Career and Technical Education

5.1    Preamble
Governors recognize career and technical education as a powerful tool to fuel state economies and prepare students for rewarding and productive careers. Thoughtful alignment of these programs to state industry and workforce needs provides governors with the talent pipeline to jumpstart existing businesses and make states more attractive sites for private sector investment and innovation. Career and technical education programs grant students a wide range of educational options to meet their career goals and opportunities to develop in-demand skills that prepare them for a successful life.

Federal investment in career and technical education allows states to maximize the impact of these programs and scale successful programs statewide. As Congress, the Administration and states work together to implement the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins) and consider any future changes to the program, governors offer the following principles to guide that work.

5.2    Principles

5.2.1 State-Federal Partnership

  • Education being an area of primary state responsibility in federalism, federal action should not preempt state laws and policies governing career and technical education except where the national interest is at risk or states have not acted collectively on an issue of legitimate concern.

5.2.2 Governance, Alignment and Collaboration

  • Governors should be the primary applicant for Perkins state grants as they are uniquely positioned to advance career and technical education in states by engaging state and local education and workforce agencies, the business community, higher education, state workforce boards and state boards of education to create a continuum of career and technical training and align career and technical education with their state’s labor market.
  • Governors and states should be granted authority to determine how career and technical education programs fit the demands of their state economies. Perkins should allow governors to collaborate with business leaders and industry sectors to fuel economic development by ensuring that targeted labor demands in states are being met through state-designed, innovative delivery approaches.
  • Governors support alignment of federal education and workforce training programs and believe that Perkins should facilitate collaboration across programs in other key federal legislation, such as the Higher Education Act, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act.

5.2.3 Leadership, Flexibility and Accountability

  • Governors strongly support the Perkins state leadership set-aside and urge Congress to increase the percentage of Perkins funds that states can reserve to change the paradigm of college and career readiness through state-led, statewide career and technical education innovation that benefit all students.
  • Congress should maintain and enhance Perkins flexibility to create career and technical education programs that meet each unique state situation, such as authorizing states to determine the allocation of funds between secondary and postsecondary institutions and allowing states to focus on the important transition from high school to college or career.
  • Governors support the continued use of state-determined accountability systems. Federal policy should continue to recognize the critical state role of determining and setting performance standards that focus on student outcomes and employment to ensure the effectiveness of career and technical education programs.
  • Governors and state workforce agencies have worked collaboratively to develop common measures that streamline the complex system of varying and incomparable performance measures in career and technical education and workforce training into core measures focused on student outcomes. Governors urge Congress to include maximum flexibility for states to link career and technical education accountability with K-12, higher education and workforce performance measures in Perkins.

5.2.4 Funding, Resources and Data

  • Governors have prioritized their commitment to state career and technical education programs amidst declining federal Perkins funding. The federal maintenance of effort provision in Perkins must be redesigned to hold the federal government accountable for their declining support and provide more flexibility for states to dictate how they invest their own funds in career and technical education.
  • Governors believe that vital formula funds to states under Perkins should be preserved and that states continue to have the authority to determine how grants are awarded to local and regional providers.
  • Governors recognize the importance of reliable and useful data to measure student performance in career and technical education programs. Congress should allot additional federal resources to develop, maintain and support state data systems to comply with any new Perkins data collection requirements.


Time limited (effective Winter Meeting 2019 – Winter Meeting 2021).
Adopted Winter Meeting 2019.