State of the State Addresses: CTE a Priority for Governors in IN, RI, WY

“The time has come to make career, technical and vocational education a priority in every high school in Indiana.” – Indiana Governor Mike Pence

Since the start of the new year, governors in each state have delivered state of the state addresses to provide an update on state priorities for the upcoming year. Unsurprisingly, many governors plan to prioritize education issues. But many governors, such as Indiana Governor Mike Pence, have also specifically identified Career Technical Education (CTE) as a critical area of focus for their states.

Indiana – Governor Mike Pence

“Career and technical education can provide our students with a pathway to success. It can launch entrepreneurs, give kids a reason to finish high school, and create a well-qualified workforce that will encourage business to build here and grow here. We have to give our kids, our future, every opportunity for success. That means quality schools, choices about their education and multiple pathways to success.”

Governor Pence wants to expand CTE in Indiana, and encourages greater collaboration between agencies to do so. In his state of the state address, Pence proposes creation of Regional Works Councils to help bridge the barriers between education and businesses. The Councils would assist with the creation of “regional, demand-driven curricula to bring high-paying career options to more Hoosiers in high school.”

Watch Governor Pence’s full address.

Rhode Island – Governor Lincoln Chafee

“Rhode Islanders looking for work need to be ready not only for today’s economy, but for the economy of tomorrow. And Rhode Island employers looking to hire or expand need to have confidence that there will be qualified candidates to fill available positions.”

Governor Chafee recognizes the need to connect secondary education with postsecondary education and the workforce. As part of his commitment to preparing students to the fullest extent, he has allocated in this year’s budget over $14 million to support repairs at Rhode Island’s CTE facilities.

Chafee also proposed no tuition increases for students at the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island, as well as a $6 million increase for higher education. He also proposes $3 million in new state support for workforce development initiatives.

Watch Governor Chafee’s full address.

Wyoming – Governor Matthew Mead

“We recognize in Wyoming the importance of higher education whether it is a four-year or two-year degree. And we also recognize the value of career and technical education.”

Governor Mead lists CTE as one of his priorities for education in Wyoming, along with issues such as high school graduation rates, charter schools, and minimizing the potential for school violence.

“I would like to recognize those with technical training who roll up their sleeves every day to do the hard work. We too often take their contribution for granted. Our plumbers, welders, technicians, custodians, carpenters, heavy equipment operators – these are the people who do not always get the credit they deserve in building our state.”

Read Governor Mead’s full address.

Governors Pence, Chafee, and Mead are just three of the many governors who plan to prioritize CTE-related issues over the next year. Next week, NASDCTEc will highlight governors’ addresses that focus on partnerships, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and other CTE-related issues.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager
David Beckett, Advocacy Manager 

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