Analyst in Education Policy
The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (Perkins IV; P.L. 109-270) supports the development of academic and career and technical skills among secondary education students and postsecondary education students who elect to enroll in career and technical education (CTE) programs, sometimes referred to as vocational education programs. Perkins IV was authorized through FY2012, which ended on September 30, 2012. The authorization is extended through FY2013 under the General Education Provisions Act. This report provides a summary of potential reauthorization issues that Congress may consider in the 113th Congress.
Potential reauthorization issues and recommendations have been put forward by the Department of Education, the Obama Administration’s blueprint for reauthorization of Perkins IV, stakeholder and advocacy groups, and program evaluations. If Congress considers reauthorization of the Perkins act, key issues may include the following:
- To what extent should the federal government support CTE and in what ways, given competing priorities and an environment of fiscal constraint?
- How can the validity, reliability, and consistency of Perkins IV performance measures be improved to better assess program effectiveness while still allowing states flexibility to structure their CTE programs to meet state/local needs?
- How can the technical skills, academic/disciplinary proficiency, pedagogical, and classroom management capabilities of pre-service and in-service CTE teachers be maximized to ensure CTE students are academically and technically proficient?
- How can the secondary to postsecondary transitions and postsecondary completions of CTE students be facilitated and increased?
- What kinds of relationships should be fostered between the Perkins act, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA; P.L. 105-220), and business and industry to strengthen the nation’s workforce development system?
- What is the optimal involvement of local business and industry representatives in the development and maintenance of CTE programs to ensure the CTE programs provide relevant curriculum and technical skills that respond to regional or national labor markets and that maximize the students’ post-education opportunities?
- How should Perkins IV funds be allocated to the states in the event of a potential decrease in funding levels?
- Should the Perkins IV funding mechanism be modified to balance the continuation of CTE programs with increased innovation in the development and delivery of CTE programs?
Date of Report: December 14, 2012
Number of Pages: 16
Order Number: R42858
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