Requires New Jersey School Report Card to include indicators of student career readiness.
Requires preparation programs for teachers and school counselors to include coursework to support improved student career readiness.
Establishes four-year County Vocational School District Partnership Grant Program in DOE.
Allows school districts and public colleges to enter into dual enrollment agreements to provide college-level instruction to high school students through courses offered on college or high school campus.
Provides that if a career and technical education program of a school district is taught in an industry setting, off-site location will be exempt from certain State regulations.
Provides additional State school aid to county vocational school districts in which enrollment increases by more than 10%.
Provides State aid for certain adult education programs.
NJEA supports the bills in this package, introduced by Assembly Speaker Prieto and other members of the Assembly. These bills will expand career and technical education (CTE) opportunities for students. They will help focus the state on the opportunities available in CTE. With the current focus on college and career, it is important to remember that New Jersey’s vocational schools offer students multiple career pathways.
Students graduate from many programs at New Jersey’s county vocational schools ready to enter the job market as highly skilled employees. Other programs prepare students for focused college programs in areas such as engineering, health sciences, and technology.
Our county vocational schools cannot meet the demand for their programs and turn students away. This bill package will help the schools meet this increased demand by providing additional aid when districts have significant enrollment growth, making it easier for vocational programs to be taught in industry settings, and through the creation of a grant program.
The package of bills will also enhance the profile of our county vocational schools. The bills have already placed career and technical education in the spotlight. The addition of career readiness indicators to School Report Cards, the inclusion of career and technical education in teacher training programs, and the increased focus on dual enrollment programs will continue to raise awareness of the mission of county vocational schools. Finally, the provision of state aid for adult education programs will help vocational schools be an important partner in the state’s workforce development.
NJEA is a proud supporter of the students, staff, and programs at our county vocational schools. We are pleased to support this bill package and ask you to vote yes on the bills.