May 3, 2017 – Silver Spring, MD: Today, Advance CTE is proud to award Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) with its Congressional Star of Education Award - Rising Star for his dedication to and support for Career Technical Education (CTE).
Senator Tester’s commitment to CTE began long before his time in the U.S. Senate. As a third generation Montana farmer, educator, school board member, Montana State Senator and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee – Senator Tester understands and demonstrates the value of CTE and career pathways.
During Senator Tester’s time in the Montana State Senate 1999–2007, where he served as President from 2005-2007, he was a champion for postsecondary CTE programs. Under his leadership, Montana’s two-year technology colleges received their largest infusion of infrastructure support in the history of the state, helping expand CTE programs in critical career areas such as nursing and advanced manufacturing.
Senator Tester brought this understanding of the value of CTE with him when he became a U.S. Senator in 2007. In 2015, Senator Tester became a member of Senate CTE Caucus allowing him to lend his voice and experience to secure policy and funding to advance high-quality CTE. In 2015, he urged Congress to keep funding for Pell Grants in place to help low and middle-income families attend CTE programs and from 2013 - 2016 Senator Tester co-signed four support letters to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Senate Subcommittee on Appropriations in support of the Carl D. Perkins Act, signaling his strong support for CTE.
Before Montanans sent Senator Tester to the U.S. Senate, he was a teacher at the same school he attended in Big Sandy, Montana.
“Senator Tester has a long-standing commitment to CTE in Montana and has used his tenure in the U.S. Senate to be an increasingly vocal supporter for CTE on the national level,” said Kimberly Green, Executive Director of Advance CTE. “We appreciate the Senator’s leadership and use this recognition through our Star of Education award as a way of showing our appreciation. It is critical that all learners have access to high-quality CTE programs, and we are lucky to have Senator Tester as an advocate of this cause.”
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” Tester said. “Education is the backbone of our democracy and we need to work together to ensure all Americans have access to quality and affordable education.”
“Senator Jon Tester is a tremendous advocate for education at all levels. He is known throughout Montana and across our nation for his commitment to quality and affordable educational pathways and opportunities,” said Clayton T. Christian, Commissioner of Higher Education for Montana.
“Senator Jon Tester has demonstrated his support for CTE time and time again. He is a member of the US Senate CTE Caucus, he has supported Carl D. Perkins funding and reauthorization, and he has fought to grow student Pell funding,” said John Cech, Montana’s State Director for Carl D. Perkins and Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education.
Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Established in 1920, Advance CTE supports visionary state leadership, cultivates best practices and speaks with a collective voice on national policy to promote academic and technical excellence that ensures a career-ready workforce.