House Committee Releases Perkins Career and Technical Education Act Reauthorization Bill

By Kermit Kaleba, June 28, 2016

The House Education and Workforce Committee today released the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” a new bill that would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act through Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The bill makes a number of policy changes intended to strengthen alignment between Perkins-funded CTE programs and other education and training programs, including activities funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Among other things, the bill would:

  • Establish funding levels for  FY 2017-2022, with authorized levels increasing from $1.13 billion in FY 2017 to $1.21 billion in FY 2022; 
  • Strengthen alignment between postsecondary performance measures under Perkins with the common indicators of performance for core programs under WIOA, including requiring measures for employment, median earnings, and attainment of recognized postsecondary credentials. The law would eliminate the current requirements that state eligible agencies negotiate performance rates with the Department of Education, but would require states to publicly report performance on the indicators;
  • Authorize small amounts of funding for “innovation” grants to eligible consortia to create, develop, implement or scale up evidence-based programs to improve CTE outcomes;
  • Reduce the period covered by a Perkins state plan from six years to four years, require input from business and industry (including industry or sector partnerships, where appropriate), and require greater alignment with the state vision and strategy identified under WIOA, including descriptions of career pathways to be developed at the state and local levels;
  • Eliminate the “Tech-Prep” program currently authorized under Title II of Perkins, which was last funded in FY 2010.

The committee has also released a short summary of the bill. While a hearing date has not yet been announced, it is expected that the committee may try to mark up the draft as early as next week, with a goal of trying to advance the bill through the House before they adjourn for the summer on July 15th. National Skills Coalition will provide updates on the legislative process as new information become available, and will provide more detailed analysis of how the proposed bill aligns with our reauthorization recommendations in the next few days.