FLATE’s Executive Director Reviews 2011 Workforce Education Mandates
Every year, the Florida legislature passes legislation that affects workforce education. At the Engineering Technology Forum that took place at Florida Gateway College in Lake City (FGC) last week, Eric Owens, state supervisor of the Manufacturing and Transportation Career Clusters provided an overview of how the 2011 education mandates, related to career and technical education, will be implemented in our state in the coming years. Here are a few that will have significant impact.
House Bill 7151 (post-secondary education) mandates that district workforce education funding, steering committee funding models must be recognized, secondary and post-secondary programs must be aligned with K-12 workforce education programs including CAPE academies, and that workforce education data must be consistent for college system and the school districts. This bill also requires that the Higher Education Coordinating Committee (HECC, www.highereducation.org) to provide a comprehensive report by December 2011 to the governor, the Board of Governors, and others on the enrollments and completion rates in all higher education degrees and certificates.
Despite the unsettling nature of ongoing changes in Florida’s education systems, change is (most often), a good thing.The evolving emphasis on accountability and the focus on job preparation at all post-secondary programs are giving us important and sometimes painful perspectives on our education systems. To redefine the education for the 21st century, and for the student who will enter the highly integrated 21st century world, we need to understand both the successes and failures of the old and existing systems, and the new opportunities that can be implemented to create a new framework for all educational levels.