AFT Resolution

INTRODUCE EXPLORATORY CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) COURSES IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL GRADES, AND RESTORE AND EXPAND CTE IN ALL HIGH SCHOOLS

WHEREAS, the American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that the United States will need to invest more than $3.6 trillion  in infrastructure to rebuild, rehabilitate and repair our nation’s schools, public parks, roads, bridges, dams, transit systems, drinking water systems and other basic foundations of this nation’s prosperity and health by the year 2020; and

WHEREAS, there is an obvious need to rebuild, rehabilitate and repair entire communities that are blighted with dilapidated, unsafe, unused and outdated structures; and

WHEREAS, also, as the American workforce ages out, there is currently a resurgence in manufacturing, cuisine, transportation, healthcare, advanced computer technology and other fields, and a need to train replacements; and 

WHEREAS, career and technical education (CTE), which includes the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts/design and math) fields, not only prepares our students for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce but is an essential determinant in the economic development in our city, state and nation; and

WHEREAS, many CTE programs, especially construction, are currently being reduced and eliminated due to a lack of student interest and enrollment at a time when apprenticeship programs and internships are reopening due to the economic development needs in our nation; and 

WHEREAS, a large percentage of students do not have the desire to attend college but are better served by a postsecondary education that prepares them for a productive and satisfying career without a traditional college education.

WHEREAS, this enrollment crisis is largely due to a lack of exposure of our students to the diverse plethora of careers that the world of work has to offer, and the wide range of programs in CTE that are available to prepare for these careers; and 

WHEREAS, there is currently CTE legislation in both chambers of the 114th U.S. Congress—H.R. 3346 and S. 1609, the Middle School STEP Act, and H.R. 2186 and S. 1166, the BUILD Career and Technical Education Act—that will fund the restoration or funding of CTE programs: 

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers supports these efforts and will advocate for the development, implementation and restoration of middle school and high school exploration programs linked to career and technical education programs of study in school districts; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, including its locals and affiliated organizations, will support and advocate for the development, implementation and restoration of middle school and high school programs linked to career and technical education in all schools throughout our nation.

(2016)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.