Minnesota has cut more than half of its career and technical education (CTE) course offerings in recent years despite growing demand, according to a recent Star Tribune article.
The number of CTE classes has fallen from about 2,750 to 1,200 between 2008 and 2011, despite an “unprecedented rate” of CTE enrollments, the article said. The conflict between demand and supply is a result of a range of various funding issues – from climbing prices of college to shifts of state funding priorities — that have chipped away at the state’s funding for CTE.
“The cuts are because of flat state and federal funding as well as changing priorities that have school districts focusing on core classes in an effort to meet No Child Left Behind standards,” the article noted. Further, the article noted that CTE courses are usually the first to go when a superintendent is aiming to save money.
The state’s secondary schools and postsecondary institutions have been working on the demand issue. Since 2009, 26 community colleges and area school districts have created consortiums to efficiently use limited funds and collaborate CTE classes. Five CTE high schools remain statewide.