Public Law Chapter 171, “An Act To Enable Earlier Introduction of Career and Technical Education in Maine Schools,” was enacted in June to expand career and technical education opportunities by requiring Maine schools to provide access to developmentally-appropriate career and technical education for middle school students (grades 6-8). The expansion of Career and Technical Education (CTE) to middle school builds on a long history of providing high-quality and industry-relevant CTE to students in high school grades 9-12.
Revision of Department of Education Rule Chapter 232, currently underway in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) process, will provide a framework to develop and implement middle school career and technical education.
CTE centers and regions will collaborate with all schools serving students in grades 6-8 to provide CTE experiences and will be active partners in how these programs are structured and offered in the best interests of middle school students.
The Department is developing a funding plan for 2018-19 to present to the Legislature designed to ensure adequate resources for this expansion.
Once the proposed rules are adopted and the Legislature has taken action on funding, a timeline for implementation, including program approval and funding, will be made available. Schools will not be required to offer CTE for middle school students in the 2017-2018 school year but they are free to do so if they choose.
Questions may be directed to Margaret Harvey, State Director of Career and Technical Education, at 624-6739 or at Margaret.firstname.lastname@example.org.