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.


Perkins Funding Bills Advance in House and Senate

On a party-line vote of 16-14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations bill on Thursday, following on the heels of House appropriators who passed their own version of the bill out of committee on Wednesday. Like in the House, the Senate bill also proposes level funding for the Perkins Basic State Grant at $1.118 billion, with a slight cut in Perkins National Programs ($3 million in the Senate compared to $3.6 million in the House version).  The committee chose to maintain state grant funding for CTE despite tight FY 2016 budget caps, and a $1.7 billion cut in education funding overall in their bill.

Read more from ACTE here.