Investments in CTE Are Needed to Increase Student Access

Investments in CTE Are Needed to Increase Student Access

*The following story originated with Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. For more information from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, click here.

Career and technical education combines academic, technical and hands-on skill-building that prepares students to immediately enter high-priority occupations or better define career plans, including post-secondary education. Each year thousands of Pennsylvania students will have already earned higher education credits, completed a pre-apprenticeship program or gained on-the-job skills before graduation because of the CTE path they chose in high school. Unfortunately, not all students get to participate in CTE due to the lack of sustained state investments in funding to support programming. 

The cost of student attendance at a career and technical education center (CTC) relies heavily on local school district funding because state and federal dollars account for only 11% of the overall cost. Our new fact sheet calls on policymakers to support a total increase of $17.3 million in the 2023-24 state budget, including: 

  • $14 million in the CTE subsidy line: while the governor's proposal would divide the funding across several small grant programs, policymakers should support the FULL amount to be appropriated through the CTE formula to address enrollment growth and increase the subsidy rate.
  • $3.3 million in the CTE Equipment Grant line: CTCs utilize this critical program to update or purchase new equipment for hands-on learning. Policymakers should fully support the $3.3 million increase for this purpose. 

Policymakers must ensure districts have the resources necessary to increase access to CTE and that programs have the tools and equipment to continue to provide high-quality services by making this investment. 

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