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CTE Policy Watch

President Promotes CTE in State of the Union Address



February 13, 2013

By: Mitch

In the first State of the Union address of his second term in office, President Obama put forward a sweeping policy agenda that touched on many issues of national importance, including immigration, economic recovery, gun control and CTE. Throughout the hour-long speech, the president frequently returned to the themes of supporting the expansion of the middle class and reviving economic growth. As part of his proposal to meet these goals, he argued for greater career preparation and skills training for high school students with an emphasis on integrating secondary and postsecondary education. “Let’s make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job” said Obama. “Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges.”

The president specifically cited Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech), a public CTE high school in Brooklyn that is a partnership between New York Public Schools, City University of New York and IBM.  P-Tech offers a six-year program that culminates in an associate degree tailored for students interested in a career in the technology industry. The president announced a proposal to incentivize and expand programs like P-Tech nationally. “I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. And we’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math,” said Obama.

In the Republican response to the president’s address, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) also spoke about the importance of CTE and its role in building the middle class and improving the economy. He called for a proposal to incentivize school districts to offer more CTE programs and pushed for greater financial aid for non-traditional postsecondary CTE students.  “Today’s students aren’t only 18 year olds.  They’re returning veterans. They’re single parents who decide to get the education they need to earn a decent wage. And they’re workers who have lost jobs that are never coming back and need to be retrained” said Rubio. “We need student aid that does not discriminate against programs that non-traditional students rely on – like online courses, or degree programs that give you credit for work experience.”

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Administration’s Budget Proposal Restores Sequester Cut to CTE Funding but Still Falls Short of Need

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Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill

8/12/13 By: Mitch Following the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request on Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the Administration’s plan for funding education in the coming fiscal year. In the budget proposal, the Administration suggests funding Perkins at 1.1 billion, equal to FY 2012 levels, before sequestration. Additionally, the budget proposes a $10 million increase for the National Programs line item which is designated for a new dual enrollment program focused on career preparation. Despite requests for an overall increase in education funding, the Administration's budget does not prioritize additional investments to meet the growing needs in CTE. During the hearing on Thursday, both Republican and Democratic members of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee expressed apprehensions about the Administration’s strong focus on increasing funding for competitive grant programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking-member of the subcommittee, talked about her concern for formula-funded education programs, like Perkins, which largely did not receive increases in funding. “The emphasis on competitive funding I find troubling,” said DeLauro. “What is need is steady secure funding for all of our schools to move toward improvement.” Federal investments in education must be directed to those areas with a proven track record of success that provide all students with equal access and opportunity. Members of the subcommittee will now begin to draft an appropriations bill that will fund Perkins in FY 2014. Let Congress know that it is time to make investing in Perkins a priority!


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