Policy & Funding

U.S. Education Department Makes Push for $1.1 Billion in CTE Funding

The United States Department of Education is looking to re-up a $1.1 billion investment in career and technical education. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. this week called for Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, a piece of bipartisan Bush-era legislation that funds CTE in middle schools, high schools and post-secondary institutions.

According to information released by ED, the administration's priorities for the reauthorization include alignment with the needs of the current labor market; greater collaboration between schools, post-secondary institutions and employers; improved "academic and employment" outcomes for students; and increased state and local involvement.

"We've come a long way from what we used to refer to as vocational education," said Acting U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. in a prepared statement. "Today, every job that leads to a secure future requires critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, as well as some postsecondary education or training. The best career and technical education programs help students prepare for this future once they graduate from high school. Career and technical education is not just about preparing some students for successful lives and careers, it's about giving all students the tools to shape our future."

Reauthorization of Perkins has been in the works for several years. In 2012, the Congressional Research Service released a report for Congress detailing potential issues involved with reauthorization, which included measures of performance, competing priorities for CTE and the need for greater innovation in CTE programs. The full report can be viewed on wi.gov.

The U.S. Department of Education also announced a new competition called the Career Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge. It calls of high school educators to submit proposals for makerspaces in their schools, either new spaces or renovations of existing spaces, and describe how the new design would impact students. Further information about the competition can be found at ctemakeoverchallenge.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .