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FAQ

Below are responses to frequently asked questions about Perkins IV. Ask OCTAE a question about Perkins IV.

  • Legislative Issues
  • Federal Funding
  • State to Local Funding
  • Allowable Uses of Perkins Funding
  1. What is the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV)?
    The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV), which took effect in Program Year (PY) 2007 (beginning July 1, 2007), is the principal source of federal funding to states for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs. Each year under Perkins IV, Congress has appropriated more than $1.1 billion dollars for grants to states, including the basic state grants (under Title I) and tech prep grants (under Title II).

  2. How is career and technical education defined?
    Perkins IV defines career and technical education as organized educational activities that offer a sequence of courses that provides individuals with the academic and technical knowledge and skills the individuals need to prepare for further education and for careers in current or emerging employment sectors. Career and technical education includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to student’s academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills.

  3. Where is career and technical education offered?
    Career and technical education is offered in middle schools, high schools, community and technical colleges, and other postsecondary institutions.

  4. How many programs of study must a State offer?
    A State must offer at least two "programs of study" (POSs). Section 122(c)(1)(A) and 122(c)(1)(B) both refer to "programs of study" (POSs) in the plural when requiring a State plan to include a description of the career and technical programs of study, which may be adopted by LEAs and postsecondary institutions, and how the eligible agency will develop and implement the career and technical programs of study, respectively.

  1. How much money do states receive through Perkins IV?
    For PY 2007–08, which corresponds to the Department's FY 2008 appropriation, Congress appropriated just over $1.14 billion dollars under Title I and $102 million dollars under Title II.

  2. What factors determine how much a state receives under Title I?
    Title I grants are allotted to states through a formula based on the states' populations in certain age groups and per capita income. States are then required to distribute not less than 85 percent of their Title I funds by formula to local recipients, area vocational and technical schools, community colleges, and other public or private nonprofit institutions that offer career and technical education programs. Each state determines the split of funds to be distributed to recipients at the secondary versus postsecondary level.

    The state-level agency responsible for administering the Perkins grant may not spend more than 5 percent of their Perkins grant on administrative activities and not more than 10 percent of their award on state leadership activities described in the legislation. Similarly, local recipients may not spend more than 5 percent of their Title I funds on administrative activities.

    A new provision under Perkins IV allows states to consolidate all or a portion of their Title II funds into their Title I allocation. About one-third of all states have opted to do so.

  3. What factors determine how much a state receives under Title II?
    Title II grants are allotted to states through the same formula that is used to fund Title I grant to states (see Question 5 above). The formula is based on the states' populations in certain age groups and per capita income.

  4. Are "reserve" funds awarded under section 112(c) of Perkins IV to an eligible recipient subject to separate Perkins IV performance requirements under section 113?
    No. The performance accountability requirements in section 113 apply to all CTE students in an eligible recipient's CTE program regardless of whether the program receives funding under both sections 112(c) and section 131 or 132. Thus, an eligible recipient would negotiate only one set of performance levels with its State and report data for all of its CTE students that meet its State's definition of "CTE participant" or "CTE concentrator." In other words, if "CTE programs" are funded with the reserve funds, these programs would be part of any accountability system covered by section 113 regardless of the source of Perkins funding.

  1. How do states allocate Title I funds to local recipients?
    States determine what share of Title I funds should be allocated to secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs in their state. Over the past five years, states allocated an average of 60 percent of their funds to secondary education programs and 40 percent to postsecondary education programs. For PY 2007–08, the states allocated an average of 63 percent of their funds to secondary education programs and 36 percent to postsecondary education programs.

    States determine the amount of funds for each local recipient based on secondary and postsecondary allocation formulas that are described in sections 131 and 132, respectively, of Perkins IV.

  2. How do states allocate Title II funds to local recipients?
    States distribute their Title II funds by formula or competitive process to local consortia comprising local recipients and institutions of higher education as defined in the legislation. Local consortia also may include employers, business intermediaries, or labor organization.

  1. What are allowable uses for Perkins IV funds?
    Section 124 of Perkins IV describes required and permissible uses for funds by states. Section 135 of Perkins IV describes required and permissible uses of funds by local recipients.

  2. Where can individuals locate information about career and technical education programs in their state?
    Individuals are encouraged to contact the agency that administers the Perkins IV grant in their state.

  3. Can an eligible recipient use funds awarded under Perkins IV to pay the fee for a student's technical skill assessment that is aligned with industry-recognized standards and that is related to the student's CTE coursework?
    Yes in certain limited circumstances as discussed below. If the eligible recipient uses the technical assessment results to report performance data to the State as required by section 113 of Perkins IV, an eligible recipient could use funds awarded under Perkins IV to pay the fee for a student's technical skill assessment that is aligned with industry-recognized standards. A technical skill assessment that is aligned with industry-recognized standards is, for example, one that is recognized by a third-party association such as American National Standards Institute. Section 135(c)(20) of Perkins IV allows an eligible recipient to support career and technical education activities that are consistent with the purpose of Perkins IV. Additionally, section 135(c)(19)(D) specifically allows two or more eligible recipients to pool funds for innovative initiatives which may include implementing technical skills assessments, and thus it would appear that such activities would meet the intent of section 135(c)(20).

    Nevertheless, the eligible recipient also must consider whether paying for students' technical assessments would be an efficient use of limited Perkins funds and whether the costs would be reasonable and necessary. Further, the use of funds for technical skills assessments would be subject to the supplanting prohibition in section 311(a) of Perkins IV. Finally, an eligible recipient must fund only a career and technical education program that is of sufficient size, scope, and quality to bring about improvement. See section 134(a)(6) of Perkins IV.