Support Growing for Career, Technical Education

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 12, 2016 | Go to article overview

Support Growing for Career, Technical Education


Every February, the Association for Career and Technical Education promotes CTE Month, a public awareness campaign celebrating the accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. Technology Center of DuPage celebrates by recognizing students who earned an A during first semester in their TCD program. This year there are 377 A-Team students.

On behalf of those who work to provide high-quality CTE programs to DuPage area students, I thought it important to report on recent national developments that affect students participating in Technology Center of DuPage and other CTE programs funded through the DuPage Area Occupational Education System. In upcoming columns, we'll meet some A-Team students who benefit from these initiatives.

CTE funding trends

Did you know that public investment in CTE programs yields big economic returns -- as high as tenfold -- for regional and state economies? Research findings like this have been fueling national support to strengthen career and technical education.

Last fall, the Senate's CTE Caucus introduced the CTE Opportunity Act. The proposed legislation aims to expand eligibility for federal aid under the Higher Education Act to include students participating in short-term postsecondary programs -- training programs that lead to an industry-recognized certification or credential. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, and Rep. Ryan Costello, a Pennsylvania Republican, introduced similar legislation in the House.

Then in November, Congress and the Obama administration ratified a two-year budget agreement that allows much-needed relief from the Budget Control Act's sequester caps. Those caps had constrained federal spending on domestic programs, including the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, a basic state grant program and important source of funding of CTE programs. The new budget provides level Perkins funding for 2016 and restores earlier cuts to national CTE research and technical assistance projects.

Locally, DAOES and Technology Center of DuPage receive approximately $1.09 million from Perkins, half of which flows through DAOES to fund CTE programs in our 14 participating school districts.

Well-rounded education

Do you know a student who started college but did not finish? Research demonstrates that CTE participation is a key factor in a student's successful transition to and, more important, completion of a postsecondary credential or degree. …

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