Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Perkins Act

At every change of politics in America the Perkins Act comes under scrutiny.

The Carl D. Perkins act provides federal funding for vocational-techincal training of secondary education students beyond the three R's.

Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act
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The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act was first authorized by the federal government in 1984 and reauthorized in 1998. Named for Carl D. Perkins, the act aims to increase the quality of technical education within the United States in order to help the economy.

On August 12, 2006 President George W Bush signed into law the reauthorization of the Act of 1998. The new law, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, was passed almost unanimously by Congress in late July, 2006.

The new law includes three major areas of revision:

1) Using the term "career and technical education" instead of "vocational education"
2) Maintaining the Tech Prep program as a separate federal funding stream within the legislation
3) Maintaining state administrative funding at 5 percent of a state’s allocation
The new law also includes new requirements for “programs of study” that link academic and technical content across secondary and postsecondary education, and strengthened local accountability provisions that will ensure continuous program improvement.

The Perkins Act provides almost $1.3 billion in federal support for career and technical education programs in all 50 States. The law will extend through 2012.

The Association for Career and Technical Education encourages its members to contact their legislators to advocate for Perkins funding. It also provides news and guidance to help career and technical educators understand details of the law.

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act - Basic Grant
Funding Stream:
Funding Amount: $106,733,928 (FY 2008)

Eligibility Requirements: Application required by school districts and community college districts.

Program Basics:
Federal basic aid grants help state and local schools offer programs to develop the academic, vocational and technical skills of students in high schools, community colleges, and regional technical centers.

Funds from this program can be used for a broad range of programs, services, and activities designed to improve CTE programs and ensure access to students who are members of populations with special needs.

85 percent must be distributed by the state for local CTE programs (51 percent to districts to administer ROCPs and 34 percent to postsecondary institutions)
10 percent allocated for leadership activities
5 percent for administrative activities
The Perkins Act requires funding to be allocated via formula, with 30 percent based on total K-12 enrollment and 70 percent based on the number of K-12 students eligible for the federal free- and reduced-priced lunch program.

From my experience as a teacher, parent, tax-payer and many other roles, the Perkins Act has been a good one for this country.

I urge your support by clicking on this sentence and voting to support continuing this legislation.

It is our tax money at work for the good of all of us. That beautiful meal in the picture represents a small portion of our tremendous agricultural industry we all take for granted!

Ed Winkle

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