The law, which was last renewed in 2006, is formally known as the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. It has long been overshadowed by the Higher Education Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, both of which tend to be subject to partisan fights. Advocates believe that its under-the-radar nature might work in the CTE law’s favor—making it easier to garner cross-aisle support.
But it’s still unclear how lawmakers view the Obama administration’s year-old prescription for revamping the law: making the more than $1 billion in CTE aid—which now goes out strictly through a formula—competitive within states. There was virtually no discussion at the House education committee’s first hearing on CTE reauthorization last month of the proposal, which was included in the administration’s 2012 blueprint for revising the law.
Instead, Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., the chairman of the House education subcommittee that oversees K-12 policy, outlined three broad goals for renewal: ensuring that CTE programs don’t have to deal with “duplicative” program requirements, that CTE teachers are effective, and that the programs actually prepare students for the workforce and postsecondary education. <Read more.>