Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today joined to introduce the bipartisan Career and Technical Education Equity Act, which prevents future career and technical education (CTE) funding cuts of more than 10 percent per year. Nevada, Arizona and many other states face drastic underfunding for CTE programs thanks to an influx of new residents and an outdated funding formula.
A "hold harmless" provision in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, under which CTE programs are funded, ensures that states do not receive less funding than the baseline established in 1998. However, states such as Nevada and Arizona, which have seen rapid population growth since 1998, are facing disproportionate cuts to CTE funding and will not be able to adequately fund their CTE programs on 1998 levels. Despite the importance of preparing high school and college students for in-demand jobs, funding for CTE programs continues to decrease due to sluggish economic growth and the consequences of sequestration.
The Heck-Grijalva bill protects critical CTE funding by requiring that states receive at least 90% of the funding amount allocated the previous year. This key reform will help states and local CTE programs train and prepare workers for the future without fear of sudden funding downturns.
"Career and technical education programs prepare students for the in-demand, good-paying jobs that are critical to our continued economic recovery," Rep. Joe Heck said. "I have heard from administrators and educators around my district that the current funding formula will make it very difficult for the state of Nevada to carry out already-established CTE programs. States like Nevada should not be punished simply because we have experienced population growth. This bill will protect CTE funding and continue to provide Nevada's students with opportunities to learn the skills to help them find in-demand jobs."
"Career technical education prepares millions of Americans to succeed and gives them access to the modern job skills they need," Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva said. "Keeping up to date professionally and intellectually helps us stay competitive and build a stronger economy. We shouldn't cut funding for programs that mean the difference between getting ahead and falling behind for workers all over the country. Cutting CTE in Arizona by 20 percent is an avoidable disaster waiting to happen. This bill is the right way to make sure that doesn't happen."