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BCW Pushes for Educational Equality, Career and Technical Training

As part of its ongoing advocacy efforts, the Business Council of Westchester recently urged action on the following education initiatives:

Reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act

The BCW has joined with more than 400 organization in signing a letter urging the Senate to take swift, bipartisan action to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which is crucial to helping students acquire the skills needed to be successful in today’s workforce.

“Because employers are reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions, ensuring that secondary and postsecondary institutions offer modern, quality and relevant career and technical education programs remains a leading priority so that we can develop and grow our nation’s workforce,” the letter stated. “As competition for high-skilled labor increases and as the U.S. economy reaches full employment, every effort must be made to close the skills gaps that many industries across all sectors face.”

As part of its 2018 Legislative Agenda, the BCW continues to support the expansion of high quality career and technical programs, including expanding access to P-Tech schools and establishing regional high schools.

To help amplify this message, use the #PerkinsCTE hashtag and the custom social media posts available here.

Within Our Reach: The 5×25 Commitment

Separately, the BCW continues to be an outspoken advocate for ensuring that all New York students have access to rigorous instruction across a robust set of courses that will prepare them for college, careers and civic life.

According to a recent New York Equity Coalition report entitled “Within Our Reach,” students of color and those who are low-income are too often denied access to these opportunities. For example, 41,451 Latino and Black 7th and 8th graders—representing 30 percent of Latino students and 34 percent of Black students—attend middle schools that do not offer Algebra I, more than three times the rate of their White peers. Detailed Westchester figures are available, with a particular focus on the Yonkers school district.

As such, the BCW joins in the 5×25 Commitment – calling on New York’s leaders to fulfill 5 Commitments to every student in the Graduating Class of 2025:

Commitment 1:All students, families, and educators will have accurate and timely information, support, and help to access a rich and robust course experience in their school.

Commitment 2:All students and families will have the information and support to pursue rigorous college- and career- prep pathways.

Commitment 3:Every student will receive rich and rigorous instruction that prepares them for success after high school graduation.

Commitment 4:Every student will be able to earn college credit and/or participate in work-based learning opportunities before they graduate from high school.

Commitment 5:High school graduation requirements will match modern- day expectations for college, career, and civic readiness.

“This should be a wakeup call for our schools. Better and more equitable outcomes are within our reach,” said John Ravitz, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the BCW. “All students deserve equal access to the types of challenging math and science courses that will prepare them for college, careers and civic life.”

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