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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 20, 2018 10:25 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Ryan P. Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Updating the Public School Code to replace "vocational-technical schools" with "career and technical schools"
In the near future, we plan on introducing legislation to make changes to the Public School Code and replace the term “vocational-technical schools” with “career and technical schools.”

Unfortunately, there are still many stigmas associated with vocational-technical schools. This term is an outdated term that does not reflect the breadth and scope of options current available at career and technical schools. Today, Career and Technical Education provides a vastly different pathway, one that leads to high school graduation, higher education and meaningful middle-class, 21st-century jobs in skilled trades, applied sciences and technology. Career and Technical Education prepares students for a career at whatever point they decide to pursue one and to align high school career and technical education with postsecondary options. With a career and technical education program, a student who might otherwise have wondered about the value of school can see a direct connection between graduation and a good job.

Employers are looking to recruit people with a strong knowledge base, technical skills, and critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities, and their go-to job pool includes career and technical graduates. According to the Georgetown University Center of Education and the Workforce, in a few years almost two-thirds of the jobs in the nation will require postsecondary education or training. Preparing students for the 21st century workforce is vital, and that preparation demands higher-level skills and knowledge.

Pennsylvania is home to 84 Career and Technical Centers which offer comprehensive academic and technical education courses. Nearly 25% of the Commonwealth’s 500 school districts offer career and technical education courses.

This legislation will not make any substantive changes to the School Code, it would simply change the name of vocational-technical schools to career and technical schools.

Please join us in sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions please contact Michael Deery in Senator Hughes’ office or Stephanie Buchanan in Senator Aument’s office.

Introduced as SB1173