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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Career Counseling Added to Charter School Bill

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May 12, 2014

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Career Counseling Added to Charter School Bill

On Friday, May 8, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan charter school bill with a 360-45 vote. The Success and Opportunity through Charter Schools Act (HR 10) consolidates two existing federal charter school programs into a single $300 million-per-year program to open or expand “high-quality charter schools.”

Included in the final bill was an amendment offered by House CTE Caucus co-chairs Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA), which added a priority for grants supporting charter schools offering comprehensive career counseling opportunities for at-risk students. The amendment was adopted on a bipartisan vote of 378-27.

ACTE supported this amendment as it has with other initiatives that seek to expand access to career guidance, development and exploration opportunities for America’s youth, regardless of their academic or socioeconomic background. Previously, Rep. Langevin has demonstrated his commitment to such opportunities through his sponsorship of the Counseling for Career Choice Act (HR 2317).

Also passing the House was a bipartisan reauthorization of the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA), Strengthening Education through Research Act (HR 4366). This $2.1 billion program funds the Institute for Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Previous disagreements on funding levels had slowed ESRA’s reauthorization, but a recent deal between House Republicans and Democrats allowed the bill to move forward.

The bipartisan passages of the charter school bill and ESRA reauthorization have offered a glimpse at the possibility of at least partially breaking through the logjam of education and workforce bills that are currently awaiting reauthorization.

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