For Directors, For Teachers, News

Big Win for CTE as Perkins Funding Increased in FY 2018 Omnibus

ACTE’s work and that of other CTE advocates and stakeholders has paid off! Last week, Congress approved the long-awaited omnibus appropriations bill to fund federal programs for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, and Perkins Basic State Grants will receive a $75 million increase! This is the first increase in a number of years for Perkins (the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget actually requested a 15 percent cut to the state grant program) and it is a strong sign of the growing support for CTE on Capitol Hill.

Overall, the omnibus includes a $3.9 billion increase in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, and a $192 million increase for discretionary funding for the Department of Labor. In addition to the Perkins increase, other notable increases include:

  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (ESSA Title IV-A) – Increased $700 million, to $1.1 billion in its second year of funding. This program can provide funding to CTE programs, particularly in the areas of career exploration and college and career guidance, technology and STEM.
  • Pell Grants  Increases the maximum Pell grant by $175, to a total of $6,095.
  • Work Study – Increased $140 million, to $1.1 billion.
  • Apprenticeship Opportunities – Increased $50 million to a total of $145 million.

Congress is already working on FY 2019 funding, so it is important to continue to engage with your Members of Congress to thank them for this initial investment and keep up the momentum for increased CTE funding going forward.


CTE Month


February is Career & Technical Education Month across America, and it is certainly something to celebrate for all of us involved in education.   Of course, those of us involved in CTE see first-hand everyday its benefits.  But for quick reference, or for those of you who may be reading this that do not understand the positive impact of CTE, here’s just a few of those benefits:

  • 91% of high school graduates who earned 2-3 CTE credits enrolled in college.
  • Taking one CTE class for every two academic classes minimizes the risk of students dropping out of high school.
  • Students who take advanced CTE courses in high school see higher earnings, including a 3.2% wage increase for CTE concentrators.
  • 80% of high school students taking both CTE and college prep courses meet college and career readiness goals, versus 63% who are college and career ready through college prep courses alone.
  • According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest growing occupations projected through 2022 require career & technical education.

The list of benefits goes on and on, but if you really want to understand the long-lasting benefits of CTE talk to local industry leaders about what they are looking for in employees.  Chances are, you’ll hear answers that correspond to course standards in CTE courses.  Go into a CTE class, and see how fully students are immersed in the project-based learning that is at the core of every career & technical education course.  Visit with a CTE teacher to hear the success stories of former students who stayed in school and didn’t drop out because of their CTE class.  Once you put it all together, you’ll realize more than ever that CTE Works–for everyone!