FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2020
Contact: Jarrod Nagurka
ACTE Statement on President’s FY 2021 Budget Request
Alexandria, VA —The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released the following statements in light of President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget, which included, among other things, nearly $900 million in additional funding directed to career and technical education (CTE). This is composed of a roughly $680 million increase for Perkins Basic State Grants, $83 million increase for Perkins National Programs (with a focus on competitive grants for innovation and modernization of programs), and over $100 million in additional funds that could be generated for Perkins through changes to the H-1B visa program. However, overall, the budget request includes decreases of 7.8% and 10.5% to the Departments of Education and Labor over FY 2020.
“We are excited that CTE is receiving the long-overdue recognition it deserves for its role in growing America’s 21st century economy,” said LeAnn Wilson, ACTE’s Executive Director. “This significant increase will provide much-needed resources to strengthen high-quality CTE programs in every corner of the country, and is a substantial step forward in the national double the investment campaign for CTE. As the skills gap widens and careers require more technical skills now than ever, it is crucial that today’s learners have access to programs that will prepare them for the workforce. This strong investment in CTE programs at high schools and community and technical colleges will do just that.”
Wilson continued, “At the same time, the nation’s education and workforce system functions best when its varied programs and resources are leveraged together. We are concerned to see significant cuts overall to the Departments of Education and Labor in the President’s budget proposal. Substantially cutting or eliminating other programs outside of Perkins impacts schools’ and postsecondary institutions’ abilities to deliver high-quality CTE to students. For instance, programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and Higher Education Act all help support CTE programs, teachers and students through activities such as student financial aid, teacher professional development, and both academic and employability-related supports. We strongly encourage Congress to reject these harmful proposals, while embracing the historic investment that the President has rightly made in Perkins.”
ACTE President Nancy Trivette stated, “This recorded-breaking proposal to invest in CTE is strongly grounded in data, public support and common sense. For far too long high-quality CTE programs have been forced to do more with less. This budget reverses the trend of underinvestment in CTE, recognizes the benefit of these programs to the American economy, and would allow even more students to gain the skills they need to be successful in careers of the 21st century. However, it is also important to note the vital role that other federal education and workforce-related programs play in supporting students’ skill development, and to stress that while this budget would smartly scale investments in CTE, it shouldn’t detract from important progress made in other areas.”
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.