Thompson, Langevin Urge Inclusion of CTE Funding in COVID-19 Relief Legislation
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, sent a letter to House leadership requesting additional funding for CTE in the next COVID-19 relief package. The letter urges House leaders to provide $1 billion for Carl D. Perkins state grants to mitigate the harm to student learning caused by COVID-19.
“The public health emergency, and its attendant social distancing, has created unique challenges for CTE programs, which are based on highly technical experiential learning,” Thompson and Langevin wrote. “While all students are struggling to adjust to distance learning, CTE students have lost the critical work-based learning opportunities they need to acquire skills and credentials in CTE fields. In addition to the loss of simulated in-person training, we are concerned that students will be unable to complete internships, apprenticeships, and other work-based experiences in the coming months.”
CTE programs are based on a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training to help CTE students acquire academic, technical, and employability skills in fields such as information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and the skilled trades. These programs benefit not only students, but also the employers in need of high-skilled workers. The Congressmen note that in addition to supporting work-based learning, additional Perkins funding will help programs replace protective equipment that has been donated to frontline workers and adjust to changing employer needs in the wake of the crisis.
“Providing $1 billion in supplemental funding for Perkins grants will allow states and schools to update and expand in-person, virtual, and simulated hands-on learning experiences and incentivize employers to participate in work-based learning programs. Summer is quickly approaching – a time when many students participate in on-the-job training programs – and we must act now to preserve access to these experiences or risk our students losing another several months of learning,” Thompson and Langevin added.