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Public Statements

Letter to Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Labor, HHS and Education, Appropriations Subcommittee, Re: Greater Support for Career and Technical Education

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Senator Clinton Calls for Greater Support for Career and Technical Education

Decries President Bush's Proposed Cuts to Vital Programs

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) has joined a bipartisan coalition of Senators urging Senate leaders to reverse President Bush's proposed elimination of vital career and technical education programs for high school students. In a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education, the Senators called for increased funding the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program, which prepares the nation's students for a wide range of careers and postsecondary education programs. The Administration's Fiscal Year 2009 budget request proposes to eliminate funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs.

"These valuable career and technical education programs provide important training and support for so many of our nation's students as they prepare to face rising competitive pressure from the global marketplace and uncertain economic times here at home," Senator Clinton said. "President Bush could not have picked a worse time to propose eliminating these programs. I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to preserve these indispensable educational initiatives."

The Perkins Career and Technical Education program is the single largest federal investment in the nation's high schools, and nearly all high school students complete at least one CTE course. One-third of college students are involved in career and technical programs, and as many as 40 million adults engage in short-term postsecondary occupational training.

Senator Clinton joined with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) to lead the effort to save the CTE program. As a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Clinton worked on the reauthorization of The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program in 2006.

The text of the Senators' letter is below.

April 2, 2008

The Honorable Tom Harkin
Chairman
Senate Labor, HHS and Education
Appropriations Subcommittee
184 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Arlen Specter
Ranking Member
Senate Labor, HHS and Education
Appropriations Subcommittee
156 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Specter:

We are writing to urge your subcommittee to increase funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program. This highly effective program prepares the nation's students for a wide range of careers and postsecondary education programs. Congress must restore funding for this program given that the Administration's Fiscal Year 2009 budget request proposes to eliminate funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs. It is vital that Congress oppose these cuts and adequately fund CTE.

The Perkins Career and Technical Education program is the single largest federal investment in the nation's high schools, and nearly all high school students complete at least one CTE course. One-third of college students are involved in career and technical programs, and as many as 40 million adults engage in short-term postsecondary occupational training.

Perkins Career and Technical Education funding provides critical support for local CTE programs that prepare both youth and adults for a wide range of careers in the 21st century economy, and are essential to ensuring American competitiveness. High-quality CTE increases student engagement, provides for the innovative integration of math, science and literacy skills, and meets the needs of both employers and the economy as a whole.

While we understand that the Subcommittee has limited resources for many competing priorities, we believe that funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program should be increased to restore previous cuts and keep pace with inflation, rising enrollments, and new program requirements. We appreciate your strong support of the Perkins program in the past and look forward to working with you on this matter as the FY2009 appropriations process moves forward.

Sincerely,


Source:
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