Legislative Update: CTE Month Proclamation and State of the Union Address

February is Career Technical Education (CTE) Month, and to kick it off the administration recognized the importance of CTE in a proclamation and the State of the Union Address. Read below to learn more about how the president supports CTE, as well as a new grant program from the U.S. Department of Education to prioritize innovation. 

Administration Issues Proclamation on CTE Month

The administration released a proclamation recognizing February as CTE Month, reinforcing executive support for CTE and stating the need to expand high quality CTE programs. This proclamation shares that the president’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal to Congress “will include significant increases in funding for these programs.” The budget proposal will be released on Monday, February 10. Advance CTE staff will provide an update on what the budget means for CTE as details are released.

The proclamation also acknowledges the important role that CTE plays in preparing individuals for careers as the world of work continues to evolve. The statement shares that through efforts led by the National Council for the American Worker, more than 400 businesses have signed the Pledge to America’s Workers- committing to creating 14.5 million employment, training and education opportunities over five years. 

State of the Union Address Promises CTE Investment

During Tuesday’s annual State of The Union Address, President Donald Trump asked Congress to support a plan to “offer vocational and technical education in every single high school in America.” Although the President has not released a specific plan of how this would be achieved, his speech was aligned with the CTE Month Proclamation. This coordination emphasizes the administration’s prioritization of CTE.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a statement following the State of the Union. In this press release, Secretary DeVos applauds the commitment to issues such as CTE, higher education and Second-Chance Pell.  

U.S. Department of Education Announces New Flexibility Opportunities for States

Secretary DeVos announced that Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and Vermont have been approved for the Education Flexibility Program (Ed-Flex) under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Through Ed-Flex, participating states will be able to waive some federal statutory or regulatory requirements in the name of supporting local innovation. 

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate and Sam Dunietz, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

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