June 26, 2018

Senator Warren’s Statement on Career and Technical Education Bill Vote

Washington, DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today issued the following statement on the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee vote to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act:

“My top priority for our nations’ career and technical education programs is ensuring that all students—regardless of means or background—have access to career training that will provide a path to a good-paying job and a middle-class lifestyle. This requires strong safeguards ensuring that federal dollars are used to support high-quality career and technical programs.

“While this bill could have gone further to hold states more accountable for how they use federal dollars to pay for high-quality career training programs that serve all students, I appreciate that it makes significant improvements over the House bill.

“Career and technical education must be high-quality, but it must also be affordable. It makes no sense that, although we’ve decided as a country that public education through high school is free, some high-school-age students still have to pay out-of-pocket costs and fees to participate in career training programs. If classes that prepare high school students for college are free, then classes that prepare students for jobs should also be free.

“I’m glad that this bill includes a provision similar to my “Free Career and Technical Education for High School Students Act” and requires Perkins funds to be used to reduce and eliminate out-of-pocket costs for low-income high school students.

“While it’s far from perfect, I will vote to advance this bill to the floor, and I thank Chairman Alexander, Ranking Member Murray, Senator Casey, and Senator Enzi for their hard work on this important legislation.”