Statement from Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray on the June 20 HELP Executive Session

 WASHINGTON, June 15, 2018 — Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today released the following statement regarding the postponement of the committee’s Executive Session scheduled for June 20:

“We have announced an Executive Session for June 20 for a series of important bills and nominations. Our goal is bipartisan agreement on the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and we are making significant progress toward that goal. Because Sen. Alexander will be managing the Energy and Water Appropriations bill on the Senate floor next week, we have agreed to postpone the June 20 Executive Session to Tuesday, June 26 or Wednesday, June 27 at a time to be determined.”

Senate HELP to Markup Perkins CTE on June 20th

The Senate is finally scheduling action on  Perkins CTE.  Senate HELP Chair Alexander (R-TN) has announced that the Committee will vote on reforms to Perkins CTE on June 20th.

In an article in Bloomberg Government, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) said, he will mark up a bill even if he and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the panel’s top Democrat, are unable to come to a bipartisan compromise on the legislation.

“Hopefully it will be bipartisan,” Alexander, the head of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told Bloomberg Government today. He said several points of contention between him and Murray have yet to be worked out, but there was “no need to delay it any further.”

“If we have differences of opinion, we can just vote,” he said.


Alexander and Murray, along with Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) had been working to craft a bipartisan bill, with the most recent round of discussions beginning within the last several months.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty on passing Perkins CTE

In case you missed it, IBM’s Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty today shared her thoughts on the importance of aligning today’s education and training with the evolving skill needs of the American economy. To that end, she called on the Senate to pass legislation that will modernize and reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Here’s the link:

IBM has seen firsthand how American students, businesses and communities benefit from education programs like those made possible by this critical Perkins Act update. Through the Pathways in Technology Early College High School – or P-TECH – model, which IBM pioneered, schools are integrating the best elements of high school, college and career training, and experiential learning by aligning rigorous academics with a career focus. P-TECH schools operate within existing state budgets, and students are admitted with no special tests or requirements, receive paid internships and are paired with mentors from the business community.

In just six years, P-TECH students – many from traditionally underserved communities – graduate with an associate degree and skills aligned with to STEM and high-wage careers. This model, which is building national and international momentum, was designed to be both widely replicable and sustainable, and is showing the power and potential of closer alignment between skills education and actual labor market needs.

IBM applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing Perkins reauthorization legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support, and urges the U.S. Senate to embrace this spirit and move quickly to send this important bill to the President’s desk.