Father and grandfather might have taken "shop" class in high school and might have gone to a Vo-Tech school to learn a trade. Those days are long-gone in a field now called Career and Technical Education.
Missouri’s career and technical education centers have to turn away thousands of students each year because they don’t have money to expand—not even in the healthcare industry where government is placing so much emphasis on trained people.
Administrators of secondary and post-secondary career and technical schools are telling lawmakers they turn away thousands of people a year. They say state and federal funding has increased incrementally in the last 12 years but local tuition has increased 19 times more than state and federal funding has increased.
A spokesman for administrators of those schools says says today’s students are learning their math and science by doing. Rich Payne, who runs a career center in Cape Girardeau, says the centers are increasingly teaching non-vocational subjects such as math and communications arts. But he says they’re using vocational training to teach those subjects—for instance, teaching the Pythagorean Theorem by teaching a student how to build a rafter.
But he and others say lack of state and federal support means local costs are close to making career and vocational education too expensive for many students or many school districts that pay the centers to educate their students.
Payne says the centers are an economic drivers in their regions..and deserve better support.