Perkins V

‚ÄčThe Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) was signed into law by President Trump on July 31, 2018. This bipartisan measure reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) and continued Congress’ commitment in providing nearly $1.4 billion annually for career and technical education (CTE) programs for our nation’s youth and adults.

Perkins V represents an important opportunity to expand opportunities for every student to explore, choose, and follow career and technical education programs of study and career pathways to earn credentials of value. As States and local communities embark on the development of new plans for CTE, the Department hopes that the videos, resources, links, and media found below and throughout this Website can be useful tools for States and local recipients in "rethinking CTE" and arriving at bold goals under the newly-authorized Perkins V statute.

Video Library


CTE Data Story (Interactive feature)

Front of card

Why rethink CTE?

So students have more pathways and better preparation for what comes next.

  • 7,136,000 unfilled jobs open in the United States
  • By 2020, 2/3 of jobs will require some postsecondary education
  • 85% of the jobs today's learners will do in 2030 haven't been invented yet
  • 1/4 of high schools don't offer CTE courses
  • $1.5 trillion in college debt

Students deserve better.

Employers demand better.

America must do better.

Back of card

Rethink School

Question Everything


  • Aren't work-based learning and "earn and learn" programs the rule and not the exception?
  • Can't employers play a larger role in preparing students for their futures?
  • Is CTE for some and not all students?
  • Must students wait until middle and high school to explore career interests?
  • Haven't we developed a teacher pipeline to meet the needs of existing and emerging career pathways in every community?
  • Isn't every community empowered to create high-quality CTE approaches to meet local needs?
  • Do barriers exist between the levels and types of education?
  • Is access to high-quality CTE often limited by zip code?
  • Is a credential considered the "end of the line" for learning?

History of the Act

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).

Links to Legislation



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