Perkins IV | Career and Technical Education Improvement

  • The President signed the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006 into law on August 12, 2006. The Act provides an increased focus on the academic achievement of career and technical education students, strengthens the connections between secondary and postsecondary education, and improves state and local accountability. The purpose of Perkins is to provide individuals with the academic and technical skills needed to succeed in a knowledge- and skills-based economy. Perkins supports career and technical education that prepares its students both for postsecondary education and the careers of their choice.

Background on Perkins

  • Federal resources help ensure that career and technical programs are academically rigorous and up-to-date with the needs of business and industry. The federal contribution to career and technical education, about $1.3 billion annually, supports innovation and expands access to quality programs. State and local funding supports the career and technical education infrastructure and pays teachers' salaries and other operating expenses. Federal funds provide the principal source for innovation and program improvement, and help to drive state support through a "maintenance-of-effort" provision in the federal law.

How Perkins Funding is Allocated

  • Perkins Basic State Grant funds are provided to states that, in turn, allocate funds by formula to secondary school districts and postsecondary institutions. States have control over the split of funds between secondary and postsecondary levels. After this decision is made, states must distribute at least 85 percent of the Basic State Grant funds to local programs using either the needs-based formula included in the law or an alternate formula that targets resources to disadvantaged schools and students. States may reserve up to ten percent for leadership activities and five percent (or $250,000, whichever is greater) for administrative activities. States also receive a Tech Prep grant that can be folded into Basic State Grant funds or used to provide grants to consortia of secondary and postsecondary partners that develop articulated pathways.

Perkins Awards & Accomplishments

Types of Activities Supported

  • State and local funds generally are to be used for the following types of activities:
    • serving as a catalyst for change by driving program improvement
    • developing a strong accountability system that ensures quality and results
    • strengthening the integration of academic and career and technical education
    • ensuring access to career and technical education for special populations, including students with disabilities
    • developing and improving curricula
    • purchasing equipment to ensure that the classrooms have the latest technology
    • providing career guidance and academic counseling services
    • providing professional development and technical assistance for teachers, counselors and administrators
    • supporting career and technical education student organizations
    Current Perkins law allows for more state and local flexibility and raises expectations for students participating in career and technical education by holding them to the specific, valid and reliable accountability standards. States and localities are working within the updated accountability system to develop effective methods to improve programs and measure student progress and success. Information from ACTE.
    For more information, please see publications and resources from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s publications and the Department of Education.  

Perkins Fast Facts

  • Funder: Federal grant, passed through the State
    FY19 Award Amount: $1,686,956
    Time Period: 1 year
    Number of Students Served: 4,500
    Schools Served: CVTE and CTE programs district wide. Sites include Madison Park, Boston Arts Academy, Brighton High School, Boston International High School, Jeremiah Burke High School, East Boston High School, West Roxbury Academy, Tech Boston Academy, and English High School. 
    Program Manager: Michelle Sylvaria