more consistency in CTE program quality across the country without unduly increasing the burden of the federal legislation.

Check out the twitter feed of ACTE Legislative Liaison Brendan Desetti for interesting quotes from the hearing, and read the testimony or view archived video on the committee’s website at http://edworkforce.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=349698. ACTE also asked that our recommendations for Perkins reauthorization be included in the official hearing record.

We expect that at least one more hearing will be held in the House later this fall, so stay tuned!

 Perkins Hearing 9/20/13


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