Monday, July 31, 2006

Perkins Almost Crosses the Finish Line

On March 10, 2005 the Senate approved by a vote of 99-0, S. 250, Carl D.

Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2005, a bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998. On May 4, 2005, the House of Representatives followed suit and passed its Perkins reauthorization bill, H.R. 366, Vocational and Technical Education for the Future Act. After 16 months of practically no activity on the measure, except at the staff level, Conferees were appointed on July 12 and 13. The actual Conference Committee lasted 10 minutes, and the Senate approved the final Perkins bill by unanimous consent on July 26. The House is expected to pass it some time today - or at least before they go into recess.

The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Improvement Act of

2006 is authorized for six years (fiscal years 2007 - 2012) and is based on S. 250. Broad themes referenced throughout include improving accountability; providing a rigorous and challenging academic education (often mentioning "coherent sequence of courses" as a way to integrate academics with career and technical education programs); increasing focus on math and science fields; ensuring effective use of federal funding; and enhancing professional development for career and technical education professionals. New provisions include the development and implementation of Graduation and Career Plans as an allowable use of funds at the Local level as well as within Tech Prep.

In addition, the important role school counselors play in CTE was recognized throughout the bill, beginning with one of the stated purposes of the legislation to "improve the quality of career and technical education teachers, faculty, administrators, and counselors." Language expanding professional development opportunities for "career guidance and academic counselors" was added as well as the mandatory involvement of career guidance and academic counselors in the overall academic success of career and technical education students.

To review the full bill, go to:



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