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Governor McCrory Signs Bill to Promote Two Educational

RALEIGH, N.C. : February 18, 2013 - Governor Pat McCrory signed his first bill into law since taking office. Senate Bill 14 will increase opportunities for high school students to enroll in high-quality career and technical education (CTE) programs in areas with high employment needs.
The bill will give students two educational pathways to success by establishing vocational and higher education diploma endorsements.
“We must ensure our education system provides opportunities and pathways for our students to get the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill their post-graduation goals, whether that be entering the workforce or continuing on to getting a higher degree,” said Governor McCrory. “I applaud the General Assembly for moving this important legislation and am proud to have this be the first piece of legislation I sign into law.”
Sponsored by Senators Jerry Tillman (Randolph), Harry Brown (Onslow), and Dan Soucek (Watauga), Senate Bill 14 encourages students to enroll in courses that will
lead to a diploma with an endorsement indicating that they are either “career ready," “college ready,” or both.  It also directs the State Board of Education to update the curriculum for career and technical education courses, as well as revise licensure requirements for career and technical education teachers.
“In these tough economic times it is important that we teach our students the critical thinking and technical skills required to get a job.  Senate Bill 14 will make sure all of North Carolina’s students are primed to succeed in their field of choice,” said Senator Tillman.
“Career and technical education has been a passion of mine since I've been in the Senate.  Senate Bill 14 highlights the importance of career and technical education in today's workforce and
will allow our students to be trained, certified, and employable in fields where good paying jobs are available,” said Senator Brown.
The bill also directs the State Board of Education and State Board of Community Colleges to work together to develop strategies to increase the number of students enrolled in CTE programs.  High school and community colleges are encouraged to share resources such as instructors, facilities, equipment, and business internship opportunities to meet this goal.
“We have taken another step in reforming our educational system with a stronger focus on keeping more students in school and giving them the skills they need to get jobs,” said Senator Soucek.
State Superintendent June Atkinson today praised the General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory for the new Career Technical Education law, which the Governor signed today. Her complete statement is below:
"This new law adds value to the hard work of students who choose to focus their high school studies in a technical field. These students often go above and beyond the current high school graduation requirements in order to prepare for a technical career.
"The new law, by providing diploma endorsements, gives students options and an incentive to pursue more than one track to graduation, as they can focus on preparing for a career in a technical field as well as college. In retrospect, as a high school student, I completed the requirements for a career technical field and the college preparation curriculum, so I know first hand that the combination served me well during my career. Research shows that the combination of college prep and career technical education has served many students' career goals.
"I am pleased that this legislation will encourage more students to move forward after high school graduation to enter the workforce or to continue their studies in a technical field at the community college level."
Source: NC Office of the Governor.