Senate Passes Bill to Improve Legislation for Academic Achievement of Career and Technical Education Students

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act Reauthorized

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation reauthorizing the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, a law crucial to helping our nation’s students obtain skills to be successful in today’s workplace. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, assisted in drafting the Senate’s Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act in consultation with Alaskan stakeholders and tribal advocates.

“Alaska is doing right when it comes to training young people and retraining mature workers for great jobs. The partnerships we have formed between high schools, the University, unions, employers, tribal organizations, and the State of Alaska are more important than ever as jobs in healthcare, construction and more expand throughout the state,” said Senator Murkowski. “The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act has played a part in helping school districts and the University of Alaska system prepare Alaskans for jobs in construction, health services, office management, and elsewhere. I’m proud to have worked closely with Alaska’s stakeholders and my colleagues on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to make Perkins less burdensome, more reflective of local needs, and more flexible to ensure we have the systems and resources in place to train more Alaskans for good Alaskan jobs.”

Bill Highlights:

Includes Senator Murkowski’s amendments to include tribes and tribal organizations as eligible entities and institutions, allowing them to assist Alaska Native youth and adults to receive the training they need for obtaining good jobs in their communities;

  • Includes Senator Murkowski’s provision which requires the federal government, states and school districts to consult with tribes and tribal organizations;
  • Dramatically decreases burdensome paperwork for school districts;
  • Prohibits federal micromanagement of career and technical education (CTE) standards and curriculum;
  • Transfers authority from the federal government to states to hold Perkins-funded CTE programs accountable for success and improvement;
  • Following Alaska’s lead, promotes collaboration between state workforce investment boards, employers, and job trainers;
  • Changes the Perkins-funding formula to provide an advantage for small populated states, like Alaska, when funding is increased and protects such states if funding is depleted.

“NIEA is thankful for Senator Murkowski’s advocacy in support of Alaska Native students on the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. As a result of Senator Murkowski’s support, tribes are eligible for funding and states will need to consult with tribes on plans for career and technical education for both high school and college students. With this legislation, Alaska Native students, and Native students across the country, will have more opportunities to continue their education in career and technical fields. We look forward to continue our work with her office, and with our allies in the Senate, to pass the Act into law.  NIEA is grateful for Senator Murkowski’s advocacy and support of tribal sovereignty and Native education,” said Ahniwake Rose, Executive Director of the National Indian Education Association.

“Alaska, like many other states, has identified the need to increase career and technical education (CTE) to meet student and workforce needs. The Senate’s Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (S. 3217) continues to uphold CTE as a viable and necessary program for the success of our students and economy. This legislation helps focus school districts on the importance of forming local partnerships to build a workforce that meets state and local needs. On behalf of the Department of Education & Early Development (DEED), thank you to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on this reauthorization. Special gratitude to Sen. Murkowski and her staff for conferring with DEED and promoting Alaska’s education priorities,” said Sana Efird, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development (DEED).


Related Issues: Education