NAPE commends the bipartisan leadership of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus for forging a unified front in the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education legislation, Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, sponsored by Rep. Thompson (R-PA) and cosponsored by Reps. Byrne (R-AL), Curbelo (R-FL), Clark (D-MA), Langevin (D-RI), and Nolan (D-MN). This bipartisan effort has resulted in a well-crafted proposal that takes significant steps toward improving career and technical education and preparing every student for college and career in an ever-changing global economy.
NAPE is particularly pleased that the proposal continues to include provisions supporting special populations and students pursuing nontraditional fields as a cornerstone of the proposal’s emphasis on preparing students for high-skill, high-wage jobs that lead to economic self-sufficiency in a 21st-century workforce. The bill expands opportunities for students to participate in career exploration activities as early as middle school and encourages greater access to work-based learning experiences, both critical to expanding students’ career choices. A continuing commitment to closing participation and achievement gaps of underrepresented students and provisions focused on increasing educator capacity to implement effective practices to close those gaps, are highlighted throughout the bill’s provisions. In the announcement of the bill’s introduction, the House Education and Workforce Committee stated that “the proposal ensures that career and technical education prepares all students, including historically disadvantaged and vulnerable students, for success in high-skill, high-wage occupations and careers in nontraditional fields.”
NAPE hopes that the House’s demonstration of commitment to completing a bipartisan Perkins reauthorization will encourage the Senate to follow its lead. We look forward to the Senate’s proposal being released in the near future. NAPE applauds the bipartisan efforts of Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and ranking member Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce as well as their colleagues in the CTE Caucus on working diligently to create a proposal that supports innovation and equity in career and technical education.