Career Technical Education Bill Supported by NC Construction Industry

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House Bill 968, an act to increase successful participation in career and technical education, passed first reading in the House last Thursday and was referred to House Education, and if favorable, House Appropriations. The bill, strongly supported by Carolinas AGC as a boost for construction training in the public schools, would appropriate $1,252,157 for 2013-14 and $7,011,200 for 2014-15 to pay for industry certifications, credentials and bonus funding to be awarded to local administrative units. Under the bill, students would be supported to earn approved industry certifications and credentials. Local school administrative units, in turn, would receive bonuses for each student earning an approved industry certification or credential.

The bill title is: An act to increase successful participation in career and technical education coursework leading to industry certifications and credentials to enhance the employability of high school students by implementing a bonus program available to local school administrative units.. It establishes career and technical education incentives and directs the State Board of Education to”establish, implement and determine the impact of a career and technical education incentive program as spelled out in the bill. It is the intent of the State to encourage students to enroll in and successfully complete rigorous coursework and credentialing processes in career and technical education to enable success in the workplace, the bill says.

In addition, the State Board of Education, in consultation with the NC Department of Commerce, would rank each industry certification based on academic rigor and employment value. Funding would be allocated to the local school administrative unit per student completing the industry certification based on ranking. The bill also directs the local school administrative units to consult with local industries, employers and workforce development boards in identifying industry certifications and credentials to meet workforce needs.

The bill introduction comes at a time when other career education legislation, Senate Bill 14, was approved by the NC General Assembly and was the first legislation signed this year by Gov. Pat McCrory. Read More.