Sweeney Honored for Leadership on Vocational Education
Monroe Township – Senate President Steve Sweeney was honored for his longstanding commitment to vocational education in New Jersey and his success in providing support for Vo-Tech schools throughout the state. The New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools presented Senator Sweeney with its Career and Technical Education Leadership Award today at its summer meeting in Monroe Township.
“Vocational education is a key part of the educational opportunities we must make available to students in New Jersey,” said Senator Sweeney. “These schools provide job skills and training that can prepare them for good jobs. In today’s rapidly-evolving economy, vocational programs are more important than ever. We cannot afford to overlook Vo-Tech programs as we continue to work to improve educational opportunities.”
The school funding reform plan that was successfully incorporated into the state’s budget for the upcoming year includes an increase of $5.1 million for Vo-Tech schools, one of the most significant increases in years. The budget also includes separate allocations of $4 million for adult vocational education, which is critical if we are going to be able to put displaced workers back to work and meet the needs of industries looking for skilled workers, Senator Sweeney said, and $3 million for the Partnership Grant Program that supports four-year Vo-Tech schools.
Senator Sweeney said that the next step in the school funding plan is to use the proceeds of a newly-enacted millionaires tax to provide an additional $600 million for New Jersey’s public schools, which would include $33 million for vocational education.
“Senator Sweeney has provided sustained leadership on behalf of career and technical education in New Jersey, demonstrating a real commitment to the needs and priorities of county vocational-technical schools and students,” said Scott Moffitt, NJCCVTS President and Superintendent of the Morris County Vocational School District. “With his support, we continue to make great progress with career-focused programs that serve our students and support New Jersey’s economy.”
New Jersey’s county vocational-technical school districts have become national models for preparing high school students and adults for college and for 21st century careers. They now have more than 32,000 secondary school students and more than 5,000 adults who are looking to expand their technical skills in various fields.
Five of the top ten high schools in New Jersey are county vocational-technical schools, according to US News & World Report’s 2017 America’s Best High Schools survey. Four county vocational-technical schools were honored with silver medals and 15 schools won bronze medals in the Best High Schools survey. Of the 106 New Jersey high schools recognized by US News, 27 were county vocational-technical schools.