U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the Senate committee that oversees education, issued the following statement Tuesday after President Trump signed into law the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act:
“We have worked for years to ensure that our workforce is competitive and our students are prepared for careers that will help them earn a successful living. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act builds on the success of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act by reauthorizing the Perkins career and technical education program and aligning education and workforce training programs together. President Trump has made improving technical and career education a priority, and I’m pleased that he’s signed this bill into law to give states and local school districts more flexibility to meet the needs of their students by preparing them for in-demand jobs and skills that will benefit them for life.”
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act. It also better aligns our nation’s workforce training system by coordinating with the improvements included in Isakson’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which was enacted in 2014.
In addition to helping reduce burdensome regulations on states and local school systems, the legislation also ensures that compliance requirements and decisions are made at the state and local levels, rather than by the federal government.
Specifically, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act would:
Update the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act by requiring that states and not the federal government set performance level goals such as graduation rates, job placement and other indicators.
Allow the secretary of education to fund state and locally designed initiatives to improve skills training through innovative methods.
Ensure that states and local career and technical education programs collaborate with the business community and workforce development boards so that education programs meet the needs of the local economy and provide a skilled workforce to employers with high wage, in-demand jobs.