AUSTIN – Texas State Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rural South Texas) recently announced an expansion in the Career and Technology Education (CTE) allotment which will now encompass junior high, along with the creation of a grant program to facilitate CTE summer school courses.


"With the growing demand for trained and qualified professionals, this legislation will expand vocational education opportunities, and help guide more students into the workforce," said Guillen.


Before this expansion, the CTE allotment was only available to high school students, but more and more research has suggested that junior high students are capable and willing to participate in the program as well. Additionally, this funding did not account for summer programs, an oversight that Texas is changing with the implementation of the new grant program.


In recent years, CTE has emerged as a massive enterprise in the United States. In Texas, 77% of all high school students take at least one CTE course, and one in four students takes three or more courses in a single program area. Given these statistics Texas students seem to appreciate the applicability of these learning opportunities, because it prepares them and encourages them to pursue a career after high school. However, according to data from the Texas Education Agency, only 18% of students are taking advantage of these opportunities in District 31.


Coming from a rural community, Guillen understands the job opportunities CTE courses can provide south Texas students, and has been a long standing advocate of such initiatives. It is his hope that this expansion will spotlight the usefulness of CTE, and encourage more South Texas students to participate.


"CTE programs help further provide students with educational opportunities," said Guillen. "We should strive to guarantee everyone that wants to work the opportunity to learn a skill that is needed in our economy."


Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen.