House Approves Nolan-Cosponsored Perkins Reauthorization to Strengthen Career and Technical Education
Today, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation cosponsored and championed by U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan to strengthen and improve career and technical education and give Americans the skills they need to compete for in-demand jobs.
“Minnesota business owners and managers almost always tell me that CTE graduate employees stand out among the very best,” Nolan said. “They simply need more CTE-trained workers to fill the good-paying jobs they have available. This revised version of the Perkins Act will give states more flexibility to help some 248,000 Minnesota high school and college students – and some 12.5 million students nationwide – design programs and take classes to prepare for 21st Century careers. ”
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. This is the first major overhaul to the program since 2006.
Watch Nolan’s speech on the House floor HERE.
Immediately following the bill’s passage, a bipartisan group of Career and Technical Education leaders in the House gathered on the House Triangle for a press conference to discuss the reauthorization of the Perkins Act.
Watch Nolan’s remarks at the press conference HERE.
BACKGROUND ON THE BILL
The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act provides federal support to state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs. Building on recent reforms to K-12 education and the workforce development system, Reps. Thompson and Krishnamoorthi — along with Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), James Langevin (D-RI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), and Rick Nolan (D-MN) — introduced this proposal. The bipartisan legislation will improve current CTE policies to help more Americans gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workforce. Specifically, the legislation will:
- Deliver states more flexibility to use federal resources in response to changing education and economic needs.
- Ensure 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.
- Improve alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
- Enhance career and technical education through increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful credentialing so students are prepared to enter the workforce poised for success.
- Streamline performance measures to ensure career and technical education programs deliver results for students and taxpayers.
- Reduce administrative burdens and simplify the process for states to apply for federal resources.
- Reward success and innovation by directing federal resources to replicate promising practices that best serve students and employers.
- Provide parents, students, and stakeholders a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of state and local programs.
- Empower state and local leaders to develop plans that improve the quality of career and technical education and take into account unique local and state needs.