The Missouri Senate moved in a bipartisan fashion to make career and technical education a priority, despite attempts by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to deemphasize the importance of these programs in Missouri's schools.
The Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) worked with Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-18), who chairs the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee and sponsored the Career and Technical Education Student Protection Act (S.B. 17), to bring awareness to the fact that DESE stripped minimum requirements for career and technical education in its most recent release of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 5).
MCA stood firm in stressing the importance of agricultural education in the classroom and vocally supported all career and technical education programs. Matt Biddle, agricultural educator and FFA advisor at Eldon High School, testified Jan. 28, 2013, on behalf of MCA in favor of SB 17.
"It has been saddening to me as a parent and as an educator to see the department of elementary and secondary education take actions that could jeopardize the presence of career and technical education in our schools," said Biddle, who is a MCA member. "DESE sent a direct signal to decision makers in our schools that career and technical education is disposable. This is the wrong message. The Senate today sent the right message. We commend Sen. Munzlinger and all senators who supported this legislation."
The legislation now moved to the Missouri House for consideration. MCA executive vice president Mike Deering urges MCA members to contact their representative in strong support of this legislation.
"It is critical that our members make their voices heard," said Deering. "We want to make sure that our representatives know we are serious when it comes to agricultural education in our schools and this bill will strengthen career and technical education."
Source: Missouri Cattlemen's Association