California: Technical Education Bills Move Forward

By April 27, 2007General

Following up on this earlier post about California’s policymakers acknowledging the value of career and technical education, we note the legislative progress of two bills supported by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and its coalition members in GetREAL. From the CMTA’s news release:

SACRAMENTO — The first two in a series of GetREAL-sponsored bills aimed at increasing career technical education (CTE) opportunities for California students passed their first tests today, moving through the Senate and Assembly education Committees with votes of 5-2 and 8- 0 respectively. SB 672 (Torlakson) would require every high school student to take two foundational courses in career technical education as a graduation requirement and AB 1414 (Hancock) provides $250 million in funding for career tech teachers, programs and support services.

“Our coalition is extremely pleased with the results of these two hearings and are looking forward to the passage of these bills in order to restore and increase career technical education’s vital role in high school curriculum,” said Get REAL Co-Chair and California Manufacturers & Technology Association President Jack Stewart. “These bills will help prepare students to succeed in today’s changing workforce and get them excited about the many career opportunities available to them.”

“As a student, I view any opportunity to expand my skills as a good one, especially if it helps increase my chances for success later in life,” said Christy Liebig, who participates in Future Farmers of America (FFA) at her school in Galt. “I have FFA — but not everyone does. SB 672 and AB 1414 will help make career technical education available to all students. And that’s a beautiful thing.”

Stewart co-wrote an excellent column the other day about the alternatives to four-year college educations, that is, training for highly compensated jobs in technical fields, including manufacturing: “4-Year College Not the Only Way To Win: 6.5 Million Retiring Baby Boomers to Pass Along High-Paying CTE Jobs to CA Youth.” You can read it here.