The Senate Education Committee passed legislation today that expands rigorous and meaningful career pathways in high school. Senate Bill 1270 sponsored by Senator Sylvia Allen would incentivize school districts to offer courses that allow students to earn industry certifications that are tied to labor market demand.
An integral component of this is that decisions on which certifications are included are made with business and labor leaders at the table. The goal is to ensure that schools are investing in certification programs that will put students on the path to in-demand, high-wage careers after high school.
Alexandra Dominguez, ExcelinEd in Action Southwest Legislative Director, testified in support of the bill.
“Students often do not possess the skills to help them succeed in a career tied to the middle class and beyond. It is not surprising therefore that employers are struggling to find the capable individuals they need to grow their businesses. To help students reach their full potential, industry certifications allow students to earn employer-verified skill sets that lead to high-skill, high-demand and high-wage jobs. We thank Senator Sylvia Allen for championing this legislation to better prepare Arizona students for success in life.” – Alexandra Dominguez, ExcelinEd in Action Southwest Regional Legislative Director
Similar programs around the country have seen dramatic increases in the number of students earning certifications. In Florida, where a similar program has been in place since 2007, this number went from 803 in 2007-2008 to 95,541 in 2016-17. Additionally, Kansas has seen a 191 percent increase since 2012.
More information on best practices for implementing career and technical education, read Putting CTE to Work for Students: A Playbook for State Policymakers or visit ExcelinEd’s policy library.