House committee unanimously approves Perkins reauthorization

By Kermit Kaleba, July 07, 2016

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce today voted 37-0 to approve the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” (H.R. 5587), legislation that would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 through Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. National Skills Coalition submitted recommendations on the bill to the committee earlier this week.

The version of the bill approved by the committee was slightly different than the bill released by committee last week, with the most significant difference being a change to the state “maintenance of effort” provisions under the law; the original bill had allowed states to reduce their MOE requirements over time, but the amended version removes this language.

The bill now moves to the full House for consideration, but timing on a floor vote is unclear. Congress will adjourn next week for the national conventions and summer recess, so it seems likely that any action to move the legislation forward will have to wait until September. The Senate has not yet introduced their own Perkins reauthorization bill, though a bipartisan group of Senators on the HELP Committee, including Mike Enzi (R-WY), Bob Casey (D-PA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Patty Murray (D-WA),

 has been working on a draft for several months.

National Skills Coalition applauds the Education and Workforce Committee for their efforts to update and modernize the Perkins Act, and we look forward to working with lawmakers in both the House and Senate to advance a reauthorization that strengthens access to high quality career and technical education for all workers and all industries.