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By O'Brien, Nancy | Techniques, April 2002 | Go to article overview

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O'Brien, Nancy, Techniques


It's hard to believe, but it's getting to be that time again ... Perkins reauthorization! The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act is scheduled to be reviewed by Congress next year. To prepare for this major legislative initiative, ACTE is undergoing a review of the law and is actively seeking input from ACTE members and other interested organizations and individuals on how to structure ACTE's reauthorization proposal. ACTE encourages all members to participate in this critical policy development process. Here's what ACTE has underway now and some opportunities to look for in the coming months:

ACTE will hold meetings at its National Policy Seminar to review key provisions of the 1998 Perkins Act and elicit points of view from conference attendees on how such provisions might be changed in the upcoming rewrite of the law. For example, the state and local accountability provisions of the 1998 law were designed to give policymakers the information they need to determine if funds are being used effectively and, at the same time, give the career and technical education field the ammunition to defend itself against criticisms against this type of teaching and learning. Results are intended to guide educators on how to strengthen programs. Good news could also be used to spearhead new funding initiatives and increases in core programs like the Perkins Basic State Grants and Tech Prep. However, these accountability provisions have been quite burdensome to implement and, to date, have not yielded much information that can be used for its intended purposes. ACTE will seek input on how these accountability measures can be simplified and made more effective so that they are easier to implement and more useful to educators and policymakers. Topics to be reviewed, among others, are the impact of the elimination of the displaced homemaker and gender equity funds, the shift in funds due to the change in the secondary distribution formula within states, potential links to a broader range of postsecondary and job training initiatives such as those provided through the Workforce investment Act and welfare reform and the attempts to address the needs of rural schools and community colleges.

ACTE will use its Web site and e-mail Legislative Network to convey information and ideas about the reauthorization and seek input through surveys and other means on potential policy directives.

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