The State Board of Education also is the State Board for Applied Technology Education, and board members want Utah legislators to be reminded of the fact.
In a meeting Friday, the 15 members of the board were asked to contact legislators in their school board districts to educate them about applied technology education services available - or lacking - in their areas.The governance of the state's five Applied Technology Centers, and related programs in four "under-served" areas, is expected to be debated this summer as part of a strategic planning process for higher education.
The state board did not adopt an official position Friday but will hold a detailed review of the vocational/technical programs under its direction during a June meeting.
Marlon Snow, chairman of the board subcommittee dealing with technical education, said the board needs to "sing its own song better" in relation to its role of directing job-oriented education.
Board member Neola Brown agreed that the board should express a "clear, firm voice that public education is in charge of vocational education in the state."
A legislative task force, with representation from both public and higher education, has already been assigned to begin studying vocational/technical issues. Its first meeting is Monday, May 16, in Room 423 of the State Capitol.