ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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On the evening of January 12, 2016, President Obama laid out his vision for the remainder of his term during his annual State of the Union address to Congress. The speech included references to several of the president’s past and remaining policy priorities, as well as his broader outlook for the nation as a whole beyond his presidency.
The speech covered a range of topics, including environmental issues, foreign policy and gun control. President Obama devoted significant time to the national economy, noting the 14 million jobs created under his Administration and its work to advance opportunity for all Americans. He referenced a variety of policy initiatives undertaken during his Administration, including expanding early childhood and STEM education.
“In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by providing Pre-K for all, offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one, and we should recruit and support more great teachers for our kids,” said President Obama, after praising the bipartisan success of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Obama also referenced the importance of worker retraining for adults to reduce unemployment. The president’s speech also included reference to the importance of postsecondary education access, and the America’s College Promise initiative to provide community college tuition free of charge for all students.
“We have to make college affordable for every American. Because no hardworking student should be stuck in the red. We’ve already reduced student loan payments to ten percent of a borrower’s income. Now, we’ve actually got to cut the cost of college,” he continued. “Providing two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that, and I’m going to keep fighting to get that started this year.”
Business leaders involved with skills training also had a big night – Congressional CTE Caucus Co-chair Jim Langevin (D-RI) brought Tim Hebert, President and CEO of the IT services firm Atrion, as his guest to the speech. Hebert has ensured that Atrion remains engaged in workforce development and CTE issues through the company’s apprenticeship programs, and recognizes the value of CTE in preparing the 21st century workforce. In addition, Congressional CTE Caucus Co-chair Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-PA) invited Bald Eagle High School agriculture teacher and FFA leader Todd Biddle to join him for the speech as recognition of his work as a CTE educator.
To access the full transcript of the speech, click here. ACTE remains committed to working with the Obama Administration and Congress to advance policies that will prepare all students for college- and career- success.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 01/13/2016 at 09:17 AM in Executive Branch, In the News, STEM | Permalink
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