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Career and Technical Education Bill Expected to Clear Senate by Month's End


The Trump administration may be soon take a step closer to getting its wish for one of its major education priorities.

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which passed the Senate education committee last month with overwhelming bipartisan support, will probably get the full chamber's approval by the time August rolls around, according to a Senate aide. That's barring any unforeseen trouble with the bill's score from the Congressional Budget Office and small technical tweaks.

"I think our expectation is that things will be drama-free," the aide said Monday.

President Donald Trump has made passing an overhaul of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act a top priority, dispatching his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump to Capitol Hill several weeks ago to lobby for the legislation. The House passed its own version to revamp Perkins, which federal lawmakers last reauthorized in 2006, in the summer of 2017.

The Senate's version of a Perkins update would allow states to set their own goals for CTE without the approval of the education secretary, but would also require them to make "meaningful progress" towards those goals. Like the House bill, it would also create a new definition of "concentrators" in high school that covers students focusing on CTE courses. 

News of the momentum behind the bill emerged the same day as the Senate confirmed Scott Stump, Trump's nominee to be assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education. Stump is Trump's second pick to lead the CTE work under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos—the president withdrew his first nominee, Tim Kelly, after old blog posts Kelly wrote making offensive statements about Muslims and Head Start parents came to light. 

Image via Getty Images

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