In 2016 the Washington Business Alliance is focused on strengthening Career Tech education and advancing its Low Carbon Prosperity agenda.

We will also contribute to discussion on other strategies and recommendations within the recently released 2016 edition of PLAN Washington. In coming weeks we will publish a watch list of key bills for you to track online. At the end of session, we will report on our progress moving the needle in Olympia.

Achieving a big impact will only happen through collaboration. We are fortunate to have a great community of partners working with us this session.

Career Tech Education

Washington’s K-12 system recently received a “C” grade from Education Week. Over the last decade, our high school graduation rates have slid from 31st to 42nd. Since 2003, the achievement gap separating low income students from others in Washington has widened more than in any other state.

At the same time, an inadequate supply of skilled workers threatens business growth. Industries can’t succeed if they can’t access the talent that they need. Washington employers report that jobs requiring vocational certificates and diplomas are the most difficult to fill.

A diverse coalition is emerging to advocate for career and technical learning opportunities for middle and high school students in Washington State. Students who complete Career Tech programs graduate at higher rates than their general Ed peers, and launch off in trajectories that lead directly to workforce credentials, credits, and living wage careers.

Take action in 2016:

  • Fix the CTE Funding Formula: Amended 2015-2017 budget should have included a 1.4 formula multiplier for CTE Material, Supplies and Operating Costs – MSOC. This equals $19 million for school year 2016-2017 which is consistent with OSPI’s proposal.
  • Dropout Retrieval Package: $2.4 million for school year 2016-2017 to fund Core+, JAG, and Career Guidance WA.

Partners in this advocacy include League of Education Voters, Building Trades Association, Manufacturing Industrial Council, Northwest Marine Trade Association, Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance, Washington Association of Career & Technical Educators, and Washington Maritime Federation.