President’s Proposed Budget Restores CTE Funding But Still Falls Short of Need
April 10, 2013
ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) are encouraged that the Administration's proposed $1.1 billion level of funding of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) restores cuts made in FY 2013 as a result of sequestration. However, we are concerned that Washington has not prioritized investments in career and technical education (CTE) to meet the growing demand for education and skills in today's economy.
The Perkins Act is the primary source of federal support for CTE, delivered at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, and is a critical investment in developing a highly qualified, globally competitive American workforce. CTE programs utilize Perkins funding to evolve and expand to provide students with the knowledge and skills that are essential for success in high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers.
Unfortunately, recent cuts to the Perkins Act have had a negative impact on CTE programs' ability to meet student needs. The Perkins FY 2011 allocation was reduced by $140 million, with additional reductions occurring in FY 2012. As a result of sequestration, Perkins will be further reduced by $58 million in FY 2013. The erosion of Perkins has negatively impacted high schools, CTE centers, community and technical colleges, employers and millions of CTE students nationwide.
According to LeAnn Wilson, ACTE Executive Director, "Failing to provide a robust federal investment in Perkins is detrimental to the 12 million CTE students nationwide, the business community that relies on a qualified workforce, and the future economic competitiveness of our country."
Kimberly Green, executive director of NASDCTEc, said, "The president's proposal to return Perkins funding to pre-sequester levels is a step in the right direction. However, with pressures of the global economy intensifying, greater investment in CTE is needed to bolster the U.S. economy, close the skills gap and help more students be college- and career-ready. The existing funding for Perkins falls short of meeting the needs of communities across the country, where employers are still struggling to find well-qualified technicians and students often face waiting lists or find that CTE programs have closed due to lack of funding."
While several new programs proposed in the Administration's budget have the potential to benefit CTE programs and provide students robust career readiness skills—such as the high school redesign program, STEM initiatives and Community College to Career Fund—scarce resources would be better directed toward proven programs like Perkins that increase all students' access to high-quality CTE.
CTE is working with business and industry partners to help fill positions that are available today while preparing a qualified workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. If further reductions to Perkins continue, many effective education and employment training opportunities will disappear. In order to meet the needs of students, educators and employers, Congress must make investing in Perkins a top priority.
The Association for Career and Technical Education is the largest national association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. For 85 years, we have been committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of our members, to increasing public awareness and appreciation of career and technical programs, and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.
The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education was established in 1920 to represent the state and territory heads of secondary, postsecondary and adult career technical education across the nation. NASDCTEc, through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, aims to support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish a global, dynamic economy.