The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, first authorized in 1984 by the federal government, was reauthorized in 1998, 2006, and 2018.
What is the Perkins Act?
While providing approximately $1.2 billion dollars annually, the Perkins Act does the following:
• Puts a focus on the academic achievement of Career and Technical Education (CTE) students
• Strengthens the connections between secondary and postsecondary education
• Provides state and local authorities with more flexibility over distributing funds and holds local officials accountable with setting and making progress on their CTE goals
The primary purpose of the Perkins Act is to further develop the academic, career, and technical skills of secondary and post-secondary students who choose to enroll in CTE programs. With an emphasis on work-based learning, the Perkins Act is a great program that goes a long way in providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure workplace success after graduation.
The Perkins Act does not replace educational programs; it supplements them. Grant funds from Perkins should be used for the educational programs that are offered with state and local resources. In order to comply with this requirement, school districts must use Perkins funds to provide supplemental services that normally would not have been offered were it not for the Perkins funds. The district cannot divert state and local money away from any CTE activity simply due to the fact that Perkins funds are being allocated.
How Perkins Funds are Allocated
Federal funding to states from the Perkins Act comes in the form of BSGs (Basic State Grants). This is based on the state’s population and per capita income. Before they receive the Perkins funding, states must submit a plan to the US Dept. of Education. This plan should describe the CTE programs that will be funded along with how the state will support teachers and other school faculty with the CTE program. The states then allocate 85% of the amount to school districts and post-secondary institutions.
One of the requirements of the Perkins Act is the input of teachers, parents, and students for all phases of the plan. The states are also required to follow performance indicators to meet goals and objectives, including graduation rates for CTE students, in order to make sure the funds are being spent properly.
How Technology Can Help
There is a major opportunity for technology to help satisfy these requirements. Americaneagle.com has developed a software program called StudentLINK to help connect students with their career goals. This software can be a major part of any state plan because it provides the tools that will help students, parents, and teachers effectively communicate, engage, and collaborate.
StudentLINK is an all-in-one student readiness platform that was specifically designed to set students up for post graduate success. It guides school administrators on meeting state requirements for graduation through easy-to-use dashboards where guidance counselors and teachers can see how the students are doing at any point during the school year. Reporting provides meaningful insights to:
• Track individual student progress
• Steer the course selection process
• Influence students to accomplish their individual goals
Students can build their own individualized path to college, trade school, and beyond with StudentLINK. Through interactive assessments and planning tools, they will be able to recognize their existing strengths and skills and how they can translate those attributes into an exciting post graduate career.
Educators, administrators and counselors have the power to measure student goals, manage college preferences, and monitor student progress through a robust backend dashboard. Communicate with ease through mass alerts and one-on-one messaging with students, parents, or guardians. These tools are designed to satisfy state requirements for Student Readiness Programs.
Parents and guardians can stay engaged with secure, separate account access where they can message teachers, monitor their students’ academic progress, and stay informed and aligned with the requirements needed to graduate.
StudentLINK easily integrates with existing academic platforms and includes dedicated support and training. Our talented team of technology professionals can get a program up and running quickly for staff and faculty in any school district. As one of the world’s leading technology companies, we’re proud to offer a program like StudentLINK to help parents and educators track progress and set students up with a foundation for post graduate success.
I urge any interested parties to check out the link on our website and get a demo of this powerful student readiness platform!