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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®

Policy and Advocacy

House/Senate CTE Caucus

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Background:

In 2007, former Congressmen Brain Baird (D-WA) and Phil English (R-PA) launched the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House caucus is now chaired by Congressmen Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), and serves to raise awareness of and support for the CTE community and lead on legislation related to these issues. 

In February 2014, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) partnered to launch the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus in conjunction with CTE Month. The senators were later joined as co-chairs by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mike Enzi (R-WY). As co-chairs, these senators have worked to call attention to CTE as a proven method for promoting America’s continued economic growth and ensuring that our students have the skills they need to succeed. In February 2015, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) began work as co-chair of the caucus in place of Sen. Enzi, who had taken on other commitments.

House Co-Chairs:

Rep Thompson Official Photo 
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Rep Langevin Official Photo 
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)

House CTE Caucus Membership List 
It is important to encourage every legislator to join the CTE Caucus. Contact yours today using the CTE Action Center!

Senate Co-Chairs:

Sen Kaine Official Photo 
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Sen Portman Official Photo 
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) 
 Isakson_portrait
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Sen Baldwin Official Photo
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)


Senate CTE Caucus Membership List
The Senate CTE Caucus is still recruiting Senators to join in support of CTE. You can encourage your Senators to join by sending them a message through the CTE Action Center.

Latest Caucus News:

The latest updates can be found on the CTE Caucus section of the CTE Policy Watch blog.

Resources, Positions & Statements:

Senate Resolution Recognizing CTE Month 2015 March 2015

CTE Month 2015 in Congress February 2015

Letter to President requesting Presidential Career and Technical Scholars Award May 2014

FY2015 Senate Funding Request Letter April 2014

FY2015 House Funding Request Letter April 2014

2014 CTE Month in Congress March 2014

Senate Resolution Recognizing CTE Month February 2014

2014 Senate Caucus Recruitment Letter January 2014

Sens. Tim Kaine and Rob Portman Announce Caucus January 2014

2013 House Caucus Recruitment Letter March 2013

Independent House CTE Caucus Website

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Policy and Advocacy

Building Relationships With Policymakers

Developing a good relationship with your local and federal policymakers and their staffs is one of the most important and effective tools in advocating for career and technical education and influencing the legislative process. As an education professional, you need to develop an ongoing relationship with policymakers at all levels to ensure that you are involved in decision making from the start. All policymakers want and need to hear from the constituents who are impacted by their decisions.

Hosting Site Visits for Policymakers

Techniques Advert Events Partners You have a superb CTE program. NOW is the time to show it off for your public officials. Your policymakers’ understanding will go a long way with an up-close and personal tour of programs. These are the people who can help you EXPAND and IMPROVE your program by ensuring funding and effective policies. A successful tour needs meticulous planning. ACTE has developed 10 STEPS to help you conduct a successful legislative tour of your school: GET PERMISSION Before you begin any planning, get permission from school officials. Keep everyone informed.   DETERMINE GOALS What type of impression do you want the policymaker to have of your school? What programs do you want to highlight? Brainstorm and select the most important features you want to show off.   DEVELOP A DRAFT AGENDA Most importantly, make sure school is in session for the tour. Plan a short and concise introductory presentation about the school and programs the policymaker will see. Following the brief presentation, schedule an organized tour.   INVITE POLICYMAKERS Now that you have your agenda, the next step is to invite your targeted policymakers. Fax or mail a brief letter to the policymaker at his or her local office at least six weeks before the scheduled date (you can find contact information for your federal Members of Congress by visiting ACTE’s Legislative Action Center). Briefly introduce yourself, your program, and state the purpose of the letter. Explain why you would like the official to visit your program (to see how an example of a CTE program can work in the community, the importance of supporting such initiatives, etc.). Include specific information about the visit (date, time, location, others who may be invited, whether the media will be invited, what activities are planned for the visit). Public officials have very busy schedules, so you’ll need to be as flexible and accommodating as possible.   FOLLOW UP WITH THE SCHEDULER The policymakers’s scheduler should be contacted seven to 10 days after you have mailed the letter. You should keep in mind that you need to be flexible with the date and tour arrangements. You should take every step to accommodate the policymaker. NOTE: Federal legislators will most likely be in their home districts Mondays, Fridays, and on the weekends.   DETERMINE PRESS ACTIVITIES Work with the policymaker’s press secretary, if they have one, to determine appropriate press activities. Send a press release to the local media inviting them to attend the tour. In addition to giving the policymaker publicity, it will increase the community’s interest in your program. Be sure to follow up with the media to make sure that they attend since the policymaker will be expecting them! Take plenty of photographs. If you are unable to have the media present during the tour, send the local reporters a follow-up summary and a photograph for their use. (ACTE can help you with your media activities! Please visit the "Targeting the Media" section of ACTE's Action Center.   CONDUCT THE TOUR The day has finally arrived! When the policymaker and his or her staff arrive, distribute descriptions of your programs, success stories about students and any other relevant information you feel promotes your program. Make sure that your name, address and phone number are on every document so staff can contact you later. Let the policymaker know the scope of the program: how many people you serve and what impacts the program has on families, the community, local businesses and the local economy. Explain why continued funding for CTE is important to students, jobseekers and businesses in the state or district. Encourage interaction between the policymaker and students. It is helpful for policymakers to make connections with those who benefit from the program and see the changes in people’s lives that good CTE programs make.   INCLUDE SUPPORTERS Have a few supporters present, such as parents, students and business partners, to help you make the case.   MAKE YOUR PITCH Emphasize how additional resources could benefit students. While you have the policymaker’s undivided attention, make a pitch for support. Ask the lpolicymaker to support your programs through increased funding and effective policies. Remember to be specific if current legislation is pending.   FOLLOW UP Congratulations! You conducted a successful tour, but you have another important step to take. Before you do anything else, make sure you: Send thank you letters to the policymaker and any staff who attended, reiterating the need for additional funding and more effective policies for your program. Include copies of press coverage. Include a photo of the policymakers with your students and supporters to remind them how important CTE is to your community.

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