WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on today’s introduction of a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act:
“In an important display of bipartisanship, the House introduced a Perkins reauthorization bill that will encourage and support efforts to equip students with the skills and education they need for today’s workforce. At a time when we’re fighting for higher wages and good jobs, it’s clear that career and technical education is a key pathway to help kids get there. We have seen how high-quality CTE programs in high schools and community colleges have provided a generation of workers with the skills and knowledge required for well-paying jobs. CTE programs offer a way for schools and businesses to coordinate to provide well-trained future employees with good middle-class jobs.
“The bill includes many of the AFT’s recommendations, including provision of high-quality professional development for educators, support for linking school districts and teachers with industry partners, an emphasis on career guidance and career exploration using labor market data, and promotion of industry-recognized credentials and certificates for specific occupational areas.
“We applaud the bipartisan efforts of Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and ranking member Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to start moving on this bill. I am confident that this is the kind of commonsense, solution-driven proposal that can advance in Congress even in an election year.”