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Resolution No. 9: Exploratory Career and Technical Education Courses to be Introduced in the Middle School Grades and to Restore and Expand CTE in High Schools

Submitted by: Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1

WHEREAS, the American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that the United States will need to invest over $3.6 trillion in infrastructure to rebuild, rehabilitate, and repair our nation’s schools, public parks, roads, bridges, dams, transit systems, drinking water systems, and other basic foundations of this nation’s prosperity and health by the year 2020; and

WHEREAS, in urban environments like Chicago, there is an obvious need to rebuild, rehabilitate, and repair entire communities that are blighted with dilapidated, unsafe, unused, and outdated structures; and

WHEREAS, also, as the American workforce ages out, there is currently a resurgence in manufacturing, cuisine, transportation, healthcare, advance computer technology, and other fields and a need to train replacements; and

WHEREAS, Career and Technical Education (CTE), which includes Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM), not only prepares our students for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce but are essential determinants in the economic development in our city, state, and nation; and

WHEREAS, many CTE programs, especially construction, are currently being reduced and eliminated due to lack of student interest and enrollment at a time when apprenticeship programs and internships are reopening due to the economic development needs in our nation; and

WHEREAS, this enrollment crisis is largely due to a lack of exposure of our students to the diverse plethora of careers that the world of work has to offer and the wide range of programs in CTE that are available to prepare for these careers; and

WHEREAS, there is currently legislation in both chambers of the 114 22 th U.S. Congress, H.R. 3346 and S. 1609, “the Middle School STEP Act”; and H.R. 2186 and S. 1166 the BUILD CTE Act; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) advocates for the development and implementation of middle school exploration programs linked to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study in Illinois school districts; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that IFT encourages their locals and affiliated organizations to also support and advocate for the development and implementation of middle school programs linked to CTE in school districts throughout our state. 
 

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