What a great opportunity for career and technical educators to share information, hopes and concerns with
I was very fortunate to accompany two very seasoned NPS attendees from Maine, Chris Downing, director at Waldo County Technical Center, and Dave Keaton, director at Region II School of Applied Technology. They had established appointments with all four of our state senators in the House and Senate.
The appointments were fantastic. Senators Michaud and Collins were both warm and receptive. Unfortunately, Senator King was delayed in caucus, and Senator Pingree had an unscheduled event (we did meet with their aides). All were genuinely interested in what we were doing in our schools and the impact funding cuts could have regarding National Certification assessments and student enrollment.
Chris spoke to them about our adult learners and the ever-increasing numbers of applicants and the potential loss this has on economic development due to cuts in funding. Dave spoke about President Obama’s plan to have Perkins funds come to the CTE schools through the community colleges and expressed his concern about the affect that could have. I also spoke of my concerns regarding this due to the fact that the closest community college is 90 miles away from my school, making partnerships almost impossible.
All of us were in agreement as to the importance of career and technical education and how we all needed the support in funding to keep programs viable, allowing us to prepare our students for their future.