Acting U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. has called on Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides more than $1.1 billion for the nation’s career and technical education programs in grades 7-12 and also in post-secondary institutions.
King also announced the launch of an Education Department-sponsored Career Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge – a competition offering a total of $200,000 divided equally among many as 10 award recipients to transform classrooms or available space in high schools into places where students have access to the tools to design, build and innovate.
“We’ve come a long way from what we used to refer to as vocational education. 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,” said King.
The Obama Administration’s priorities for Perkins reauthorization include:
- Effective alignment with today’s labor market, including clear expectations for high-quality programs;
- Stronger collaboration among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers and industry partners;
- Meaningful accountability to improve academic and employment outcomes for students; and finally,
- Local and state innovation in CTE, particularly the development and replication of innovative CTE models.