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Perkins Act – Changes and Opportunities – Including STEM


While the measure was signed into law on July 31, 2018, Perkins V will go into effect on July 1, 2019.

Over the next few months, states will be writing transition plans, which will cover the first year of the law’s implementation (July 1, 2019- June 30, 2020). Full four-year state and local plans, covering all the requirements of the act, will be submitted in spring 2020 (encompassing program years July 1, 2020-June 30, 2024).

The law would authorize $1.229 billion for FY 2019 and gradually increase this authorization level to $1.318 billion in FY 2024, which represents a 10.57 percent increase over the course of the act compared to the amount Congress allocated to the Perkins Basic State Grant program in FY 2018.

Perkins V largely maintained the structure and key tenets of current law, focusing on CTE program improvement, flexibility and data, and accountability.

Perkins V maintains a commitment to driving improvement through programs of study, increases the allowable reserve fund to 15 percent to spur local innovation, and allows support for career exploration in the “middle grades” (which includes grades 5-8).

Perkins V introduces a comprehensive local needs assessment that will require local recipients (e.g., local education agencies, area technical centers, etc.) of these funds to consult with a variety of groups, including educators, administrators, business and industry representatives, parents and students to complete the local needs assessment process.

Those involved with STEM schools could be part of this group of stakeholders who would be responsible for reviewing data and looking at a number of elements including student performance, progress toward implementation of equal access to high-quality CTE courses and programs of study, and whether programs are of sufficient size, scope and quality to meet the needs of all students served by the eligible recipient and are meeting labor market needs.

Perkins V requires that the resources local recipients receive under Perkins be aligned with the results of the local needs assessment.

Kathryn Zekus, Advance CTE’s Senior Associate on Federal Policy

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