The U.S. Congress passed legislation this week called the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” which reauthorizes the Perkins Act outlining programs to support career and technical education programs.
The Perkins Act has not been reauthorized since 2006, but the effort received strong, bipartisan support in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Promoting alternatives to traditional four-year colleges is a priority of President Donald Trump.
Passage of the Perkins Act reauthorization was also an NGWA priority at both the 2017 and 2018 Groundwater Fly-In, where NGWA members highlighted the important role that post-secondary technical programs play in maintaining a strong economy.
The legislation will modernize career and technical education programs and provide additional support for in-demand professions. The funding provided will also support increase access and student engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The legislation now goes to conference. It is expected that conference will be non-controversial and the legislation will be signed in to law by Trump. Once signed into law, provisions will go into effect July 1, 2019.