Funding for Career and Technical Education Discussed

Several committees heard from representatives of Career and Technical Education (CTE) schools around the state, who spoke of the lingering stigma around CTE and lack of funding challenging their ability to market their programs to students and parents. There is broad consensus that these programs are highly successful at training and licensing students for rewarding, lucrative careers, and facilitating career connections to quickly get graduates into the career path without taking on college debt. The current funding model forces high schools and CTE centers to compete for funding, with high schools losing funding for each student they send to a CTE. And while CTE’s agree that they need to be educating more students, they lack the space in their programs and facilities necessary to expand their offerings. The Vermont Chamber supports CTE as a tool for preparing high school and adult learners for in-demand jobs and supports changes to the funding model as well as the Governor’s proposed $1.725 million for CTE’s in the Budget Adjustment Act, which will allow them to serve more students as part of the effort to train tomorrow’s workforce.