State seeks feedback on how to guide Career and Technical Education policy

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - An updated bill, called Perkins V, signed into law by President Trump aims to provide federal funding to career and technical education programs, or CTE, and strengthen them into the 21st century.

The Alaska Department of Education is seeking feedback from the community about how to guide the state policy. After a plan is submitted to the federal government, the state receives money that will go towards improving CTE pathways.

For instance, Service High School houses four different CTE programs that include biomedical, culinary and hospitality, computer science and construction. Construction teacher, Lowell Kent, says the construction program could definitely put some of those federal dollars to good use, updating thousands of dollars worth of aging equipment.

"It adds up quick," said Kent. "They get used and abused a lot more than normal from students that are learning."

Perkins V seeks to be better geared toward state-identified in-demand industries, like the medical field and construction. At Service High School, some of the students we spoke with say they use these programs to get a head start on what they're hoping to do in the future.

Brooke Branson is going through the biomedical program, and hopes to become a neo-natal physician in the future.

"Because of this program, I learned so much," said Branson. "It really puts an emphasis on biology and also, obviously medicine. So because I've had these experiences early on, it's helped me shape my future and what I want to do in college afterward."

Typically Alaska as a whole gets a little more than $4 million to be dispersed to different schools and school districts that apply for it, and they have until June to submit those applications.

Adults 18 and older wishing to participate in the survey can click here, and high school students who'd like to participate can click here.

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