Governor Enacts Career and Technical Education Legislation

December 3rd, 2014

Speaker Prieto’s Statement on Governor’s Actions on Vocational Education Improvement Bill Package
NJBIA Calls it a Win for Business and Students as Christie Signs Career-Tech Education Bills
From NJSpotlight:  Vo-Tech Advocates Applaud Bill Signings, See Brighter Outlook for Funding
From The Record:  Christie signs bills aimed at improving vocational education
From NJ.Com:   Christie signs Prieto bills to expand N.J. vocational education
From the Associated Press and My9NJ.com:  Christie signs package of vocational bills into law
Governor Christie’s statement on the bills

The NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools applauds Governor Chris Christie’s action in signing into law five bills that will advance career and technical education and address the workforce needs of New Jersey employers.

The legislation signed today is part of a comprehensive legislative package sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz, and numerous co-sponsors.

“These new laws respond to the needs of students, families and employers by increasing the state’s focus on career readiness and creating mechanisms for short-term expansion of career and technical education programs, ” said Dr. Howard Lerner, the Superintendent of Bergen County Technical Schools and the President of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools (NJCCVTS).

“We are grateful to Governor Christie for recognizing that career and technical education is a critical piece of the talent pipeline needed to ensure New Jersey’s future economic competitiveness,” Dr. Lerner said. “Enhanced career readiness is critical for students, employers and our state. These initial steps to expand county vocational-technical school partnerships with schools, colleges and employers will have long term benefits for New Jersey.”

Two additional bills to support the expansion of career and technical education programs for secondary and adult students that received bi-partisan approval in the Assembly and Senate were vetoed by the Governor due to concerns about the cost.

Dr. Lerner praised the bill sponsors, including Speaker Prieto, Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan, Senate President Sweeney and Chairwoman Ruiz for their leadership in developing a comprehensive legislative package to enhance and expand career and technical education in New Jersey.

“We are enormously grateful to the Legislature and the business community for working with us to raise awareness about the importance of career-focused education and seeking to expand the high quality programs offered by New Jersey’s 21 county vocational-technical schools. Given the high demand for career and technical education, we will continue our efforts to engage employers and to enable more students to participate in CTE programs,” Dr. Lerner said.

NJCCVTS Executive Director Judy Savage said the bills enacted today respond to many recommendations of the nearly 200-member NJ Employer Coalition for Technical Education, launched earlier this year in partnership with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

The measures signed by the Governor today are:

A3334/S2224, which requires the New Jersey School Report Card to include indicators of student career readiness. Prime Sponsors:  Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assembly members Joseph Lagana, Angelica Jimenez, Shelia Oliver, Elena Pintor Marin and David Rible, and Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz and Senator Shirley Turner. 13 Assembly co-sponsors and two Senate co-sponsors

A3335/S2225, which requires teacher and school counselor preparation programs to include coursework to support improved student career readiness.  Prime Sponsors:  Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan, Jr. Assembly members Joseph Lagana, Pamela Lampitt, Shelia Oliver, Carmelo Garcia and David Rible, and Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz and Senator Shirley Turner. 12 Assembly co-sponsors and one Senate co-sponsor.

A3337/S2228, which establishes a four-year County Vocational School District Partnership Grant Program in the New Jersey Department of Education.  Prime Sponsors:  Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assembly members Angelica Jiminez, Pamela Lampitt, Dan Benson, Ralph Caputo, Sheila Oliver and David Rible, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz and Senator Shirley Turner. Ten Assembly co-sponsors and two Senate co-sponsors.

A3338/S2226, which encourages dual enrollment agreements to provide college-level instruction to high school students through courses offered on the college or high school campus.  Prime Sponsors:  Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assembly members Joseph Lagana, Celeste Riley, Sheila Oliver and David Rible, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz and Senator Shirley Turner. 15 Assembly co-sponsors and three Senate co-sponsors.

A3339/S2227, which clarifies that a career and technical education program taught in an industry setting is not subject to school facilities regulations.  Prime Sponsors:  Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan, Jr., Assembly members Anthony Bucco, Timothy Eustace, Charles Mainor, Joseph Lagana, Shelia Oliver and David Rible, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz and Senator Shirley Turner. 13 Assembly co-sponsors and two Senate co-sponsors.

New Jersey’s 21 county vocational-technical school districts serve approximately 32,500 secondary students in full-time and part-time programs that prepare all types of students for college and careers. Most county vocational-technical schools also offer career training programs for adults seeking to enhance their skills.

For more information, please visit CareerTechNJ.org

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