Additional Prieto-led Vocational Education Improvement Bills Get Final Legislative OK

2 Bills Also Sponsored by Jasey, Johnson, Caride, Mosquera, Diegnan, Watson Coleman, Fuentes & Benson

(TRENTON) – Two additional bills that were part of a sweeping vocational education improvement package sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto were approved Thursday by the Senate, meaning all seven bills of the bills have received final legislative approval.
“We cannot rest idle while businesses and jobs change and the global economy becomes more competitive,” Prieto said. “In the end, this is all about jobs and a stronger economy, so we need to take steps such as these to ensure our state is at the cutting edge of educational offerings.”
The bills approved today by the Senate:
· A3340 (Prieto/Jasey/Johnson/Caride/Mosquera) – Provides additional state aid to county vocational school districts in which enrollment increases by more than 10 percent, approved XX-XX; and
· A3341 (Prieto/Diegnan/Johnson/Watson Coleman/Fuentes/Benson) – Provides state aid for adult education programs, approved XX-XX.
“We cannot rest idle while businesses and jobs change and the global economy becomes even more and more competitive,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “Our students need an array of options to meet their various interests and the needs of today’s economy. These bills steer us in the right direction.”
“Concepts such as providing state aid for adult education programs are long overdue,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “We know education is now a lifelong experience, and we need an educational system that can meet that demand.”
“All young people need the chance to receive education and career development,” said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Vocational education and training must be part of that system.”
“Vocational educational can play a key role in opening the doors for our young people to obtain skills and talents to the highest levels,” said Mosquera (D-Gloucester/Camden). “A varied educational system that takes care of all our needs and interests is a must as we create jobs.”
“Vocational training can lead to apprenticeships and job opportunities in the trades for our youth who otherwise may be unemployed and adding to the state poverty problem,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Improving vocational education for our next generation is just common sense in today’s economy.”
“A strong economy requires a strong education system, and a modern and improved vocational education system must be part of that equation,” said Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “These bills are great news for our economy and educational system.”
“We need to focus our efforts on every aspect of the educational system, including job and technical training and adult education,” said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester). “These bills mean a better economy for our state – and that benefits all.”
“Ideas such as establishing a four-year county vocational school district facilities partnership grant program are the right thing to do in this day and age,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “We need to offer as many educational opportunities as possible.”
All seven bills in the package now go to the governor. The previously approved bills:
· A3334 (Prieto/Lagana/Oliver/Jimenez/Pintor Marin) – Require New Jersey school report cards to include indicators of student career readiness;
· A3335 (Prieto/Diegnan/Lampitt/Oliver/Garcia) – Require preparation programs for teachers and school counselors to include coursework to support improved student career readiness;
· A3337 (Prieto/Jimenez/Lampitt/Benson/Caputo/Oliver) – Establishes four-year county vocational school district facilities partnership grant program;
· A3338 (Prieto/Diegnan/Lagana/Riley/Oliver) – Requires all school districts and public colleges to enter into dual enrollment agreements to provide college-level instruction to high school students through courses offered on the college or high school campus;
· A3339 (Prieto/Diegnan/Eustace/Mainor/Oliver/Lagana) – Provides that if a career and technical education program of a county vocational school district is taught in an industry setting, the off-site location will be exempt from certain state regulations.