Career and Technical Education: Selected Changes Made by P.L. 109-270
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
The federal government currently provides support for career and technical education through the
Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 (Perkins III; P.L. 105-332). The
act authorized funding for vocational and technical education through FY2003, although the th
Congress continued to provide funding under the act through FY2006. The 109 Congress has
reauthorized the Perkins Act. On August 12, 2006, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical
Education Improvement Act of 2006 was signed into law (Perkins IV; P.L. 109-270).
While many aspects of the Perkins Act remain intact, Perkins IV made several key changes to the
• refers to career and technical education rather than vocational and technical
• retains the basic state grant formula for allocating funds to states if appropriations
are level funded or decreasing, but implements a modified formula if
• establishes separate core indicators of performance for the secondary and
• modifies the required contents of state and local plans, including adding linkages
between the Perkins Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as
modified by the No Child Left Behind Act;
• requires eligible agencies and eligible recipients to meet at least 90% of their
adjusted levels of performance on each of their core indicators of performance or
be required to develop and implement an improvement plan;
• allows the Secretary of Education to withhold only state leadership and
administrative funds from eligible agencies that fail to make progress or show
improvement, but no longer allows funds withheld to be redistributed to other
• permits eligible agencies to withhold funds from eligible recipients failing to
make progress or show improvement;
• modifies the required and allowable uses of state leadership funds;
• modifies the required and allowable uses of local funds; and
• maintains the tech-prep program as a separate program, but permits eligible
agencies to consolidate their funding under the basic state grants program and the
This report will not be updated.
Introduc tion ..................................................................................................................................... 1
Structure of the Perkins Act......................................................................................................3
Allotments and Allocations.......................................................................................................3
Reservations ........................................................................................................................ 4
State Allotment Formula.....................................................................................................5
Within State Allocation and Substate Formulas........................................................................6
Within State Allocation.......................................................................................................7
Occupational and Employment Information.............................................................................8
Accountability and Sanctions....................................................................................................9
Core Indicators of Performance at the Secondary Level..................................................10
Core Indicators of Performance at the Postsecondary Level.............................................11
Adjusted Levels of Performance........................................................................................11
Improvement Plans and Sanctions for Eligible Agencies.................................................12
Improvement Plans and Sanctions for Eligible Recipients...............................................13
Types of Plans...................................................................................................................17
State Leadership Activities......................................................................................................17
Uses of Funds....................................................................................................................18
Te ch-prep................................................................................................................................. 18
Equitable Participation of Private School Staff and Students.................................................20
Table 1. Summary of Key Changes Made by Perkins IV................................................................2
Table 2. Comparison of Reserved Amounts Under Perkins III and Perkins IV..............................4
Table 3. Illustration of Calculation of “Additional Funds”.............................................................6
Author Contact Information..........................................................................................................21
The federal government currently provides support for career and technical education through the 1
Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 (Perkins III; P.L. 105-332). The
act authorized funding for vocational and technical education through FY2003, although the th
Congress continued to provide funding under the act through FY2006. The 109 Congress has
passed and the President has signed the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education
Improvement Act of 2006 (Perkins IV; P.L. 109-270), which reauthorizes and amends the Perkins 2
The House version of the legislation (the Vocational and Technical Education for the Future Act,
H.R. 366) was introduced on January 26, 2005. On March 17, 2005, the House Committee on
Education and the Workforce reported H.R. 366 (H.Rept. 109-25). By a vote of 416 to 9, the
House passed H.R. 366 on May 4, 2005.
The Senate version of the legislation was introduced as S. 250 on February 1, 2005. The Senate
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) reported S. 250 on March 9, 2005, 3
without a written committee report. The Senate passed S. 250 by a vote of 99 to 0 on March 10,
2005. The House substituted H.R. 366 for the Senate version of S. 250 and passed S. 250 (House
version) on July 12, 2006, without objection. On July 20, 2006, the conferees met and agreed to
file the conference report. The conference report (H.Rept. 109-597) was filed on July 25, 2006.
The Senate agreed to the conference report by unanimous consent on July 26, 2006. The House,
by a vote of 399 to 1, agreed to the conference report on July 29, 2006. The President signed the
bill on August 12, 2006, P.L. 109-270.
This report analyzes selected changes that P.L. 109-270 made to Perkins III. It begins with a
detailed analysis of changes to funding formulas—both state allotments and within state
allocations. Following this discussion, the report analyzes changes in accountability requirements,
including changes to the core indicators of performance and data reporting, and related sanctions.
Changes to state and local plans and uses of funds are then considered. The next section of the
report examines changes made to the tech-prep program. The report concludes with changes
made to the general provisions of the bill, most notably with respect to the equitable participation
of private school students in career and technical education programs.
Table 1 provides a general comparison of some of the key changes made by Perkins IV. Each of
these changes is discussed in detail in a subsequent section of this report. It should be noted that
the act provides funding to eligible agencies and eligible recipients. An eligible agency is the state
board that functions as the sole state agency responsible for the administration or supervision of
1 The Vocational Education Act (originally enacted in 1963) was named after Carl D. Perkins, the chairman of the
House Committee on Education and Labor, in 1984 (Carl Perkins Vocational Education Act of 1984—P.L. 98-524,
“Perkins I”). The Perkins Act was reauthorized in 1991 (Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology
Education Act—P.L. 101-392, “Perkins II”), in 1998 (Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act
Amendments of 1998—P.L. 105-332, “Perkins III”), and most recently in 2006 (Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical
Education Improvement Act of 2006—P.L. 109-270, “Perkins IV”). For more information about the Carl D. Perkins
Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, see CRS Report RL31747, The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and
Technical Education Act of 1998: Background and Implementation, by Rebecca R. Skinner and Richard N. Apling.
2 The 108th Congress considered bills to reauthorize the Perkins Act (S. 2686 and H.R. 4496) but did not complete
action on these bills.
3 The HELP Committee subsequently filed a written report (S.Rept. 109-65) on May 10, 2005.
career and technical education in a specific state. An eligible recipient receives funding from the
eligible agency and includes, for example, local educational agencies and public or nonprofit
private institutions of higher education that offer career and technical education courses leading to
various outcomes, such as an industry-recognized credential.
Table 1. Summary of Key Changes Made by Perkins IV
Perkins III (P.L. 105-332) Perkins IV (P.L. 109-270)
Refers to “vocational and technical education.” Refers to “career and technical education.”
Specifies set-asides for outlying areas, Indian programs, Reduces the percentage of funds set-aside for outlying
Native Hawaiian programs, and incentive grants. areas from 0.20% to 0.13%.
Eliminates the set-aside for incentive grants. Funds
previously reserved for incentive grants will be used for
basic state grants and be distributed through the formula.
Includes a specific formula for state allotments for the At appropriations levels equal to or below FY2006
basic state grants program and tech-prep program. Set-appropriations, retains current law, including holding all
asides only apply to funds for the basic state grants states harmless at their FY1998 grant amounts.
program. At appropriations levels that exceed FY2006
appropriations, up to one-third of any funds in excess of
the FY2006 level (i.e., new money) will be distributed
specifically to states that would not otherwise receive the
minimum grant amount of ½% of the total funds available
for state grants. The remaining funds will be distributed
through the state grant formula. Once all states reach at
least the minimum grant amount of ½%, all remaining
new money will be distributed through the state grant
Division of state allotment: At least 85% to local Maintains division of state allotment.
recipients, up to 10% for state leadership activities, and
up to 5% for state administration.
States determine the percentage of funds allocated to Changes the data used to allocate funds at the secondary
the secondary and postsecondary levels and distribute level to match actual practice by school districts: 30% of
funds according to specific formulas. At the secondary the funds are allocated based on each school district’s
level, 30% of the funds are allocated based on each share of resident population ages 5 to 17, and 70% of the
school district’s share of population ages 15 to 19, and funds are allocated based on each school district’s share
70% of the funds are allocated based on each school of residents ages 5 to 17 from poor families.
district’s share of individuals ages 15 to 19 from poor
families. At the postsecondary level, funds are allocated
primarily based on an eligible institution’s share of Pell
Establishes a performance accountability system based Establishes six core indicators for the secondary level,
on four core indicators that are identical for the and five core indicators for the postsecondary level.
secondary and postsecondary levels. Only includes Includes performance accountability requirements for
specific performance accountability requirements for eligible agencies and eligible recipients. Eligible agencies
eligible agencies. and eligible recipients must meet at least 90% of their
adjusted levels of performance on each of their core
indicators of performance or be required to develop and
implement an improvement plan.
The Secretary of Education (Secretary) may withhold Continues to allow the Secretary to withhold funds from
funds from eligible agencies that fail to make progress or eligible agencies that fail to meet performance
show improvement. Funds withheld may be requirements. Only state leadership and state
redistributed to other eligible agencies. administrative funds may be withheld. Funds withheld may
not be redistributed to other eligible agencies.
Perkins III (P.L. 105-332) Perkins IV (P.L. 109-270)
No financial sanctions for eligible recipients failing to Creates sanctions for eligible recipients failing to meet
meet performance requirements. performance requirements that could result in a loss of
Authorizes a separate tech-prep program. Maintains a separate tech-prep program, but allows states
to combine their tech-prep funding with their basic state
Permits eligible agencies and recipients to include private Requires eligible agencies and recipients to include, to the
school personnel in in-service and preservice vocational extent possible and upon written request, private school
and technical education professional development personnel in in-service and preservice vocational and
programs. technical education professional development programs.
States that students attending private, religious, or home Explicitly permits eligible recipients to use funds made
schools are not barred from participating in vocational available under this act to provide for the meaningful
and technical education programs under this act. participation of secondary school students attending
nonprofit private schools.
Source: Table prepared by CRS, August 15, 2006, based on P.L. 105-332 and P.L. 109-270.
P.L. 109-270, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006,
amends and revises the Perkins Act. It authorizes “such sums as may be necessary” for FY2007-
FY2012 for Perkins Act programs and activities. The act refers to career and technical
education (CTE) rather than vocational and technical education. Perkins IV retains the overall 4
purpose of the act, making only technical changes.
P.L. 109-270 also retains the overall structure of the Perkins Act. Sections 1 through 9 deal with
certain overarching provisions, such as purposes of the act (Section 2), definitions that apply
throughout the act (Section 3), and authorization of appropriations (Section 9). Title I of the act
authorizes and specifies the central provisions of the act dealing with assistance to states for
career and technical education. Title I-A deals with allotments and allocations. Title I-B specifies
state provisions. Title I-C details local provisions. Title II of the act authorizes the tech-prep
program. Title III contains general provisions related to federal administration of the program
(Part A) and state administration (Part B).
Section 9 of P.L. 109-270 authorizes appropriations for Title I of the act, except for three sections
that have separate authorizations: Section 114, dealing with national activities; Section 117,
4 The act retains, with some modifications, the specific ways in which the purpose of the act will be accomplished and
adds four new strategies for accomplishing the purpose: (1) by building on the work of states and locals “to develop
challenging academic and technical standards and to assist students in meeting such standards;” (2) by providing
technical assistance that improves the quality of CTE staff; (3) by supporting partnerships; and (4) by providing
opportunities for lifelong learning.
authorizing funding for tribally controlled postsecondary career and technical institutions; and
Section 118, authorizing funds for occupational and employment information.
Perkins IV, like previous versions of the act, requires the Secretary of Education (Secretary) to
reserve amounts for certain purposes from funds appropriated under Section 9. However, as
shown in Table 2, Perkins IV makes several changes in these reservations to reflect certain
changes in the act.
Table 2. Comparison of Reserved Amounts Under Perkins III and Perkins IV
Purpose of reservation Reservation percentage under Reservation percentage under
Perkins III Perkins IV
Reservation for Pacific outlying
areas (Section 115) 0.20% 0.13%
Reservation for Indians and Native
Hawaiians (Section 116) 1.50% 1.50%
Reservation for incentive grants 0.54% no reservation
Remainder allotted to states 97.76% 98.37%
Source: Table prepared by CRS, August 15, 2006, based on P.L. 105-332 and P.L. 109-270.
The amount reserved for assistance for outlying areas5 has been reduced from 0.2% of funds
appropriated under Section 9 to 0.13%. This reduced percentage reflects the fact that two freely
associated states (FASs)—Micronesia and the Marshall Islands—are no longer eligible for
Perkins funding because the United States and these FASs have signed an agreement to extend 6
their Compacts of Free Association.
In addition, P.L. 109-270 increases the amount of direct grants to outlying areas (Section 115).
Under Perkins III, Guam received a direct grant of $500,000 and American Samoa and the
Northern Marianas each received direct grants of $190,000. Remaining funds were then
distributed to the Pacific Regional Educational Laboratory (PREL), which would make grants to
these three outlying areas and to eligible FASs. Under current law, direct grants are $660,000 for
Guam and $350,000 each for American Samoa and the Northern Marianas. For the first fiscal
year after the enactment of Perkins IV (FY2007), the Secretary distributes remaining funds to
PREL as before. In subsequent years, remaining funds are divided equally among the three
outlying areas. Finally, Palau receives a direct grant of $160,000 for as long as it is eligible for
As Table 2 illustrates, the percentage reserved for assistance for Indians and Native Hawaiians
under Section 116 has not changed. However, the reservation for incentive grants has been
5 Currently outlying areas receiving funds under this provision are American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Palau will cease to be eligible for Perkins funding when it enters
into an agreement to extend its Compact of Free Association. Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands does not
receive funding under this reservation because it is considered a state for the purposes of the state allotment formula.
6 For further information, see CRS Report RL31737, The Marshall Islands and Micronesia: Amendments to the
Compact of Free Association with the United States, by Thomas Lum.
repealed. These funds are now distributed to states under the “State Allotment Formula”
Of funds appropriated under Section 9, Perkins IV, slightly more than 98% is allotted to states
based on the formula detailed in Section 111. The underlying formula is identical in Perkins III
and Perkins IV: Funds are initially allotted based on three population groups (population ages 15 7
to 19, 20 to 24, and 25 to 65). These initial allotments are adjusted by states’ per capita income
(PCI), such that states with below average PCIs tend to receive somewhat increased grants, and
those with above average PCIs tend to receive somewhat decreased grants.
Perkins IV maintains the state allotment formula used under Perkins III unless “additional funds”
are available above the FY2006 funding level. If funding allotted to states contains no “additional
funds,” the formula is unchanged. That is, the initial formula factors are applied, subject to the
minimum grant provisions and to the provision that holds states harmless at 100% of their 8
FY1998 grant amount. Assuming appropriations are level funded at the FY2006 amount, states
with growing populations, such as Arizona and North Carolina, will tend to receive increased
grants. States at their FY1998 grant amounts, such as Vermont and Wyoming, will continue to 9
receive those grant amounts. Other states’ grants will tend to decline, as funding shifts to states
with more rapidly growing populations.
P.L. 109-270 modifies the state allotment formula when there are “additional funds” above the
amount allotted to states for FY2006. “Additional funds” are defined as amounts in excess of
funds allotted to states for FY2006, plus the amount set-aside for incentive grants for FY2006 and
$827,671. These additions to the amount allotted to states in the base year ensure that funds
previously reserved for incentive grants and funds previously reserved for outlying areas no
longer eligible for funding (the specified dollar amount) are not considered “additional funds,” 10
which trigger the formula changes discussed below.
Table 3 illustrates how “additional funds” would be calculated assuming a 1% overall increase in
FY2006 appropriations under Section 9. First the FY2006 state grant amount would be calculated
by subtracting the set-asides from the total appropriation ($1.182 billion minus $26.5 million =
$1.156 billion), which was the amount allotted by formula to states for FY2006. Next the amount
7 Each population group is weighted in the formula with the 15-19 age group receiving the largest weight.
8 For a detail discussion of the state formula under Perkins III, see CRS Report RL33419, Vocational Education: State
Grant Formula Under Current Law and Reauthorization Issues, by Rebecca R. Skinner and Richard N. Apling.
9 If funding drops below the FY1998 amount allotted to states (approximately $1 billion), state grants will be ratably
reduced (i.e., all grants will be reduced by the same proportion).
10 The calculation to determine the amount of “additional funds” available is complicated by two factors. First,
beginning in FY2007, funding for incentive grants will no longer be set-aside. Funds that would have been set-aside in
previous years will be distributed through the basic state grant formula. Thus, to avoid having the additional funding
available for state grants as a result of the elimination of the incentive grants be considered “additional funds,” this
amount must be added to the FY2006 base that must be exceeded to trigger the new formula. The change to the
percentage of funding set-aside for outlying areas creates a similar situation. As less funding is needed to support the
outlying areas in FY2007 and subsequent years than was needed in FY2006, the excess funds are distributed through
the state allotment formula. The amount of excess funds ($827,671) must be added to the FY2006 base that must be
exceeded to trigger the new formula. Thus, neither the addition of the incentive grant money nor the excess funding for
the outlying areas is considered “additional funds.”
for incentive grants ($6.384 million) and $827,671 are added to the state formula amount. This
results in the FY2006 “base” amount of $1.163 billion. Any funds in excess of this base amount is
defined as new money, which is allotted as described below. In Table 3, this amount is $1.175
billion (the amount allotted to states by formula) minus $1.163 billion (the FY2006 base amount)
which equals $11.631 million (the additional funds).
Table 3. Illustration of Calculation of “Additional Funds”
Appropriations, reservations, and Increase of 1% over FY2006
calculations FY2006 (Perkins III) total (Perkins IV)
Total appropriated under Sec. 9 $1,182,387,690 $1,194,211,567
Outlying areas $2,364,775 $1,552,475
Indians and Native Hawaiians $17,735,815 $17,913,174
Incentive grants $6,384,894 NA
Remainder allotted to states $1,155,902,206 $1,174,745,918
FY2006 base = (FY2006 Additional funds = FY2007
Formula for calculations remainder allotted to states + remainder allotted to states -
incentive grants + $827,671) FY2006 base
Calculation of FY2006 base and
additional funds $1,163,114,770 $11,631,148
Source: Table prepared by CRS, August 15, 2006.
Note: Amounts may vary slightly due to rounding.
Up to one-third of the “additional funds” (about $3.88 million based on the example in Table 3)
would be allotted to states (except for the Virgin Islands) with FY2006 grants that are less than
the minimum grant amount of ½% of the current-year funds allotted to states. Based on the
example, these would be states with FY2006 grants less than $5.87 million (i.e., ½% of the
amount allotted to states—$1.175 billion), which would be Alaska, Delaware, District of
Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South
Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. The “additional funds” for these “qualifying” states would be
allotted in proportion to how much below the minimum grant amount of ½% each state’s FY2006
grant is. For example, Vermont and Wyoming, with FY2006 grants of $4.2 million, would receive
larger amounts of funding than Maine and Rhode Island, which received FY2006 grants of nearly
$5.8 million. As a result of this allotment procedure, none of these states could receive more than
the minimum grant amount of ½% of the current amount allotted to states. The remaining funds
(at least two-thirds of the “additional funds” or about $7.75 million based on the above example)
would be allotted to the other states based on the underlying formula, except that no state would
receive a grant less than its FY1998 grant.
The Perkins Act specifics how funds received by states must be allocated with respect to the
percentage reserved at the state level and the percentage subsequently distributed to the local
level. It also specifies how funds must be distributed at the local level.
As under prior law, Section 112 requires states to distribute at least 85% of state grant funds to the
local level (i.e., to eligible recipients, such as local educational agencies (LEAs) and community
colleges). States may reserve up to 10% of the funds distributed to the local level for eligible
recipients in rural areas and in areas with high percentages or high numbers of career and
technical education students. States have complete discretion in how much of local funding is
distributed for career and technical education at the secondary level versus postsecondary career
and technical education.
States may reserve up to 5% of their grants (or $250,000 if that amount is greater) for
“administration of the State plan.” P.L. 109-270 continues to require states to match 11
administrative funds “on a dollar-for-dollar basis.” States may use up to 10% of the state grant 12
for state leadership functions.
Perkins IV continues to specify substate formulas for distribution of Perkins grant funds to
eligible recipients (Sections 131 and 132). The act does not change the distribution of funds for
eligible postsecondary institutions (e.g., community colleges) and consortia of such institutions.
Funds continue to be distributed based on each eligible institution’s number of Pell grant
recipients and recipients of assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. For example, if an
eligible institution accounted for 10% of all such recipients among all eligible institutions in a
state, that institution would receive 10% of the funds the state set-aside for postsecondary career 13
and technical education.
P.L. 109-270 does change the substate formula for distribution of funds for secondary school CTE
programs, although this change should have no practical impact. Under prior law, 30% of funds
designated for secondary education programs were to be distributed based on school districts’
shares of resident population ages 15 to 19; and 70% of funds were to be distributed based on
shares of individuals ages 15 to 19 from poor families. The act permitted the Secretary to waive
this formula if a state could demonstrate “that a proposed formula more effectively targets funds
on the basis of poverty” (Section 131(c)(1)). Because population and poverty data for the 15 to 19
age group are not available at the school district level, the Secretary has waived the application of
this formula (apparently for all states). Instead, the Secretary has allowed states to use resident
population and poverty data for ages 5 to 17, which is available at the school district level
because these data are used to allot grants under Title I-A of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act (ESEA). P.L. 109-270 codifies this procedure in law: 30% of funds designated for
secondary education programs is distributed based on school districts’ shares of resident
11 The Perkins Act has no other matching requirements.
12 See the discussion of state leadership activities for required and permitted uses of these funds.
13 This assumes that the grant is at least $50,000, which continues to be the minimum grant an eligible institution can
population ages 5 to 17;14 70% is distributed based on shares of residents ages 5 to 17 who are 15
from poor families.
Section 114 of the Perkins Act authorizes certain national programs and activities, such as a
national assessment of vocational education, research, and dissemination. Such sums as may be
necessary to conduct these activities are authorized for FY2007 through FY2012.
Similar to Perkins III, an independent advisory panel advises the Secretary on the evaluation and
assessment of CTE programs funded under the act. Perkins IV, however, includes greater 16
specification of membership on the independent advisory panel. The contents of the assessment
are similar under Perkins III and Perkins IV, but Perkins IV adds additional requirements. For
example, in examining teacher preparation and qualifications, it is recommended that this include
whether CTE faculty meet teacher certification or licensing requirements. The evaluation must
also consider career and technical education achievement, in addition to academic achievement
and employment outcomes. It must also examine the “extent and success of the integration of
rigorous and challenging academic and career and technical education” and the outcomes of such
integration on academic and technical proficiency achievement. The assessment must also
determine whether CTE programs are preparing students for employment in occupations in which
mathematics and science skills are critical. An interim report on the assessment must be submitted
to Congress on or before January 1, 2010. A final report must be submitted on or before July 1,
With respect to the conduct of research, the Secretary shall make a competitive award to a single 17
entity or consortium of entities to establish a single national research center. Under Perkins III,
multiple national research centers could be supported. Under Perkins IV, the center’s research
must focus on conducting scientifically based research and evaluation. This work, among other
goals, must address the education, employment and training needs of CTE participants, including
special populations. It must also focus on improving the implementation of CTE programs that
are “integrated with coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards.”
The research and evaluation must also be used to improve the preparation and professional
development of CTE staff, including the recruitment and retention of staff.
Section 118 of the Perkins Act authorizes the Secretary to provide assistance and funding to state-
designated entities that collect and disseminate occupational and employment information. These
entities are jointly designated in each state by the Governor and the state agency that oversees
14 Alternatively states may use student membership data they report to the National Center for Education Statistics
through the Common Core of Data survey.
15 The minimum grant requirement remains $15,000 with certain exceptions, such as grants to rural school districts and
charter schools. Otherwise, districts that would be eligible for grants less than $15,000 are required to form consortia
with other districts in order to receive a combined grant that reaches or exceeds this minimum grant amount.
16 State directors of CTE, chief executives, and representatives of small businesses must be included as panel members.
17 The Secretary shall award a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement to an institution of higher education, a public
or private nonprofit organization, or a consortium of such entities.
career and technical education. Perkins IV adds a state application process that requires the
jointly designated state entity to submit an application to the Secretary at the same time the state
submits its state plan under Section 122 (see discussion in subsequent section). The application
must include information as required by the Secretary, as well as information based on trends 18
provided in accordance with Section 15 of the Wagner-Peyser Act. Perkins IV also alters
authorized state-level activities under Section 118. For example, Perkins III states that designated
entities must provide programs to assist “individuals” to improve career and occupational
decision making. Perkins IV changes the language to “students (and parents, as appropriate).” A
possible impact of such changes would be to target occupation and employment information
programs rather than to make such programs available to the population in general. Other changes
include an emphasis on preparing relevant staff to provide parents and students with exposure to
high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations, and to assist state entities in creating
educational resources and training that include information on these types of occupations.
In Perkins IV, Congress acted to strengthen and substantially change accountability requirements
(Section 113) and the associated sanctions for failing to meet these requirements (Section 123).
Highlights of these changes include the following:
• specifies separate core indicators of performance for the secondary and
• links established between secondary core indicators of performance and ESEA;
• requires eligible recipients to accept state-adjusted levels of performance or
negotiate their own adjusted levels of performance with the eligible agency for
each of the core indicators of performance at the secondary and postsecondary
• requires annual data reported on eligible agencies’ and recipients’ progress in
meeting their core indicators of performance to be disaggregated as required for
data reporting under ESEA;
• requires eligible agencies and recipients to meet at least 90% of an adjusted level
of performance for each core indicator of performance, or be required to write an
• allows the Secretary to withhold only state leadership and administrative funds
from eligible agencies that fail to make progress or show improvement, but no
longer allows funds withheld to be redistributed to other eligible agencies; and
• permits eligible agencies to withhold funds from an eligible recipient, but
requires the funds be used by the eligible agency to provide services to students
who would otherwise have received services from the eligible recipient.
18 Section 15 of the Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended by the Workforce Investment Act (P.L. 105-220), requires the
development and maintenance of a nationwide employment statistics system.
Perkins IV establishes six explicit core indicators of performance at the secondary level. Both
eligible agencies and eligible recipients are required to establish measures for each of the
indicators. Many of the core indicators of performance included in Perkins IV are similar to those
required under Perkins III but include several modifications, such as establishing links to ESEA.
It should be noted that Perkins was last reauthorized in 1998, prior to the reauthorization of ESEA
that included the new requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Under Perkins III, eligible agencies were required to include measures of “student attainment of
challenging state established academic ... proficiencies” in their identification of core indicators
of performance. The first core indicator of performance under Perkins IV must measure student
attainment of challenging academic content standards and student academic achievement
standards. The standards used in this measure must be the ones adopted by the state under Title I-
A of the ESEA (Section 1111(b)(1) and (b)(3)). Student attainment of these standards must be
based on the state determined levels of proficiency for assessments required under Title I-A of the 19
ESEA in math, language arts, and, beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, science.
Similar to Perkins III, the second core indicator of performance must measure student attainment
of career and technical skill proficiencies. Unlike Perkins III, however, it does not require the
student attainment of “challenging” career and technical skill proficiencies. Perkins IV specifies,
however, that measures of student attainment may include student achievement on technical
assessments that are aligned with industry-recognized standards, if such assessments are available
The third core indicator of performance is also similar to an indicator included in Perkins III.
Eligible agencies must measure student rates of attainment of a secondary school diploma. They
must also measure student rates of attainment of a General Education Development (GED)
credential or state recognized equivalent for a high school diploma, including alternative
standards for individuals with disabilities. States must also measure student rates of attainment of
a proficiency credential, certificate, or degree in conjunction with a secondary school diploma, if
the state makes this option available to students. Based on the most recent performance data 20
available, only 17 states offered the latter option to students.
The fourth core indicator of performance requires eligible agencies to measure student graduation
rates as required under Title I-A of the ESEA. Under the ESEA, graduation rates for secondary
students are defined as the “percentage of students who graduate from secondary school with a
regular diploma in the standard number of years” (Section 1111(b)(2)(C)(vi)). Thus, students who
take longer than the standard number of years to graduate, earn a GED in lieu of a regular
diploma, or earn some type of alternative high school diploma would not be counted as graduates
under this measure. Perkins III did not include a similar core indicator of performance.
The last two core indicators of performance are nearly identical to those included in Perkins III.
The eligible agency must measure student placement in postsecondary education or advanced
19 For more information about the testing requirements under Title I-A of the ESEA, see CRS Report RL31407,
Educational Testing: Implementation of ESEA Title I-A Requirements Under the No Child Left Behind Act, by Wayne
20 U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Report to Congress on State Performance
for Program Year 2003-2004, available online at http://www.ed.gov.
training, placement in military service, and placement in employment.21 The eligible agency must
also measure student participation in and completion of CTE programs that lead to employment 22
in non-traditional fields.
Perkins IV includes five core indicators of performance at the postsecondary level. Both eligible
agencies and eligible recipients are required to establish measures for each of the indicators.
Several of the core indicators of performance included in Perkins IV are similar to those required
under Perkins III.
Similar to Perkins III, the first core indicator of performance must measure student attainment of
“challenging” career and technical skill proficiencies. Perkins IV specifies, however, that
measures of this attainment may include student achievement on technical assessments that are 23
aligned with industry-recognized standards, if such assessments are available and relevant.
The second and third core indicators of performance focus on completion and retention at the
postsecondary level. The second core indicator of performance requires measures of student
attainment of an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, or a degree. The third core indicator
of performance requires measures of student retention in postsecondary education or transfer to a
bachelor’s degree program. While Perkins III addressed completion and retention, it was not as
specific as Perkins IV. For example, it did not require measures of student transfers.
The fourth core indicator of performance, similar to Perkins III, requires measures of student
placement in military service or placement or retention in employment. Perkins IV adds
placement in apprenticeship programs to the required measures. It also specifies that measures of
employment must include student placement in high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand
occupations or professions.
The final core indicator of performance is identical to the final core indicator of performance at
the secondary level. Eligible agencies and recipients must measure student participation in and 24
completion of CTE programs that lead to employment in non-traditional fields.
Eligible agencies and eligible recipients are required to negotiate adjusted levels of performance
for each of the core indicators for which they will be held responsible. For eligible agencies, this
process is essentially identical to the process used under Perkins III. Based on input from eligible
recipients, the eligible agency establishes levels of performance for each of the core indicators in
its state plan. The eligible agency then negotiates adjusted levels of performance for the core
21 The core indicator of performance under Perkins III also required measures of completion or retention. These have
been included under the core indicators of performance at the postsecondary level under Perkins IV.
22 The core indicator of performance under Perkins III referred to “non-traditional training and employment.” Perkins
IV now refers to this as “non-traditional fields.”
23 This indicator is nearly identical to a core indicator of performance for the secondary level, except that at the
secondary level attainment of “challenging” career and technical skill proficiencies is not required.
24 The core indicator of performance under Perkins III referred to “non-traditional training and employment.” Perkins
IV now refers to “non-traditional fields.”
indicators with the Secretary for the first two program years and then reaches agreement prior to
the third program year and the fifth program year for adjusted levels of performance for the
relevant time period. As under Perkins III, the agreement on the state adjusted levels of
performance must take into account the state adjusted levels of performance established by other
eligible recipients, while considering the characteristics of the participants served and the specific
services offered, as well as the extent to which the levels will promote continuous improvement
on the core indicators of performance.
Under Perkins IV, eligible recipients will also be required to establish levels of performance for
each of the core indicators in their local plans. Eligible recipients have the option of accepting the
state adjusted levels of performance as their own or negotiating with the eligible agency to
establish new local adjusted levels of performance. If an eligible recipient chooses to negotiate its
adjusted levels of performance, the process will mirror the process at the state level. The
agreement on the local adjusted levels of performance must take into account the local adjusted
levels of performance established by other eligible recipients, while considering the
characteristics of the participants served and the specific services offered, as well as the extent to
which the levels will promote continuous improvement on the core indicators of performance.
Each eligible agency will continue to be required to submit an annual report detailing its progress
in meeting its adjusted levels of performance on the core indicators of performance to the
Secretary. Perkins IV also requires eligible recipients to submit annual reports describing their
progress in meeting their indicators to the eligible agency. Under Perkins IV, eligible agencies and
eligible recipients are required to disaggregate the data for each of the indicators of performance,
including any additional indicators selected by the eligible agency or recipient, based on the
categories of students included in Title I-A of the ESEA for data reporting purposes. That is, data
must be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, migrant status, English 25
proficiency, and status as economically disadvantaged (ESEA, Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(i)). After
disaggregating the data, eligible agencies and recipients must identify and quantify any
discrepancies or gaps in performance between the specific categories of students and overall
Under Perkins IV, if a state fails to meet at least 90% of an adjusted level of performance for any
of the core indicators, it is required to develop and implement a program improvement plan. This
plan must give special consideration to performance gaps identified among categories of students.
Perkins III required a state to develop and implement a program improvement plan if it failed to
meet the state adjusted levels of performance. In practice, this meant that states only had to
develop an improvement plan if they missed their adjusted levels of performance in the aggregate
(e.g., poor performance in meeting one adjusted level of performance for a core indicator could
be compensated for by exceeding the adjusted level of performance for another core indicator).
Similar to Perkins III, if the Secretary determines that an eligible agency is not carrying out its
state plan appropriately or is not making “substantial progress” in meeting the goals of the act, as
25 Eligible agencies and recipients are not required to disaggregate data for a category of students if doing so would
reveal personally identifiable information.
determined by the state’s adjusted levels of performance, the Secretary may provide technical
assistance to the eligible agency to implement improvement strategies.
If an eligible agency fails to implement a required improvement plan, fails to make any
improvement on the indicators that triggered the improvement plan within the first year of
implementation of the improvement plan, or fails to meet at least 90% of the state adjusted level
of performance for the same core indicator of performance for three consecutive years, the
Secretary may, after providing the eligible agency with an opportunity for a hearing, withhold all
or a portion of the eligible agency’s funding for state leadership and administration. This is a
substantial departure from the sanction provisions contained in Perkins III, under which an
eligible agency could be sanctioned for failing to meet its state adjusted levels of performance for
two or more consecutive years. The Secretary was also permitted to withhold any funds received
by the state under this title, including funds that would otherwise be provided to eligible 26
Perkins IV requires that funds withheld from an eligible agency be used only to provide technical
assistance, assist in the development of an improved state improvement plan, or other relevant
improvement activities to benefit the state. The Secretary will no longer be permitted to
redistribute funds withheld from one eligible agency to other eligible agencies as was possible
under Perkins III. Finally, Perkins IV retains the exception included in Perkins III that allows the
Secretary to waive financial sanctions due to “exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances” or a
“precipitous and unforseen decline” in the state’s financial resources.
Under Perkins IV, the requirements for improvement plans and sanctions for eligible recipients
are similar to those imposed on eligible agencies. If, after reviewing the eligible recipient’s
progress in meeting its local adjusted levels of performance, the eligible agency determines that
the eligible recipient failed to meet at least 90% of an agreed upon local adjusted level for any of
the core indicators of performance, the eligible recipient will be required to develop and
implement a program improvement plan. The program improvement plan must provide special
consideration to performance gaps identified among categories of students.
Under Perkins III, if an eligible agency determined that an eligible recipient was not making
substantial progress in achieving the state adjusted levels of performance, the eligible agency was
required to assess the educational needs of the eligible recipients, enter into an improvement plan
with the eligible recipient, and conduct regular assessments of the eligible recipient’s progress in
meeting the state adjusted levels of performance. Under Perkins IV, eligible agencies are required
to provide technical assistance to eligible recipients failing to meet their responsibilities or make
substantial progress in meeting the purposes of the act as determined based on their local adjusted
levels of performance.
26 It does not appear that this option has been used frequently, if at all. For Program Year (PY)2000 through PY2004,
Federal Register notices have been published indicating whether states exceeded their adjusted levels of performance
for their core indicators of performance. Across these years, only three times did a state fail to exceed its adjusted levels
of performance for two consecutive years. It is not clear whether these states also failed to meet (rather than exceed)
their adjusted levels of performance. For more information, see Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 85, pp. 22119-22121
(PY2000); Vol. 68, No. 92, pp. 25640-25643 (PY2001); Vol. 69, No. 75, pp. 20950-20952 (PY2002); Vol. 70, No. 80,
pp. 21816-21818 (PY2003); and Vol. 71, No. 82, pp. 25244-25246.
Perkins III did not include specific sanctions to be applied to eligible recipients subsequently
failing to show improvement, and no specific sanctions that would result in an eligible recipient
losing funding. Perkins IV subjects eligible recipients to similar financial sanctions as imposed on
eligible agencies. After providing an opportunity for a hearing, an eligible agency may withhold
all or a portion of an eligible recipient’s funding if the eligible recipient fails to make any
improvement on the indicators that triggered the improvement plan within the first year of
implementation of the improvement plan, or fails to meet at least 90% of the state adjusted level
of performance for the same core indicator of performance for three consecutive years. Funds
withheld must be used to provide services and activities to students in the area that would have
otherwise been served by the eligible recipient. Funds may not be redistributed to other eligible
For eligible agencies, both current law and Perkins IV includes an exception to financial
sanctions due to exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances. This exception is extended to
financial sanctions for eligible recipients. In addition, the eligible agency may opt not to impose
sanctions if the small size of the eligible recipient’s CTE program affects its performance.
Perkins III provided states with flexibility to select performance measures most appropriate for 27
meeting their goals. This resulted in a multitude of definitions and measurement strategies 28
across states, making state-to-state data comparisons virtually impossible. In response, ED
awarded a grant for the Performance Measurement Initiative, a project to develop and pilot test
new secondary and postsecondary assessment and accountability measures for academic and
career and technical programs that build on existing state and local data systems.
Perkins IV contains language that may partially address the data comparability issue. It requires
that when identifying core indicators of performance and other indicators of performance, states
shall, to the extent possible, define the indicators so that they are aligned with similar data
collected for other federal and state programs. The usefulness of this requirement, however, may
depend upon how it is implemented by states and interpreted by ED. For example, if states rely
on definitions used within their states, and these definitions vary from state to state, it may be
difficult to obtain comparable data among states. The data comparability issue could also be
complicated if some states opt to use federal definitions for measures, while other states use state
definitions that do not match the federal definition. As pointed out by ED, however, if the
measures of the core indicators of performance selected by each state were valid and reliable, as
required by Perkins IV, it would be possible to make comparisons of an individual state’s 29
performance from year to year even if the performance of all states could not be compared.
27 Under National Activities (Section 114), the Secretary is charged to “ensure the performance information system is
compatible with other federal information systems.”
28 U.S. Department of Education, Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 Report to Congress
on State Performance: Program Year 1999-2000. Available online at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/
29 U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical
Education Act of 1998: Program Year 2003-2004, report to Congress on state performance, 108th Cong., 2nd Sess.,
Sept. 2005, available online at http://www.ed.gov.
To receive funding, all eligible agencies are required to submit a state plan to the Secretary under
Section 122. Under Perkins IV, these plans must cover a six-year time period rather than a five-
year time period as required under Perkins III. Perkins IV also contains specific transition
provisions to provide eligible agencies time to adjust to the new requirements of the law (Section
4). Eligible agencies are permitted to submit a transition plan for the first fiscal year following the
enactment of Perkins IV. They will then submit state plans to cover the remaining five years of
the authorization. In practice, a timetable for transitioning from the requirements of Perkins III to
Perkins IV may resemble the following:
• April 2007: States submit transition plans to the U.S. Department of Education
• 2007-2008 school year: Transition year and baseline data collection; and
• Summer 2008: Establish adjusted levels of performance (discussed in a
subsequent section of the report).
In developing the state plan, both Perkins III and Perkins IV require eligible agencies to consult
with a variety of interested parties. Perkins IV expands the list of interested parties with whom
the eligible agency must consult to include, for example, academic and career and technical
education administrators, career guidance and academic counselors, and charter school
State plans submitted by eligible agencies are required to include specific information. While
Perkins IV incorporates many of the same requirements of Perkins III, it modifies several existing
requirements and adds several additional requirements. Below is a summary of substantial
changes and additions made to the plan contents. Selected key changes are subsequently
discussed in greater detail.
The state plan must:
• describe the career and technical programs of study for career and technical
content areas that meet specific requirements and how the programs will be
developed and implemented;
• detail how the eligible agency will assist eligible recipients in developing
• describe how the eligible agency will publicize career and technical programs of
study offered by eligible recipients;
• include criteria that will be used to determine the extent to which the local plan
will promote continuous improvement in academic achievement and technical
skill attainment, and identify and address current or emerging occupational
• explain how CTE programs will prepare secondary students, including special
populations, to graduate with a diploma;
• detail how funds will be used to develop or improve CTE courses at the
secondary level that will be aligned with the academic content and student
achievement standards adopted by the state under ESEA Title I-A, are relevant
and challenging at the postsecondary level, and lead to employment in high skill,
high wage, or high demand occupations;
• describe how the eligible agency will ensure that best practices among eligible
recipients and tech-prep recipients are shared;
• detail how academic and career and technical education at the secondary and
postsecondary levels will be linked to improve achievement;
• describe how the eligible agency will report on and evaluate the integration of
CTE programs with coherent and rigorous content aligned with state academic
• describe how professional development will promote the integration of academic
content standards and CTE curricula, increase the percentage of teachers meeting
licensure or certification requirements, be sustained and of high quality,
encourage applied learning, improve instruction for special populations, improve
the use of data, and promote integration with professional development activities
carried out under Title II of the ESEA and Title II of the Higher Education Act;
• detail how the recruitment and retention of CTE faculty and the transition to
teaching from business and industry will be improved;
• explain how the transfer of subbaccalaureate CTE students to baccalaureate
programs will be facilitated;
• describe how CTE will be integrated with academics to ensure learning in the
core subjects and career and technical subjects;
• develop a plan for negotiating local adjusted levels of performance;
• include assurances that the eligible agency will comply with the requirements of
the act and its state plan; and
• describe how data will be reported.
Two of the most significant changes include the specification of elements that CTE programs
must include and a greater emphasis on academic achievement, particularly evidenced by the
links that must be established to academic requirements included in the ESEA. First, CTE
programs of study must include both secondary and postsecondary education elements. They
must include “coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and
relevant career and technical content in a coordinated, nonduplicative progression of courses”
aligning secondary and postsecondary education. The programs may also include opportunities
for dual or concurrent enrollment or other strategies for students to earn postsecondary credits.
Finally, the programs must lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the
postsecondary level or an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
The state plan must also discuss how the state will link CTE with requirements included under the
ESEA. For example, the plan must specify how funds will be used to improve or develop new
CTE courses that are aligned with student academic achievement standards adopted by the state
under the ESEA (Section 1111(b)(1)). The eligible agency must also describe how learning in the
core academic subjects defined under the ESEA will be ensured. Section 9101(11) of the ESEA
defines the core academic subjects as language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages,
civics and government, economics, art, history, and geography.
Similar to Perkins III, states will continue to have the option to submit unified plans under the
Workforce Investment Act (WIA; P.L. 105-220, Section 501). Otherwise, under Perkins IV, states
not opting to consolidate their basic state grant funding with their tech-prep funding must fulfill
the state plan requirements for the basic state grants program and tech-prep by submitting a single
Perkins IV retains many of the same required and permissible uses of state leadership funds as
Perkins III with some modifications and adds several new uses of funds (Section 124). For
example, eligible agencies will have to use state leadership funds to provide professional
development focused on the use of scientifically based research and data to improve instruction.
Professional development must be high quality, sustained, and intensive, and should not be based
on one-day or short-term training sessions. In addition, professional development programs must
support education programs to ensure that teachers and other staff are able to develop a higher
level of academic and industry knowledge and skills in CTE and effectively use applied learning.
While Perkins IV retains many of the same permissible uses of funds as Perkins III, there are
some notable differences. For example, Perkins IV adds new uses of funds for career guidance
and academic counseling, facilitating transitions from subbaccalaureate CTE programs to
baccalaureate degree granting institutions, developing assessments of technical skills, developing
and enhancing data systems, and improving the recruitment and retention of CTE staff and the
transition of individuals from business and industry into CTE. Eligible agencies are also
permitted to use state leadership funds to award incentive grants to eligible recipients meeting
various criteria, such as exceeding local adjusted levels of performance, developing connections
between secondary and postsecondary education, integrating coherent and rigorous content that is
aligned with academic standards and technical coursework, or having special populations meet
local adjusted levels of performance. Incentive grants may also be awarded to eligible recipients
that combine funding with other eligible recipients for innovative initiatives.
To receive funding, all eligible recipients are required to submit a local plan to the eligible agency
under Section 134. These plans must cover the same time period covered in the state plan. Under
Perkins IV, state plans must cover a six-year time period rather than a five-year time period as
required under Perkins III.
Similar to the contents of state plans, Perkins IV retains many of the provisions for local plan
content contained in Perkins III with some modifications, including linkages to ESEA provisions.
For example, the local plan must describe how the academic and technical skills of students will
be improved through the integration of “coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging
academic standards and relevant career and technical education programs to ensure learning in
the core academic subjects” as defined in the ESEA. Other provisions require the eligible
recipient to ensure that CTE students will enroll in rigorous and challenging courses in the core
academic subjects, and that professional development will be provided to promote the integration
of coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant CTE.
The local plan must also describe how the eligible applicant will offer at least one career and
technical program of study that meets the requirements of these programs as described in the
requirements for the state plan, and how the eligible recipient will improve the recruitment and
retention of CTE staff and the transition of individuals from business and industry into CTE.
Both required and allowable uses of funds are stipulated for local recipients. Many of the uses of
funds included in Perkins IV were previously included in Perkins III but have been modified.
Among the required uses of funds, significant changes and new uses of funds include, for
example, establishing linkages to the core academic subjects defined under the ESEA,
establishing linkages between secondary education CTE and postsecondary CTE, providing
training to support the effective integration of challenging academics and CTE, providing training
to enable staff to use scientifically based research and data to improve instruction, and providing
activities specifically to prepare special populations for high skill, high wage, or high demand
occupations leading to self-sufficiency.
Several new uses of funds were added to the permissible uses of funds. For example, funds may
be used to provide career and academic counseling that improves graduation rates, provides
information on postsecondary education and career options, and assists postsecondary students,
including adult students. They may be used to establish local education and business partnerships
including developing adjunct faculty arrangements for industry professionals and obtaining
industry experience for teachers. Funds may also be used to develop initiatives that facilitate the
transition of students from subbaccalaureate CTE programs into baccalaureate degree programs,
including the development of articulation agreements and dual or concurrent enrollment
programs. The local recipient may also use funds to develop new CTE courses and programs of
study, including for consideration by the eligible agency; courses that prepare individuals for high
skill, high wage, or high demand occupations; and courses that create dual or concurrent
enrollment opportunities for secondary education students. Local recipients may also pool their
funds with at least one other local recipient to support innovative initiatives, such as improving
the initial preparation and professional development of CTE staff or improving accountability
data collection or reporting.
The provisions for administrative costs are identical under Perkins III and IV. Eligible recipients
may use up to 5% of their funds for administrative costs.
The tech-prep program is authorized under Title II of the Perkins Act. During congressional
consideration of Perkins IV, there was debate about whether tech-prep should be retained as a
separate program or integrated into the basic state grants program. The compromise that was
reached on this issue allows tech-prep to remain a separate program, but adds new provisions that
permit eligible agencies to combine their tech-prep funds with their state grant funds. If eligible
agencies choose to combine program funds, funds are considered as being allotted under the basic
state grants program and must be distributed to eligible recipients in accordance with the formulas
pertaining to that program. All eligible agencies that want to receive tech-prep funding, regardless
of whether they choose to consolidate funds or not, must describe in their state plan required
under Section 122 how tech-prep activities will be coordinated with other activities described in
the state plan.
Perkins IV also expands the contents of tech-prep programs and establishes a link between the
programs and ESEA. Under Perkins IV, a tech-prep program of study is required to build student
competence in technical skills and in the core academic subjects as defined under ESEA, as
appropriate, through “applied, contextual, and integrated instruction, in a coherent sequence of
courses.” A tech-prep program of study is also required to integrate academic and career and
technical instruction with work-based learning experiences when possible; provide technical
preparation in a career field; lead to technical skill proficiency, an industry-recognized credential,
a certificate, or a degree in a specific career field; lead to placement in further education or in
high skill or high wage employment; and use CTE programs of study, to the extent practicable.
Tech-prep programs are also required to use articulation agreements; provide in-service
professional development for teachers, faculty, and administrators; and provide professional
development on using and accessing data, including student achievement data. Professional
development programs for counselors must include a new focus on aiding staff in providing
comprehensive career guidance and academic counseling to tech-prep students, including
students from special populations. Finally, a tech-prep program must coordinate its activities with
activities conducted under Title I of the act.
Perkins IV also includes two additional permissible uses of funds. Tech-prep funds may be used
to improve career guidance and academic counseling through the use of graduation and career
plans. Funds may also be used to develop curricula to aid in transitions between secondary and
postsecondary CTE programs.
Substantial changes were also made with respect to accountability provisions and associated
sanctions. Under Perkins III, tech-prep recipients were not subject to specific accountability
requirements or sanctions. Rather, each eligible agency receiving funds was required to report
annually to the Secretary on the effectiveness of tech-prep programs. Under Perkins IV, each
consortium receiving funding is required to establish and report on the following indicators of
performance with respect to tech-prep participants:
• number of secondary and postsecondary education students served;
• number and percent of secondary education students who enroll in postsecondary
education, enroll in postsecondary education in the same field of study pursued at
the secondary level, complete a state or industry-recognized credential or
licensure, earn postsecondary credit while enrolled at the secondary level, and
enroll in remedial math, writing, or reading courses in postsecondary education;
• number and percent of postsecondary education students who are placed in a
related field of employment not later than 12 months following graduation from
the program, complete a state or industry-recognized credential or licensure,
compete a two-year degree or certificate program within the normal time of
completion for the program, and complete a bachelor’s degree within the normal
time of completion for the degree.
Each consortium receiving tech-prep funding must enter into an agreement with the eligible
agency to meet a minimum level of performance on the aforementioned indicators of
performance, as well as on the core indicators of performance established at the secondary and
postsecondary levels (see previous discussion). If a consortium does not meet these performance
levels for three consecutive years, the eligible agency must require the consortium to resubmit an
application for a tech-prep grant. In addition, if grants are made to consortia on a formula basis,
the eligible agency may terminate funding to a consortium that fails to meet its performance
levels for three consecutive years.
Perkins IV authorizes “such sums as may be necessary” for FY2007-FY2012 for tech-prep. The
tech-prep demonstration program, however, was not reauthorized. The demonstration program
was last funded in FY2005 at $4.9 million.
Perkins III permitted eligible agencies and eligible recipients to include secondary education staff
in nonprofit private schools in the geographical area served by the eligible agency or recipient to
participate in vocational and technical education professional development activities (Section
317). Perkins IV modifies this provision to require, “to the extent practicable, upon written
request,” eligible agencies and eligible recipients to include the aforementioned private school
personnel in career and technical education professional development activities upon written
request of the private school personnel.
Perkins III did not specifically address the issue of the equitable participation of secondary school
students enrolled in nonprofit private schools in programs and activities funded under the act,
stating only that students were not barred from participation (Section 313). Perkins IV adds new
provisions making it optional, upon written request, for eligible recipients to provide for the
“meaningful” participation of these students in career and technical education programs and
activities (Section 317). In addition, upon written request, the eligible recipient must consult “in a
timely and meaningful manner” with representatives of nonprofit private schools located in the
geographical area served by the eligible recipient to discuss the meaningful participation of
secondary education students attending these schools in career and technical education programs
and activities funded under this act.
Rebecca R. Skinner Richard N. Apling
Specialist in Education Policy Specialist in Education Policy
firstname.lastname@example.org, 7-6600 email@example.com, 7-7352