July 13, 2015

Senate Passes Kaine, Portman, Baldwin Career Readiness Amendment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate unanimously passed an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 introduced by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to help ensure students are ready for postsecondary education and the workforce. The amendment encourages states to create work-based learning opportunities through partnerships with businesses that allow students to earn industry-recognized credentials and credit for postsecondary education. By incorporating career readiness indicators into their state accountability systems, states will have the opportunity to recognize schools that are successfully preparing students for postsecondary education and the workforce through tools like technical skills training and college credits. The amendment strengthens the Career Ready Act, which was incorporated into the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 after being introduced by Kaine, Portman and Baldwin earlier this year. 

“I’m pleased the Senate passed our bipartisan amendment that will prepare today’s students for the economy of tomorrow by encouraging schools to provide students with work-based learning opportunities,” said Kaine. “Today on the Senate floor I spoke about schools like T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, which is teaching students about money management and financial planning through work experience at a credit union, and William Byrd High School in Vinton, which has seen graduation rates rise after providing students with hands-on training through part-time jobs. Our amendment gives states the opportunity to reward high schools like T.C. Williams and William Byrd while sending a strong message to schools, businesses, parents and students that it is critical to be prepared for the workforce regardless of postsecondary education plans.”

“We can better prepare our students for the jobs of the 21st century by improving the way we track career readiness during high school years,” said Portman. “While much focus is given to traditional college preparation, career readiness programs are also critical to help students obtain a job in a high-demand career field – and we must do better at encouraging states to highlight these opportunities.” 

“As the demand for a workforce with highly-technical skills continues to grow, I’m proud to support this amendment to ensure our students are offered courses that will help prepare them for our 21st century Made in Wisconsin economy,” said Baldwin. “This career readiness amendment will help schools provide a pathway for students to be career-ready on graduation day with a solid foundation to build upon to enter the field of their choice.”  

The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 also includes key provisions of the Teach Safe Relationships Act, legislation Kaine introduced to help prevent sexual assault and dating violence through education. The idea for the bill came out of a December 2014 meeting Kaine had at the University of Virginia to listen to students’ recommendations for preventing campus sexual assault.

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