Governor Chris Christie signed legislation on May 6 that will expand opportunities for all students and families to receive information about the educational programs available to them at New Jersey’s 21 county vocational-technical school districts.
The measure, A3410/ S2482, was sponsored by Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan and Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz and unanimously approved by both houses of the Legislature earlier this year. It requires all public school districts to provide pupil directory information to county vocational schools upon request.
“I’m delighted that Governor Christie has signed this bill,” Assemblyman Diegnan said. “It will make it much easier for county vocational-technical schools to mail information about the programs they offer directly to families, so that that they can make an informed choice about their children’s high school education, and it has no cost for taxpayers.
“I often say that New Jersey’s county vocational schools are the state’s best kept secret. This bill will help more people to understand that today’s county vocational-technical schools offer options for all types of students, and many of them are among the highest performing schools in their regions,” Assemblyman Diegnan said.
“Many people still hold the outdated idea that vocational schools are only for students who plan to pursue work rather than college. Helping students and their parents recognize that 21st century career and technical education can expand college and career options rather than limiting them is critical,” he said.
Dr. Philip Guenther, president of the NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools and Superintendent of Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT), explained that admission to a county vocational-technical schools begins with invitations to all middle and high school students and their parents to attend open houses and information sessions.
He noted that enabling county vocational schools to mail this information directly to students and families will help to raise awareness about the career-focused educational choices offered at no cost to parents.
“New Jersey’s county vocational-technical schools are grateful to Governor Christie for signing this bill, and to Senator Ruiz, Assemblyman Diegnan, and the bill’s co-sponsors, Senator Diane Allen and Assemblywomen Mila Jasey, Bonnie Watson-Coleman and Angelica Jimenez for responding to this need with legislative action,” Dr. Guenther said
“They all understand that families today are seeking choices that will launch that will launch their children on a real career pathway, with opportunities for lifetime learning and growth, and that all families should have the information they need to do that,” he said.