US House Unanimously Passes Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Career and Technical Education
WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to strengthen and improve career and technical education and give Americans the skills they need to compete for in-demand jobs. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Republican Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) led the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. As the first major overhaul of the program since 2006, the Thompson-Krishnamoorthi Act upgrades and invests in career training programs.
“Today’s vote is a victory for our students, our businesses, and our economy,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi said. “Career and technical education will play an enhanced role in our country’s economy, and I’m proud to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to strengthen and modernize it.”
Krishnamoorthi added: “This legislation will help grow our economy and close the skills gap by bringing businesses and educators together to build training programs that will prepare students for in-demand careers. Our country needs more good-paying, family-supporting jobs and this legislation will help prepare students for them.”
Immediately following the bill’s passage, Congressman Krishnamoorthi was joined by Career and Technical Education leaders in the House for a news conference to discuss the passage of the bill. CTE industry leaders and business stakeholders were also in attendance, including: LeAnn Wilson, Executive Director, ACTE (Association for Career and Technical Education); Kim Green, Executive Director, Advance CTE; Stan Litow, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM; Eleanor Kerr, Director, Government Affairs, Siemens Healthineers.
BACKGROUND ON THE BILL
The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act provides federal support to state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs. The bipartisan legislation will improve current CTE policies to help more Americans gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workforce. Specifically, the legislation will:
- Deliver states more flexibility to use federal resources in response to changing education and economic needs.
- Ensure career and technical education prepares all students, including historically disadvantaged and vulnerable students, for success in high-skill, high-wage occupations and careers in nontraditional fields.
- Improve alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
- Enhance career and technical education through increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful credentialing so students are prepared to enter the workforce poised for success.
- Streamline performance measures to ensure career and technical education programs deliver results for students and taxpayers.
- Reduce administrative burdens and simplify the process for states to apply for federal resources.
- Reward success and innovation by directing federal resources to replicate promising practices that best serve students and employers.
- Provide parents, students, and stakeholders a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of state and local programs.
- Empower state and local leaders to develop plans that improve the quality of career and technical education and take into account unique local and state needs.