Policy & Advocacy

Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act Reauthorization

Open Education

On July 25, 2018, Congress approved H.R.2353 reauthorizing the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Thanks to the support of SPARC’s allies in Congress, the bill includes for the first time provisions permitting open educational resources (OER) as an allowable use of funds for state and local CTE activities.

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 supports the development of academic and career and technical skills among secondary education students and postsecondary education students who elect to enroll in career and technical education (CTE) programs. The law was due for reauthorization in 2012, and after several attempts in the 114th and 115th Congress, was reauthorized in July 2018 by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R.2353).

While the reauthorization did not make sweeping changes, it did make several improvements to the federal CTE framework, including placing a greater emphasis on expanding dual and concurrent enrollment programs. Relevant to SPARC’s issues, the bill inserted language under Title I permitting “making all forms of instructional content widely available, which may include use of open educational resources” as an allowable use of funds under State Leadership Activities (Sec. 124) and Local Use of Funds (Sec. 134).

The inclusion of OER in the bill was championed by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), and follows similar provisions included in 2015’s Elementary and Secondary School Act reauthorization.

Legislative History

  • S.3344 – Innovation for Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (114th Congress – Introduced 9/15/16) Section 3 would insert “making all forms of instructional content widely available, which may include use of open educational resources” as an allowable activity under State Leadership Activities and Local Uses Of Funds. (SPARC statement)

 

 

 

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