Movement on Career and Technical Education – the “Other” Perkins – Bodes Well for Imminent, Bipartisan Work on HEA

September 23, 2016 · by mlivolsi · Spark Notes

September 19, 2016

Prepared by:  Hannah Allen (   

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, commonly referred to as “Perkins CTE,” by a vote of 405-5, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions has a meeting set for Sept. 21 to work on its version of a reauthorization bill. The original iteration of this law, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, provides federal support to state and local career and technical education programs, but it does not deal with the Perkins Loan Program. The movement of this legislation through the House and Senate, however, signals a bipartisan willingness to tackle education issues and is a positive sign for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the coming year, ideally before the Perkins Loan Program extension expires on September 30, 2017.

Below is a brief overview of the bill from the House Education and the Workforce press release:

  • Empowers state and local community leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds and providing more flexibility to use federal resources to respond to changing education and economic needs.
  • Improves alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
  • Increases transparency and accountability by streamlining performance measures to ensure CTE programs deliver results and empowering parents, students, and stakeholders with a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
  • Ensures a limited federal role by reining in the secretary of education’s authority, limiting federal intervention, and preventing political favoritism.

For more information on Perkins CTE, click here or contact the COHEAO staff in Washington.

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