From education to employment

US Congress Ends Year Long Debate on Career and Technical Education

The re ““ authorisation of career and technical education in the United States of America finally drew to a close recently as Congress approved the agreement on the Perkins legislation.

The announcement means that the debate concerning issues within technical and career education (which would largely fall within the remit of the FE sector in the UK) has been ended after a year long debate. The Congress and Senate conferees have agreed to the reauthorisation of the Perkins Act, aiming to provide critical support to career technical education and support the drive towards a better skilled workforce and thus a more competitive economic position.

Leading Edge of Training and Education

The United States of America faces the same challenges as Britain does as a largely post ““ industrial economy, albeit with a larger remnant of industrial production. The transition to a consumer and customer service economy has naturally been a rocky road to traverse, and the migration of labour from the USA formed a central campaign platform for both Presidential Candidates in 2004. With other nations gaining in the provision of training whilst still offering wider profit margins (thanks to the disparity in wages, benefits and living costs) training has never been of more importance for economic success.

As such, the legislation is targeting the problems that the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) place highest on their list. These include retaining 5% for state administration purposes, developing and strengthening accountability, and providing greater support for career clusters and pathways.


Education anywhere seems to be an organism acutely aware of the importance of lines of division and the precision required in describing responsibilities and developing brand name recognition. As such, one significant recognition gained from the Conferees was the acceptance that the modern terminology of “Career and Technical Education” should remain separate from “Tech Prep”.

Expressing her satisfaction at the announcement, NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberley Green commented: “The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) appreciates and congratulates the Congress on its support and resilience to complete the reauthorization of the Perkins Act this year. This legislation is the result of many advocates and the Congress working together to craft federal policy that will build on and extend existing best practices and successes, as well as promote innovation in career technical education.”

Jethro Marsh

Stay here for the latest in FE with FE News!

Related Articles