The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) is a principal source of federal funding to states and discretionary grantees for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the nation. The purpose of the Act is to develop more fully the academic, career, and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students who elect to enroll in career and technical education programs.
The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 was the first authorization for the Federal funding of vocational education. Subsequent legislation for vocational education (now termed career and technical education) included the Vocational Act or 1973 and the Carl D. Perkins Act of 1984 (Perkins). Perkins was reauthorized as the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act (Perkins II) in 1990, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 1998 (Perkins III), and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV).