Kate Childs Graham
WASHINGTON— Statement from AFT President Randi Weingarten on today's announcement of Youth CareerConnect grantees.
"Career and technical education can be a direct pathway to this century's middle-class jobs," says AFT President Randi Weingarten. "So, it's great to see a president embrace both emerging and proven career and technical education programs. Programs like P-Tech in New York City, Austin Polytechnical Academy in Chicago, and Toledo Technology Academy in Ohio are the gold standard—bringing together employers, teachers unions, high schools and universities in collaborative partnerships to give students a top-notch education that leads to real jobs. However, today's important announcement must be followed by the reauthorization of the Perkins Act, including its formula-funded approach that supports critical college- and career-ready programs. Innovators like P-Tech, Austin Polytech and Toledo Technology Academy are relying on this reauthorization."
For years, the AFT has been a strong advocate for strengthening career and technical education. Just this past month, we joined the Association for Career and Technical Education for a lobby day as part of its national policy seminar. Several AFT members flew in for visits with their members of Congress, encouraging reauthorization. Additionally, we co-sponsored a conference with the United Federation of Teachers in early February, and the Albert Shanker Institute has hosted a series of conversations focused on career and technical education, bringing in experts in the field to discuss the topic.