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Career and technical education (CTE) programs earned a huge win in July when President Donald Trump re-enabled a major source of their funding.

The bill President Trump signed reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act—last authorized in 2006—and amends the legislation to make its funds more accessible.

Noteworthy Program Highlights

  • Grants roughly $1.2 billion in federal funding toward state and local CTE programs through fiscal year 2024
  • Limits the secretary of education’s authority in allocating funds
  • Increases transparency and accountability to drive curriculum effectiveness
  • Simplifies the application process, making acquiring and using federal funds easier

Why Focus on CTE Programs?

CTE programs emphasize trades and skills rather than abstract degrees. For instance, a CTE program might prepare someone to become an electrician or a health care specialist.

Given their clear path to employment, many students take CTE classes in high school and after graduation to earn a certification.

Proponents argue CTE initiatives address modern workforce demands by getting people into in-demand jobs quickly and efficiently.

Optimistic Outlook

Legislators believe stimulating these programs will help the United States better prepare its workforce for shifting job markets, especially in areas that have seen a steady decline in recent decades.

Ideally, addressing this issue now will save the United States from even tighter labor markets in the near future.