CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION BILL TRULY AGREED & FINALLY PASSED (SWAN)
The House gave final approval this week to legislation meant to better prepare young people for success after high school. SB 620 was sponsored by State Senator Gary Romine (R- Farmington) and handled by Kathryn Swan (R-Cape Girardeau) on the House floor. The CTE certificate provisions in the bill are identical to HB 1612, sponsored by Rep. Swan.
The legislation that is now on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law would require the state Board of Education to establish minimum graduation requirements for a Career and Technical Education certificate that a student can earn in addition to their high school diploma.
Under the legislation, the State Board of Education and the Career and Technical Education Advisory Council will establish minimum requirements for a CTE certificate. Each local school district will determine the curriculum, programs of study, and course offerings based on the needs and interests of students in the district, and the state education department will develop a process for recognition of a school district’s CTE certificate program. Students entering high school in the 2017-2018 academic year and thereafter will be eligible for a CTE certificate.
CTE programs help prepare students by providing them with the necessary skills to enter the workforce or a technical school, or enter a two- or four-year college or university. CTE programs also provide a benefit to the state as they allow for a qualified labor force to fill in-demand jobs in the STEM fields, health care, and the skilled trade sectors.
Currently, Missouri has an established CTE system, as outlined by the Missouri Department of Education. Missouri’s CTE education system is made up of over 500 local education agencies, including 437 high school districts. In the 2014–15 school year, over 250,000 high school students and adults participated in career education training programs.