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Career and Technical Education

Across our state, employers have been crying out for applicants with “middle-skills”—which require more than a high school degree but less than a four-year traditional degree. To remedy the middle-skills gap, Texas needs urgently to strengthen career and technical education programs in our high schools. Through this measure, the state will be able to better connect high school students with jobs in middle skills industries.


  • Currently, Texas high schools receive 35% additional funding per each student who enrolls in two or more Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. But many ISD’s have struggled to bring local businesses in to participate in this training. To incentivize local businesses to join with ISD’s on this mission, the Texas Legislature should allow ISD’s to share the 35% bonus with businesses willing to partner with the ISD’s in CTE mentorships and apprenticeships.

Talking points for liberty fighters

  • Texas is experiencing a “middle-skills” gap, wherein there are too few labor force participants with more education or training than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree.
  • “College for All” should no longer be the default for high school students—especially given most of their career goals will not necessitate a four-year degree.
  • Several Texas school districts are developing robust career and technical education (CTE) programs to prepare students instead for middle-skill jobs—but many are still struggling to pave the pathway to industry.
  • Texas Education Code: §42.154 can allow districts to use part or all of their CTE allotment to offset business’ costs for employing paid interns—enabling students to gain hands-on experience.
  • Middle-skill jobs account for 56 percent of Texas’ employment opportunities, but only 42 percent of the workforce is trained at the middle-skill level.

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