House introduces bill to reauthorize Perkins Act

May 04, 2017

The House Education and Workforce Committee today introduced the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” a bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act through Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. It is a bipartisan effort, introduced by Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).

The legislation includes several changes to current law supported by National Skills Coalition, such as provisions to align postsecondary outcome measures with performance indicators under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and to strengthen alignment between WIOA and Perkins state planning efforts.

The bill is almost identical to legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House in September 2016. Reauthorization stalled last session in the Senate, due to disagreements about the level of authority the Secretary of Education should have over performance targets.

The House made a few minor modifications from its previous bill, including a change to state “maintenance of effort” requirements that would allow states to reduce their CTE funding by 10 percent from current levels. It also contains new language requiring the Secretary to provide technical assistance to CTE programs that need performance improvements.

The Committee is expected to consider the legislation later this spring, and National Skills Coalition will monitor the bill’s progress.