Silver Spring, MD – February 9, 2016 - In its final budget request to Congress, the Obama Administration has proposed to invest billions of dollars in programs and initiatives designed to prepare students and workers for success in the global economy. The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) agree that our nation’s economic competitiveness depends on the talent, skills and innovation of the American workforce, and that more must be done to help all students achieve their career goals.
The proposals in the president’s budget to invest in youth jobs programs, apprenticeships, education and workforce data systems, STEM education and incentivizing business involvement would all serve to help individuals prepare for careers that employers nationwide are currently struggling to fill.
However, the president’s budget neglects the foundation of the country’s education and workforce development system – Career Technical Education (CTE). The proposed budget would fund the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) grants to states at almost $170 million below its FY 2007 level – one of the program’s lowest funding levels in a decade. Once adjusted for inflation, this amounts to a 23 percent decline in Perkins state funding despite Perkins-funded CTE programs’ proven track record, and the growing need for resources to serve millions of CTE students nationwide.
“Across the country, many existing high-quality CTE programs have waiting lists. Rather than just making new investments in new programs, we believe it is just as important to recognize and invest in existing programs that have a proven record of success, such as Perkins,” said NASDCTEc Executive Director, Kimberly Green.
“ACTE recognizes the importance of strengthening the country’s education and workforce development systems, and supports the goals of the Administration’s budget request. However, we continue to emphasize that CTE programs that rely on Perkins cannot be asked to do more with less,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson.
High school and postsecondary CTE programs funded by Perkins help students succeed academically and prepare them for the career success emphasized throughout the budget proposal. For example, according to research from 2013, students enrolled in CTE high schools are more likely to graduate on time, accumulate more credits and successfully complete a college preparatory mathematics sequence. A strong federal investment in Perkins is necessary to ensure all students can explore career opportunities, build skills and follow a pathway to a prosperous future.
NASDCTEc and ACTE remain committed to ensuring equitable access to high-quality CTE and look forward to a thoughtful Congressional appropriations process later this year. As that process continues, both organizations urge Congress to fulfill its commitment to America’s students, employers, educators and the CTE community by increasing its investment in the Perkins Act.
Katie Fitzgerald, NASDCTEc
Sean Lynch, ACTE
The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) was established in 1920 to represent the state and territory heads of secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across the nation. NASDCTEc, through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, aims to support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish in a global, dynamic economy. www.careertech.org.
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, guidance counselors 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.