Rep. Thompson: Perkins is Proven
March 30, 2012
Education Secretary Arne Duncan appeared before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on Wednesday. As he did in his previous appearance before the appropriations subcommittee, Duncan cited the Administration’s proposals for community colleges and career academies. He also received some additional push back on the issue of funding for new competitive grant programs instead of the long-standing formula programs. Specifically, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) asked a question about Perkins funding in which he noted that Perkins is a proven program to address the skills gap.
“I truly believe that career and technical education is a cost effective way to get people these skills,” said Rep. Thompson. He goes on to say, “My concern is that the president’s budget is trying to reinvent the wheel at the expense of proven and critically needed Perkins programs. I believe that that a good indicator of future performance is past performance in terms of meeting these workforce needs and delivering education and providing great pathways to success.”
Secretary Duncan indicated his support for Perkins but reiterate a message of “mixed results” in some programs stating that some programs are “training folks for jobs that were available 30 years ago.”
We know that this is not the norm in CTE, and that instead the CTE community is providing students with 21st-century skills that meet the needs of business and industry. We must do more to convince policymakers like Secretary Duncan that our programs are the answer to addressing the skills gap, and that this requires a robust federal investment in Perkins.
We want to thank Representative Thompson for his continued leadership on Perkins and CTE issues in Congress!