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In February, National Skills Coalition released an issue brief regarding reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act.
Authorization for the Perkins Act expired at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2012, but Congress has temporarily extended the program through FY 2013. Congress may make efforts to reauthorize the Perkins Act before it expires at the end of the fiscal year. Last April, the Obama Administration released its blueprint for Perkins reauthorization, which could serve as a starting point for negotiations over reauthorization.
Should policymakers decide to take up Perkins reauthorization in this Congress, NSC has three key policy recommendations:
Ensure the Programs of Study Model Works for All Learners. The existing Programs of Study (POS) model lacks access points for out-of-school youth, dislocated workers, and low-skilled adults, including those individuals that may not have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. If policymakers choose to expand the POS model – which NSC supports – they should ensure that there are multiple points of entry for adult learners.
Improve Program and Outcome Measure Alignment. NSC is supportive of proposals in the Administration’s Perkins blueprint to require common definitions for performance indicators across the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and the Higher Education Act (HEA). Those common definitions should also be extended to Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), Adult Basic Education (ABE) and other human capital programs.
Policymakers should also ensure that programmatic success is not solely defined as the successful transition from secondary to postsecondary education. Outcome measures should be reflective of the individuals served and should also focus on the transition from education to employment.
Engage Employers Through Sector Partnerships. Policymakers should fund new local capacity for sector-based workforce strategies that bring together multiple employers and other stakeholders connected to a specific industry – including the public workforce system, education and training providers, unions, and community-based organizations – to develop immediate and long term workforce development strategies to support that industry’s growth and competitiveness.
NSC will continue to provide updates on Perkins Act reauthorization as they become available.