The Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee has approved legislation seeking to improve Career and Technical Education services throughout the state. Senate Bill 198, authored by Senators Doug Eckerty (R-26) and Ryan Mishler (R-9), provides increased funding for CTE courses in high-wage, high-demand careers.
The bill passed through committee by a vote of 10-3. In addition to the funding increase, SB 198 also includes the following changes:
- Transferring the administration of state CTE grants and federal Perkins CTE dollars from the Indiana Department of Education to the Department of Workforce Development
- Transferring state CTE grants outside of the school funding formula so the grants go directly to the institutions providing CTE instruction – including schools, co-ops and apprenticeship programs
- Streamlining the categories for funding CTE courses
The bill would also require schools to offer the Indiana Career Explorer Program to eighth graders beginning in 2019. Fifteen school districts would also be allowed to offer the program on a pilot basis in the 2017-2018 academic year.
"Career and technical education is very important to our entire state," said Eckerty. "If passed, this legislation would expand and improve Indiana’s career and technical fields and help provide the proper education to more Hoosiers who want to work in those fields."
The bill now heads to the full senate for consideration. In September, the IDOE awarded $1.7 million in CTE grants for rural areas throughout the state.