The federal legislation that funds career and technical education (CTE), the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, was most recently reauthorized in 2018 as the Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act for the 21st Century (Perkins V). Perkins V includes key changes that will impact the implementation of CTE programs, such as an added emphasis on programs of study, the addition of a Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment, and the introduction of new program quality indicators.
The Perkins V Act’s purpose is to develop more fully the academic knowledge and technical and employability skills of secondary and postsecondary students enrolled in CTE programs of study, primarily by
- Building on the efforts of states and localities to develop challenging academic and technical standards;
- Promoting the development of services and activities that integrate academic, career, and technical instruction, and that link secondary and postsecondary education for participating CTE students;
- Increasing state and local flexibility in providing services and activities designed to develop, implement, and improve CTE;
- Disseminating national research, and providing professional development and technical assistance, that will improve CTE programs of study, services, and activities;
- Conducting technical assistance that promotes leadership and professional development to improve the quality of CTE teachers, faculty, administrators and counselors;
- Supporting partnerships among secondary schools, postsecondary institutions, area CTE schools, local workforce investment boards, business and industry and intermediaries;
- Providing individuals with the skills to keep the United States competitive; and
- Increasing the employment opportunities for special populations.
Each eligible recipient that receives funds under this part shall use such funds to develop, coordinate, implement, or improve career and technical education programs to meet the needs identified in the comprehensive needs assessment described in section 134(c).
Funds made available to eligible recipients under the Perkins V grant shall be used to support career and technical education programs that are of sufficient size, scope, and quality to be effective and that—
- provide career exploration and career development activities through an organized, systematic framework;
- provide professional development for a wide variety of CTE professionals;
- provide within CTE the skills necessary to pursue high-skill, high-wage or in-demand industry sectors or occupations;
- support integration of academic skills into CTE programs;
- plan and carry out elements that support the implementation of CTE programs and programs of study and that result in increased student achievement; and
- develop and implement evaluations of the activities funded by Perkins.
The six requirements for eligible recipients of Perkins funding may be fulfilled entirely with Perkins funding or with a combination of Perkins and other funding sources. All six required uses of funds must be fulfilled for a district to receive Perkins funds.