Tech Diploma Bill Raises Concerns

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A bill that would create a new technical diploma could be passed by the Senate this week at the Indiana Statehouse. State Representative Wendy McNamara (R-76) authored the bill and says the new degree would better align students with jobs in technical and advanced manufacturing fields. She adds it would address concerns about so-called "one-size fits all" diplomas currently being awarded in the state. In a Studio(i) interview Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar says while the goal of the new diploma is good, he believes it would fall short in delivering on its promises. The bill is one of several still up for approvals during what is a key week at the legislature.

The deadline for third reading of bills is Monday and the Senate faces a similar deadline Tuesday.

Other bills that could pass in the next couple days include mass transit funding in central Indiana and a Senate package that includes business tax cuts.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

March 3, 2014

News Release

STATEWIDE, Ind. - Yesterday, House Bill (HB) 1064, concerning the study of career and technical education, authored by State Representative Wendy McNamara (R-Mount Vernon), passed unanimously in the Senate, and will be awaiting further discussion in the House.

"I am excited to have seen this bill go as far as it has due to the great impact it will have on technical education in Indiana and its positive effect on closing the skills gap," said Rep. McNamara. "By focusing on specific programs in schools we can begin to address where we need to improve and think of ways in which our students can be better prepared for their careers."

In the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), CTE programs are crucial to giving students the proper preparation for jobs in the technical field. CTE programs are aimed at decreasing the skills gap and making it easier for student’s to find jobs once they graduate. HB 1064 will take in in depth look at the career and technical education (CTE) programs that are already in place in Indiana.

With the help of this bill, the Indiana Career Council (ICC) will conduct a study on the effectiveness and efficiency of CTE programs as well as their impact on college and career readiness. By looking at the different ways that these programs can positively affect job readiness, economic growth can be spurred. With this review, recommendations will be generated on the different ways that CTE programs can be improved, alongside the several ways that schools can utilize their funding to create stronger educational outcomes.

"Hoosier students have great potential and it's part of our job to provide them with the best tools to reach it. I believe that this bill will be another step on the ladder to reaching our educational goals and giving our students the programs they need to become professionals," said Rep. McNamara.

Source: The Indiana House Republican Caucus