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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A.9003-B (Budget)

Support

SUBJECT:

Career and technical education funding aligned with the goals of My Brother’s Keeper

With Recommendations

DATE:

March 22, 2016

 

The Business Council supports $6.5 million in new appropriations in the Assembly budget legislation for career and technical education funding targeted at meeting the goals of My Brother’s Keeper, a federal initiative aimed at improving outcomes for “boys and young men of color” (A.9003-B). We strongly recommend that the legislation be amended to specify that this funding appropriated for the New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School Program (NYS P-TECH).

NYS P-TECH is a proven, innovative school model that integrates career and technical education, academic instruction and work-based learning experiences, relying on a dynamic partnership between school districts, community colleges and local business to ensure that students are prepared with the skills they need to be successful after graduation. The model closely aligns with the milestones of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which include: graduating from high school ready for college and career; completing postsecondary education or training; and successfully entering the workforce.

At the end of the six-year NYS P-TECH program, students earn a high school diploma and an associate degree in a STEM field. There are currently 33 partnerships receiving state funding.

As an example, eleven students from the legacy cohort (those who entered Grade 9 at Brooklyn P-TECH in September 2011) have already graduated with both a high school diploma AND an AAS degree in just four and a half years. These students are working at IBM or entering a four-year competitive college program. There were no high school dropouts from the first class and dozens of students will complete their AAS degree within the six year schedule, a rate that far exceeds the average community college completion rates. The NYS P-TECH first cohort of schools continues to model this success, serving a population that is more disadvantaged than the average for their school districts and completing high school and college courses and passing Regents exams at a higher rate.

On the national and state levels, employers are having difficulty finding skilled workers to fill open positions, not only in terms of technical and/or academic skills, but in relation to “soft skills” such as showing up on time and working in groups. These partnerships between school districts, higher education and the private sector allow businesses to play a critical role in mentoring and providing work-site learning experiences.

For these reasons, The Business Council strongly supports targeting $6.5 million in funding for career and technical education aligned with the goals of My Brother’s Keeper to NYS P-TECH partnerships.