- Funding, work-based learning, industry-recognized credentials, and access or equity were among the career and technical education issues states tackled during 2019, according to a new state policy review from Advance CTE, the Association for Career and Technical Education and the Education Commission of the States.
- Forty-one states, for example, took action related to funding for CTE, including more spending on work-based learning, dual enrollment and early college programs. Vermont, Virginia and Illinois were among the 35 states that passed legislation or policies designed to connect students to businesses through apprenticeships and other models.
- States also have been creating four-year plans for federal funding through the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which is expected to provide close to $1.3 billion annually for CTE. Those plans are due this spring.
The report comes as more states and districts are expanding career pathway programs that prepare students for college, but also give them career skills and sometimes industry-recognized credentials. “The roughly 200 CTE-related policies enacted in nearly every state highlight just how important CTE is to learners and the 21st century economy,” said LeAnn Wilson, executive director of ACTE.
In Louisiana, for example, where 20% of students now graduate with a “career” diploma, state Superintendent John White wants to restructure the state’s existing model to reduce the stigma regarding CTE he said still exists.
Governance related to CTE was, in fact, another area where states took action. According to the report, 25 consolidated agencies, transferred authority from one agency to another, or, in some cases, created new authorities to oversee CTE funding and initiatives.
Some states also focused on opening up access to CTE programs for special populations, such as students with disabilities or students from low-income families.
Meanwhile, one Idaho lawmaker plans to introduce legislation designed to expand CTE programs in the eastern part of the state and increase pay for CTE teachers who could probably earn more money working in their specific industry.