Today in Asheboro, Governor Pat McCrory signed his first bill into law since taking office. Senate Bill 14 will increase opportunities for high school students to enroll in high-quality career and technical education (CTE) programs in areas with high employment needs. The bill will give students two educational pathways to success by establishing vocational and higher education diploma endorsements.
"We must ensure our education system provides opportunities and pathways for our students to get the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill their post-graduation goals, whether that be entering the workforce or continuing on to getting a higher degree," said Governor McCrory. "I applaud the General Assembly for moving this important legislation and am proud to have this be the first piece of legislation I sign into law."
Sponsored by Senators Jerry Tillman (Randolph), Harry Brown (Onslow), and Dan Soucek (Watauga), Senate Bill 14 encourages students to enroll in courses that will lead to a diploma with an endorsement indicating that they are either "career ready," "college ready," or both. It also directs the State Board of Education to update the curriculum for career and technical education courses, as well as revise licensure requirements for career and technical education teachers.
"In these tough economic times it is important that we teach our students the critical thinking and technical skills required to get a job. Senate Bill 14 will make sure all of North Carolina's students are primed to succeed in their field of choice," said Senator Tillman.
"Career and technical education has been a passion of mine since I've been in the Senate. Senate Bill 14 highlights the importance of career and technical education in today's workforce and will allow our students to be trained, certified, and employable in fields where good paying jobs are available," said Senator Brown.
The bill also directs the State Board of Education and State Board of Community Colleges to work together to develop strategies to increase the number of students enrolled in CTE programs. High school and community colleges are encouraged to share resources such as instructors, facilities, equipment, and business internship opportunities to meet this goal.
"We have taken another step in reforming our educational system with a stronger focus on keeping more students in school and giving them the skills they need to get jobs," said Senator Soucek.