Your Chamber is excited to share some news out of Washington, D.C. Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA) along with Representatives Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Jim Langevin (D-RI), and Rick Nolan (D-MN) introduced the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act

The reauthorization of the Perkins Act, which has been a focus of the Chamber for years and was a preeminent issue on this year SA to DC trip, provides access to young Americans interested in high-skilled, high-tech occupations available in our global economy.  Currently in Texas, 7 out of 10 high school students take a least one CTE course during their high school career.  In fact, in reviewing some of our local ISDs data, Northside ISD had 35% growth in CTE high school enrollment from 2013-14 to 2015-16 (5,409 students), North East ISD saw a 24% growth in CTE high school enrollment since 2013-14 (2,296 students), and San Antonio ISD has seen consistency in their CTE enrollment with 9,203 students (73.7%) enrolled in High School CTE courses across the district.

This new legislation proposed will allow for many young Americans to enter the workplace armed with the necessary technical and essential skills needed for both post-secondary and career success. Some of the highlights of the bill include:

  • Empowerment to state and local leaders by simplifying the application process to receive federal funding and resources;
  • Improving alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, supporting the building of better partnerships between educational systems and employers, and addressing more directly state and local needs;
  • Increasing transparency and accountability by ensuring that secondary programs deliver results (such as replacing the “technical skill proficient” indicator, ensuring postsecondary programs deliver results, encouraging public input and protecting taxpayers with annual reporting requirements at the state level; and
  • Ensuring a limited federal role through reduction of the Secretary of Department of Education in negotiations of target levels of performance by states, limiting federal interventions in state and local plan development, and requiring an independent entity to research, develop, disseminate and evaluate the federal plan under this new bill.

“The reauthorization of the Perkins Act is critical to ensuring adequate resources are available to guarantee that every young person in San Antonio has access to career and technical programs,” said Richard Perez, President & CEO of the San Antonio Chamber.  “Career and Technical Education is an effective tool in providing students those skills needed in the workplace and we support any programming that helps our business members get the talent they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Your Chamber, along with other business members and organizations, will be sending letters of support for new Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act and encourage others to do the same.

For more information on this legislation please visit the Education and Workforce Committee for the US House of Representatives website. For more information on your Chamber’s Education and Workforce Committee please contact Priscilla Camacho

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