Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand: Joe Biden

Advance CTE will be posting a series of blogs on each 2020 presidential candidate who has released an education or workforce development platform. Check back next week for the next blog in this series!

In his campaign platform, former Vice President Joe Biden includes proposals related to Career Technical Education (CTE) and workforce development. He calls out “guaranteeing every American the skills and education they need to get ahead” as a pillar of his vision for the country. The husband of an educator, Biden makes the campaign promise that as president he would provide each middle and high school learner with a path to a career. Specifically, there are two avenues that he focuses on to build CTE opportunities and set learners up for success in higher education and the workforce: 

  • Ensure middle and high schools prepare students for good jobs.
    Biden notes that “students who participate in high-quality career and technical education are more likely to graduate, earn industry credentials, enroll in college, and have higher rates of employment and higher earnings.” He shares that he would support CTE by investing in partnerships between high schools, community colleges and employers. Through these partnerships, learners would have the opportunity to earn an industry credential at the time of high school graduation. Biden also stipulates that these credentials would lead to a good-paying career. In addition, Biden calls out how CTE programs can provide middle and high school learners access to computer science classes that are needed for emerging fields such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
  • Create more opportunities for high school students to take practical classes that lead to credentials.
    Biden states that he would invest in and expand Pell Grant eligibility to include dual- enrollment programs. These programs would allow for learners to take classes at a community college and would result in college credits or a credential ahead of high school graduation.

Biden also prioritizes “investing in all children from birth, so that regardless of their zip code, parents’ income, race, or disability, they are prepared to succeed in tomorrow’s economy.” He calls out the reality that about six out of ten jobs in this country require some education beyond high school, and that each learner must have access to an education system that begins at birth and continues past high school. There are a number of strategies that Biden would implement to achieve this goal. For one, Biden would work to improve teacher diversity in ways such as supporting dual enrollment courses that lead into teacher preparation programs, provide paraprofessionals with the opportunity to work toward a teaching certificate and working with historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions to recruit and train teachers. He also would take measures to ensure innovative schools are located in traditionally underserved areas by creating a new competitive program for communities to rethink how high school can prepare learners for the skills needed in today’s workforce.

Biden’s full education priorities cover how to: 

  • “Support our educators by giving them the pay and dignity they deserve.
  • Invest in resources for our schools so students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults, and educators can focus on teaching. 
  • Ensure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code, parents’ income, race, or disability.
  • Provide every middle and high school student a path to a successful career. 
  • Start investing in our children at birth.”

To read more about Biden’s education platform you can check out his campaign website.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

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