March 10, 2017
Alabama’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program will remain a separate division within the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) under a reorganization plan presented Thursday by State Superintendent Michael Sentance.
The plan was unveiled at a working session of the State Board of Education one week after rumors of changes within CTE sparked concerns from students, teachers, legislators and stakeholders.
Senate Legislative Programs Director Matthew Durdin said the Alabama Farmers Federation is working to ensure concerns are addressed and CTE is strengthened.
"We have been engaged with our teacher members and the state school board throughout this reorganization process,” Durdin said. “We appreciate that Mr. Sentence presented his plan to the board for the members' input. We look forward to continue working with the department and board to further enhance Career and Technical Education in Alabama.”
Under the plan, the head of CTE reports directly to Chief of Staff Dr. Dee Fowler. Dr. Phillip Cleveland currently serves as deputy state superintendent for CTE and workforce development. He announced plans last week to step down July 3. Sentance has committed to work with stakeholders in identifying a qualified replacement.
Last week, Sentance told reporters “the emphasis on CTE for our department is not in any way diminished.”
The ALSDE had considered moving CTE under Academic Affairs based on recommendations from two independent reviews and the organizational structures of other states. Last Friday the department issued a statement aimed at reassuring teachers, students and stakeholders.
“There is not, nor has there ever been, a plot to diminish Alabama’s CTE program or in any way lessen the important work that our CTE staff and workforce partners have worked so hard to develop,” the statement said. “On the contrary, it is more important than ever to make sure CTE efforts are bolstered to ensure students are prepared for the workforce opportunities that await after high school.”