SECTION 1. Chapter 69 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following 6 sections:-
Section 37. For the purposes of sections 38 through 42, inclusive, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:-
“Career technical education” or “CTE”, shall have the same meaning as vocational-technical education pursuant to section 1 of chapter 74.
“Office”, shall mean the office of career technical education.
Section 38. There shall be established within the department of elementary and secondary education an office of career technical education, which shall be under the supervision and management of the deputy commissioner of career technical education. The deputy commissioner shall be appointed by the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, with the approval of the board. It shall be the duty of said deputy commissioner to improve and maximize career technical education throughout the commonwealth, and to collaborate with the board of education to promulgate regulations and develop and implement polices to enhance the commonwealth’s career technical education programs, including but not limited to the ensuring the enforcement of regulations relative certificates of occupational proficiency.
Section 39. The office shall promote and support with available resources innovative and collaborative career technical education demonstration programs in which students split time between their academic or comprehensive high school and a school offering programs under chapter 74; provided, that under such programs, participating students take academic classes in the morning and vocational courses in the afternoon when the equipment is available.
Section 40. (a) The office shall develop credentials for students graduating from high quality CTE programs in applied knowledge, effective relationships, and workplace skills as described in the federal Employability Skills Framework.
(b) The office shall ensure instructional ability and competence of CTE instructors through the utilization of occupational advisory boards and nationally validated teacher competency testing.
(c)The office shall utilize both pre- and post-technical assessment in both cognitive and psychomotor domains to determine what students know and are able to do.
(d) The office shall collaborate with recognized industry credential providers such as a recognized industry credential provider to develop state-customized credentials to measure career readiness through skill assessments appropriate to each tier of CTE.
(e) The office shall consider the use of the 21st Century Skills for Workplace Success Credential which validates overall workplace readiness skills and is aligned to the Employability Skills Framework of the federal Office of Career and Technical Adult Education. This credential may be utilized to validate basic competencies before participation in externships or school-based enterprises; and it may be utilized with state one-stop career centers or as a graduation or completion requirement for post-graduate and post-secondary chapter 74 programs.
(f) The office shall support chapter 74 programs’ use of Industry Recognized Credentials, known as IRCs.
(g) The office shall support the use of both longitudinal and pre- and post-student assessment as a means of obtaining meaningful data for curricular improvement. Data may be utilized for facilities improvement, equipment investments, mission success, and professional development.
(h) The office shall engage in statewide data sharing agreements with credential providers that include a variety of access portals for a variety of levels of personnel, including but not limited to state, local CTE administration, CTE teachers, parents, and students, giving access to stakeholders to assess program effectiveness.
(i) The office shall encourage and work to increase the use of articulation agreements with community colleges and public universities and other dual credit programs to allow CTE students to earn credit and stacked credentials that lead to an associate’s degree.
Section 41. The office shall work with the Regional Workforce Boards on an annual basis to determine the labor market needs in their region and, using that information, shall actively promote and facilitate the introduction of CTE programs that align with regional demand. The office shall work with the regional workforce boards to assure curricular alignment to both local employers’ need and expected national standards for labor market needs.
Section 42. Any comprehensive high school shall have access to a minimum of 1 CTE course or an approved internship to increase all students’ exposure to CTE fields, enabling students to have the knowledge to access both college and careers.
SECTION 2. The department of elementary and secondary education shall establish and administer a pilot program to incentivize collaboration between high school faculty and guidance counselors of schools offering chapter 74 programs and those that do not to utilize resources developed by career technical education to provide access to skill-training and career options for all students. The pilot program shall be administered for 2 years from the date the program is initiated. At the end of said 2-year period, the department shall submit a report on the effects of the program and the feasibility of continuing such program to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, and to the house and senate co-chairs of the joint committee on education.
SECTION 3. There shall hereby be established a commission to be known as the CTE Funding Commission, to study funding options for career technical education, or CTE, programs. The commission shall consist of 4 representatives of the department of elementary and secondary education, to be appointed by the deputy commissioner of the office of career technical education, and 3 representatives of the executive office of labor and workforce development, to be appointed by the secretary of labor and workforce development. The commission shall identify the use of funds for changing market needs. This commission shall make recommendations, which shall include but not be limited to, the following:
(1) whether the Massachusetts school building authority may spend money on equipment only, or if they are limited to funding for education structures;
(2) whether the Massachusetts school building authority should add incentives for the approved chapter 74 educational spaces in programs that align to labor market demand;
(3) how to simplify state law, particularly section 16 of chapter 71 of the General Laws, so that all regional school districts can secure bonding for critical capital projects through the district-wide referendum process outlined in subsection (n) of said section 16 of said chapter 71;
(4) how to change language in subsection (d) of said section 16 of said chapter 71 to allow all regional school districts the option to secure project bonding approval upon a two-thirds vote of approval of each legislative body of a municipality comprising the district; and
(5) any other recommendations relative to funding at the commission’s discretion.
The commission shall submit a report, which shall include the findings of the study and all such recommendations and any proposed drafts of legislation, not later than 1 year after the effective date of this act.
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