Perkins V FAQs


IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS

Question: Are there likely to be regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education?

Answer: There have not been any regulations for Perkins in several decades, so we don’t expect that to change under this Administration. We do expect a state plan guide, which is primarily a process document that describes deadlines and the pieces states have to submit for their transition plans vs. their full plans.


Question: Where can I find the final text of the law as passed that the president signed?

Answer: The official public law is not yet available. However, you can find the final bill as passed by both the House and Senate, here.


ACCOUNTABILITY

Question: What are some of the changes to the accountability system?

Answer: There are a number of changes to the accountability system, both in indicators and process. Related to what states and local recipients will be accountable for, there is a specific new definition of a CTE concentrator included in the law, and each accountability measure is linked to that definition (which at the secondary level is a student who has taken at least two courses in a single program, and at the postsecondary level is a student who has earned 12 credits within a program (or completed a shorter programs)). Those are the students that will form the denominator of the performance measures. The lists of secondary and postsecondary indicators have also been revised, with fewer, but slightly different measures. The full list is available in our Perkins summary. Regarding process, states will no longer specifically negotiate performance targets with the Department of Education, but rather will include those targets in their state plans for approval. However, there are significant new requirements around the target setting and revision processes, both at the state and local levels.


Question: The Technical Skills Attainment (TSA) requirement has been removed in Perkins V. What is the projected impact of this?

Answer: While the specific TSA performance indicator has been removed in Perkins V, it was replaced at the secondary level by a new program quality indicator, and at the postsecondary level by a focus on credential attainment. Even though the TSA requirement was removed, technical skills are still a big focus throughout Perkins V. States can still choose to include attainment on statewide technical assessments as an optional secondary measure if they wish.


Question: What is the definition of work-based learning (WBL) for the program quality indicator?

Answer: There is a definition of WBL in the new law, which is located on page 12 of the bill. The definition talks about a continuum of activities that results in meaningful engagement with business and industry. It does not require WBL to take place at a work site, and offers alternatives like simulated or virtual experiences. For the purposes of the program quality indicator, however, states will need to place additional parameters around exactly what WBL experiences “count” because the definition in the new law does not provide the level of detail that would be needed to define an accountability indicator.


FUNDING

Question: Did the reauthorization actually appropriate any increased funding?

Answer: In short, no. Funding is handled each year through the appropriations process. While Perkins V authorizes a 10.57% increase in funding for Perkins Basic State grants over 6 years, this can be thought of as more of a suggestion. Perkins funding will still need to go through the appropriations process each year, and policymakers can choose to fund Perkins at, below or above the authorized funding levels each year.


Question: Are companies/corporations now eligible for Perkins funding?

Answer: No, for-profit entities and non-educational institutions are not eligible for funding under the Basic State Grant in Perkins V. However, there is a focus on industry and stakeholder input to ensure real-world, relevant curriculum and programs of study. Additionally, there is a new local needs assessment in an effort to align programs with local industry.


OTHER

Question: Perkins V has an expanded definition of “special populations.” What are states required to do with regard to these special populations?

Answer: The new law requires a set-aside for recruiting special populations into CTE as part of the state leadership funds. It also changes the definition, includes special populations in the development and content of state plans, includes them in the local application and needs assessment, and requires their consultation.


Question: Is there a list of new programs that Perkins reauthorization created?

Answer: There were no new federal line-item programs created by Perkins reauthorization. The only thing that might be considered a new program is the new “Innovation and Modernization” grant program within the National programs section of the law. That is an optional competitive grant program that the Secretary can choose to offer out of a portion of the National Programs resources available.


Question: Within the new definition of a “CTE concentrator,” what is the definition of a “course”?

Answer: The law does not provide a specific definition for a “course,” so states will be able to come up with their own definitions. The lack of a definition is similar to the “programs” or “programs of study” piece of that definition. States may choose to create a definition based on length, types of courses, or some other metric.


Question: Does the new law give postsecondary partners more control/oversight of funds?

Answer: No, the new law does not make any changes to the secondary-postsecondary split of funds or the eligible agency. That remains a state-drive decision.


Question: Is there any definition or description of career exploration and career development activities?

Answer: There is no specific definition of career exploration and career development activities, even though that term is used in the section of the law about local uses of funds (although the definition of career guidance and academic counseling is expanded from current law). However, a list of possible (although not required or comprehensive) career exploration and career development activities is included:

  • introductory courses or activities focused on career exploration and career awareness, including non-traditional fields;
  • readily available career and labor market information, including information on—
    • occupational supply and demand;
    • educational requirements;
    • other information on careers aligned to State, local, or Tribal (as applicable) economic priorities; and
    • employment sectors;
  • programs and activities related to the development of student graduation and career plans;
  • career guidance and academic counselors that provide information on postsecondary education and career options;
  • any other activity that advances knowledge of career opportunities and assists students in making informed decisions about future education and employment goals, including non-traditional fields; or
  • providing students with strong experience in, and comprehensive understanding of, all aspects of an industry;

MORE QUESTIONS?

If you have additional questions, please tweet at us (@AskPerkinsV) using #AskPerkinsV. Alternatively, you can email us at publicpolicy@acteonline.org with the subject “Perkins V Question.”