Jody Emerson (Director, Central Vermont Career Center) submitted a list of ‘wants’ to the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday on behalf of the Directors of Vermont’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) Centers. Chairman Campion asked members to review this and evaluate the status of each of the suggested ideas and identify those already being worked on, those that could potentially be pursued, and those that would take much more time than is available at this point in the legislative session.
The one area that the Campion seemed to think might be a possibility to implement this coming year was job shadowing. He and the Committee identified many areas which could be explored and asked Legislative Counsel to research and come back to the Committee in a few days to see if there were opportunities where they could be responsive to the CTE centers' requests.
One of the requests, a non-competitive funding model, similar to what was already presented in the CTE pilot three years ago (funding that doesn’t pit CTE's against sending schools), is already in the works via Act 127. That legislation required the Joint Fiscal Office to develop systematic funding models for CTE, which is supposed to be finalized in July.
The Committee reviewed the updated rules (from the State Board of Education) related to CTE to ensure equitable access.
There was also a proposal to establish a statewide school calendar so the CTE Centers aren’t having to juggle multiple sending school calendars that differ significantly. This is "extremely challenging" for CTE Centers to offer consistent and equitable opportunities for all eligible students when they all have different school calendars.
The Committee was interested in the possibility of allowing students under 18 to be allowed to job shadow or participate in work-based learning in the manufacturing and healthcare industries. Currently most employers in these two sectors will not take anyone under 18 because of liability issues. Campion thought this this might be something they could address this year.
Another request was to fully fund a Director of Adult Technical Education position at all tech centers and allow the use Act 77 (flexible pathways) funds for high school students to enroll in adult technical education programs.
Emerson also asked for the Agency of Education compliance division to hold sending schools accountable for the rules and regulations they already have (such as access, transportation, etc.). She felt that the current regulations were good, but there was "nobody to enforce them" on behalf of the CTE centers and their students.