WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the Obama administration's $100 million career and technical education program, Youth CareerConnect.
"High-quality career and technical education, done in collaboration with businesses, gives students real-world skills for a productive future. It can be the key to finishing school and finding jobs, especially for students living in poverty and those at risk of dropping out. Youth CareerConnect appears to promote programs similar to the kinds of cutting-edge, successful career-technical public schools that we would like to see more widely available. Since there's no dispute that these programs are effective, it is therefore wrong and counterproductive for the federal government to make its funding competitive, like the Race to the Top program, creating winners and losers. In a competitive model, schools and students with the greatest needs often become the losers.
"Money for this particular program will come from the Department of Labor's H-1B visa program. The Perkins Act, which funds career and technical education, should remain a formula—not competitive— grant program that's fully funded and designed to provide funding to districts and schools that make a commitment to high-quality career and technical education."