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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 13, 2016.
Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act
This bill reauthorizes through FY2022 the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, divides career and technical education (CTE) students into CTE concentrators and CTE participants, and revises requirements for within-state funding allocations.
The bill also revises requirements for core indicators of performance, including state adjusted levels of performance, to differentiate those for CTE concentrators who graduate from high school and for CTE concentrators at the postsecondary level.
The bill repeals the separate mandate for tech prep education.
No state, beginning with FY2020, shall receive a fiscal year allotment that is less than 90% of the previous fiscal year's allotment.
The bill increases funding reserved for career and technical education activities in rural areas and areas with high percentages or numbers of career and technical education students.
The Institute for Education Sciences shall act for the Department of Education (ED) to appoint the independent advisory panel on the evaluation of CTE programs. The bill revises requirements for the contents of an evaluation.
ED shall (currently, may) carry out research, development, capacity building, and technical assistance with regard to career and technical education programs.
ED may award grants to eligible entities, including local educational agencies and area CTE schools, to:
create, develop, implement, or take to scale evidence-based, field initiated innovations, including through a pay for success initiative to improve CTE student outcomes; and evaluate such innovations rigorously. Grant priority shall be given to eligible entities that predominantly serve low-income students.
The bill revises specified funding-related provisions regarding Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
The bill reauthorizes through FY2022 grants for tribally controlled CTE institutions and repeals the authorization for assistance for certain occupational and information activities.
State plans shall be for four years instead of six years.
The bill revises requirements for:
such plans, as well as state program improvement plans and state leadership activities; local applications for CTE programs, including a comprehensive CTE needs assessment, and local uses of funds; and state maintenance of efforts, including administrative penalties for failure to meet maintenance requirements. The bill permits a state, in order to receive its full fiscal year career and technical education funding allotment, to: (1) continue to use its existing fiscal effort per student or aggregate expenditure in determining qualifying expenditure levels, or (2) establish a new level of fiscal effort per student or aggregate expenditure.
The Government Accountability Office shall evaluate:
the strategies, components, policies, and practices used successfully by eligible agencies or eligible recipients receiving funding to assist all students in pursuing and completing programs of study aligned to high-skill, high-wage occupations, as well as any specific underrepresented subgroup of students; and any challenges associated with replication of such strategies, components, policies, and practices. The Wagner-Peyser Act is amended to revise the duties of a state agency receiving federal assistance for participation in the nationwide employment statistics system of workforce and labor market information.