On July 31, President Trump signed legislation overhauling the nation's career and technical education law.
Passage of H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, reauthorizes through 2024 the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which is the principal source of U.S. federal funding for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) programs.
Perkins was last reauthorized in 2006 and was originally due for reauthorization in 2012.
The reauthorization gradually increases annual funding from $1.2 to $1.3 billion over six years, a nearly 11% increase over fiscal year 2018 funding levels, expanding the reach of CTE programs to ensure more students can participate. H.R. 2353 funds $7.5 billion in Department of Education grants through 2024.
These programs, tailored toward secondary and post-secondary students, will:
--Align career and technical education programs to the needs of local labor markets.
--Encourage stronger engagement between local employers and educational institutions.
--Increase work-based learning opportunities.
--Improve accountability and data transparency.
"In the 12 years since Congress passed the last Perkins reauthorization, the economy has evolved tremendously, becoming increasingly dependent on science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines and other skilled labor," Trump said. "By enacting it into law, we will continue to prepare students for today's constantly shifting job market, and we will help employers find the workers they need to compete."