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Vocational and technical education bill passes

The U.S. federal government reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act under the new title, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” (H.R.2353).

The amended bill seeks to improve the implementation of career and technical education (CTE) programs in schools by easing state and local requirements. The reauthorization gradually increases annual funding from $1.2 to $1.3 billion over six years, representing a nearly 11 percent increase over fiscal year 2018 funding levels, expanding the reach of CTE programs to ensure more students can participate.

Under the legislation, high schools, colleges and training centers may apply for these grants in order to train teachers or fund specific training programs for students. Previously, the Secretary of Education managed these efforts at the federal level.

The bill moves much of the decision making and implementation to the local level to ensure that the funds are more effectively used and that the training meets the needs of companies that are located near the schools and training centers.

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