PA Schools Work Report: Career and Technical Education Investments Good for PA’s Economy
New Statewide Report Talks about CTE’s Role in State’s Economic Development
PA Schools Work (PASW), a nonpartisan statewide movement working to make sure public schools are fully and fairly funded, today released a new report, “Skilled Workers Needed: Ensuring Investments in Career and Technical Education,” produced by PASW partner Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children to encourage sustained state investments in CTE.
The report makes a strong case that career and technical education is a critical part of delivering the quality education students deserve from their public schools. However, a lack of sustained investments in CTE funding, and more broadly, basic education funding, has caused limited access for students who wish to enter the workforce immediately following graduation.
“Workforce development truly is key to Pennsylvania’s economic development, but with member school districts paying 90 percent of the overall budget to send students to career and technical education centers, CTE quality and access could be compromised,” said Kari King, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. “We’re asking policymakers to prioritize CTE funding so that we can fill the jobs requiring a CTE background.”
King noted the $10 million investment in the Career and Technical Education Subsidy in the 2018-19 state budget was an important first step, as was the PAsmart initiative.
“Creating educational and career pathways for students is crucial to maintaining a competitive workforce, fostering economic growth and bolstering Pennsylvania’s middle class,” said Jackie Cullen, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators (PACTA). “Career and technical centers are eager to serve more students and better support the employers of the state, but they can only do so when they have adequate resources and school districts can afford to send all of the students who would benefit from CTE.”
Career and technical education allows high school students to prepare to enter the workforce directly after high school, saving students and their families thousands of dollars in post-secondary tuition and training costs. It prepares students for a range of in-demand jobs that can offer pathways to careers in new media, health care, construction, today’s high-tech manufacturing sector and even the law.
According to the report, Pennsylvania currently has 74 career and technical education centers that educate approximately 55,000 students across the Commonwealth. PA Schools Work and its partner organizations are calling for an additional investment of $10 million in the CTE subsidy as part of the 2019-20 state budget.
To learn more about PA Schools Work , visit paschoolswork.org.