Bill allows sooner start for technical school

Mar 16, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

On Wednesday, March 15 the House Education committee hosted a public hearing on earlier access to career and technical education (CTE), also known as vocational school, for high schoolers in New Hampshire.

High school students in the Granite State may attend CTE programs during their junior and senior year.  While students must still take required liberal arts and other courses for graduation, the students also receive education in fields from culinary arts to engineering.

SB 101, the bill under consideration, would let students start technical school as sophomores. 

Bill supporters note that there is a critical shortage of skilled workers in many industries in New Hampshire, such as manufacturing.  Unless New Hampshire increases the number of young adults educated in these technical fields, those industries will move to other states.  SB 101 opens up technical education to more students and would allow seniors to take on internships and other work experience.

Supporters also note that there is already a legal exception that allows students in Manchester to attend a CTE center through all four years of high school.

Bill opponents are concerned that high schoolers in CTE programs already struggle to meet all of the regular course requirements in addition to CTE.  They argue that starting technical education earlier will make it more difficult for students to complete graduation requirements, and may devalue the importance of liberal arts education.

There is also some concern that local school districts will bear any increased costs associated with increased enrollment in CTE programs.

Do you think sophomores in high school should be allowed to enroll in career and technical education programs?  Share your opinion in the comments below.

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