This past month, a number of states have adopted or implemented policies related to Career Technical Education (CTE). Below is a part one of July’s state policy updates, focusing on CTE funding, reporting and governance. Tomorrow, part two will be released, which will focus on legislation addressing dual enrollment and postsecondary CTE.
California State Budget Includes CTE Grants
In early July, after months of deliberation and debate, California’s budget went into effect, with $250 million earmarked for grants to K-12 districts, charter schools and community colleges in support of CTE. The grants will be dispersed through a competitive process, with priority given to programs that secure matching funds from industry partners and that are aligned to high-need and high-growth industries. While the grants may be used for new programs, it is expected to support existing programs such as Linked Learning, California Partnership Academies and the Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCPs). The Partnership Academies and ROCPs both maintained funding in the broader state budget. The grants are intended to both promote CTE across the state as well as encourage new and ongoing partnerships between schools and business.
Ohio’s Statewide CTE Reporting & CTE Month
This month, Ohio released a sneak peek into the state’s new CTE report cards, which was approved by the State Board of Education back in May 2013. While the final report cards – for the 2011-12 school year – will be released next month, the state released simulated scores by school this month to provide an early look into the new reporting mechanism. Specifically, the report cards include five components: achievement (e.g., technical skill assessments); federal accountability results (e.g., Perkins targets, disaggregated by subgroups); graduation (four- and five-year graduation rates of CTE concentrators); post-program outcomes (e.g., industry credentials, postsecondary enrollment, etc.); and preparation for success (e.g., proportion of students earning college credit while in high school, through AP, IB, etc.). What separates this from federal reporting is that Ohio is building these indicators into their statewide accountability system – and assigning grades to schools based on their performance. The state may add additional indicators to the CTE report card over time.
In unrelated news, the Ohio legislature also passed HB 127 designating the month of March as “’Career-Technical Education and Skilled Workforce Development Month’ to increase public awareness of the importance of career and technical education systems and skilled workforce development programs to the strength and vitality of Ohio’s economic future.” As an aside, February is celebrated as CTE Month by NASDCTEc and the ACTE.
Oregon’s CTE Revitalization Grants
The Oregon legislature recently passed HB 2913/SB 498 to maintain the state’s CTE Revitalization Grant Program, first established in 2011, which provides grants to CTE programs across the state. The new bill also requires the establishment of a committee to set goals for the program, develop grant criteria, review all grant applications, and make recommendations related to the awarding of grants, with representation from business, industry, labor and education providers. Priority will be given to programs to represent a diversity of students and strong partnerships between business and education (with or without funding commitments from business). The Grant Program has been funded at $7.5 million.
Idaho’s Technology Pilots
The Idaho Department of Education has awarded $3 million across 11 schools as part of the state’s technology pilot project. The winning schools, which include elementary, middle and high schools as well as distance academies, will use the funds to do a range of technology-based initiatives, such as one-to-one initiatives on various tablets and computers, piloting digital textbooks and libraries, expanding Career Information System, training for teachers on technology and instruction, and developing a website portfolio system to track and share students’ academic growth. The schools were selected based on plans that were scalable, sustainable, and designed to improve student achievement and financial efficiencies. While this pilot if not focused on CTE specifically, the availability and utilization of technology has a direct impact on teaching and learning in all disciplines and CTE in particular at the high school level.
Missouri’s Career Technical Education Advisory Council
Missouri recently passed HB 5042, establishing a Career and Technical Education Advisory Council within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). This Advisory Council consists of 11 members, including a current CTE center administrator; an administrator from a school offering CTE; two business representatives, one from industry and one from an association/coalition; representatives from a technical college, a community college, and a state university; a current participant in an apprenticeship program, and three CTE educators who have served as advisors to Career Technical Student Organizations. The Advisory Council also has three ex-officio members from DESE guidance and counseling division, the director of workforce development, and a representative from the higher education coordinating board, facilitating a true cross-sector entity.
This Advisory Council replaces an earlier version – previously named the “State Advisory Committee for Vocational Education” – and is charged with providing a short- and long-term strategic for the provision of high-quality CTE to students across all ages, funding, and necessary legislative/regulatory changes.
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director