Speaker Prieto Measure to Streamline Vocational School Construction, Improvements in NJ Approved by Assembly Education Committee

Bill Continues Speaker’s Commitment to Improving State’s Technical, Vocational Programs;Making Vo-Tech Education a Viable Alternative to 4-Year College

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto sponsored that would streamline construction of county vocational school facilities in New Jersey was released Thursday by the Assembly Education Committee.

“As I’ve said before, college isn’t necessarily for everyone; we need to have multiple viable paths to employment in New Jersey,” said Prieto (D-Hudson). “Students who might struggle in AP courses or college may thrive in a vocational instruction environment, and we should encourage investment in that infrastructure so that New Jersey continues producing a highly skilled, highly trained and highly educated workforce.”

Speaker Prieto’s latest legislation dovetails with five previous bills dealing with vocational education that were signed into law in 2014.

The bill (A-3970) would supplement the state “Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act” (EFCFA) to permit a county vocational school district to request that a county improvement authority construct – and finance via bonding – vocational school facilities that have been approved by the state Department of Education (DOE).

“I’m a product of vocational education myself, and I’ve done alright,” continued the speaker. “If we’re going to tell kids that there are viable alternatives to going to a four-year college and getting a degree, then we need to make sure that the opportunities and facilities are there to support them and give them the skills they need to become productive members of the workforce.”

The bill now awaits action by the full Assembly.