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Department of Education Calls Perkins V a ‘New Era in Career and Technical Education’

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act in the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) was implemented in states around the country back in July. Since then, $1.3 billion has been promised to school districts, states and community colleges through 2019 to career and technical education initiatives.

“Our team is so encouraged by the way states have embraced the spirit of this new law and are rethinking career and technical education on behalf of their students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “The work is just beginning though. As states begin to think about their long-term career and technical education strategies, I would encourage them to continue to act boldly and break down the silos that exist between education and industry so that all students are prepared for the in-demand, high-paying jobs of today’s economy and tomorrow’s.”

The Department of Education provided six examples of state transition plans:

  • Changing the amount of federal funding that states direct to community colleges and high schools based on labor market demands and employer needs.
  • Building partnerships between high schools and postsecondary institutions by encouraging the submission of a single local “consortia” application, which allows for the pooling of resources for shared purposes.
  • Refining definition of size, scope, and quality of career and technical education programs to incorporate more elements of the Department’s Programs of Study Framework and the Association for Career and Technical Education’s Definition of High-Quality CTE.
  • Piloting online courses for students, teachers, and faculty members.
  • Requiring that all students complete “Individualized Success Plans.”
  • Experimenting with competency-based learning and integrating traditional academic coursework with technical skill coursework.

“States are well on their way to realizing the promise of Perkins V,” said Scott Stump, the Department’s assistant secretary for career, technical and adult education. “Innovations like these will expand opportunities for more of America’s learners to acquire the right knowledge and skills, at the right time, for the right next step in their careers and lives.”

Full four-year Perkins V state plans are due to the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education in April 2020. The Department will continue to provide technical assistance to states as they develop their long-term plans.

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