The Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act

The Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act

Students Name

Professor’s Name



The Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act was a legislation that was enacted in the year 1990 under the administration of the 41st president of the United States, George Bush. Carl D. Perkins authored the legislation in an attempt to make the changes in the education sector of the US. The motivation behind the legislation is that the act aimed at the creation of a more effective vocational education program by emphasizing accountability and program improvement.

The legislation required that each of the states develop a system of performance standards as well as measures for the secondary and the post-secondary vocational education programs. The legislation also required that curriculum development, teacher training as well as program assessment be included in the state leadership activities. The legislation emphasized on the programs that required a combination of both academic and vocational instructions as well as on the programs responsible for the development of a coherent sequence of courses that start in high school and then continue through the community colleges. The legislation also encouraged cooperative academic linkage between the secondary and post-secondary institutions aimed at providing the students with higher levels of technical competency in schools through vocational training.

The legislation continued to emphasize the importance of providing access to quality vocational education programs to the least advantaged individuals in society. The legislation focuses on the students with limited English proficiency, those with disabilities as well as those who are educationally disadvantaged. Also, the Act set the provisions that required that each of the state receiving funds should set aside a certain percentage for the sex equity programs that can be used for the education of the girls as well as women aged between 14 and 25 years. The Act also requires that the secretary of education should be responsible for the direct submission of two reports prepared by the department of education research and improvement to the Congress.

There are various areas that are impacted by the Act either positively or negatively. The president of the United States is one of the parties that were to be affected by the legislation due to exclusion. Subsection 403(c)(3) of the legislation states that the reports shall not be subject to any review outside the office of educational research and improvement before their transmittal to Congress. The provision was unconstitutional as it aimed to preclude the president from exercising his powers as guaranteed by the constitution to supervise the executive branches to which the Office of Educational Research and improvement was among the executive branches subject to scrutiny by the president.

The educational sector is also affected by the legislation in the sense that the sector was to be transformed to include vocational training and the legislation had been revised to ensure that the students were exposed to contextual learning. Through contextual knowledge, the students were able to learn in the context to which they used the materials relevant to the technical training such as using a welding machine practically when learning about welding. Through this, most of the students would benefit from the inclusion of vocational training in education as they will be able to learn as they practice what they have learnt. Besides, a new curriculum would be developed to incorporate the vocational training in the education system, and therefore the curriculum will be among those areas affected.

With the introduction of the Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, it implies that student will be fully baked when they are done with their studies as they have already learned the skills along with the regular classes. These groups that pass through the new system will be ready to work and set their businesses as well. With respect to employment, the income level of the people will be deemed to rise, and therefore the economic status will be high improving the living standards of the people. It is through income earned through employment and business setups that the general economy will be affected along with the society in general. With the people being trained according to the job market demands, it means that none of the trained people will go to waste and therefore the general economy will rise due to the increased income leading to higher purchasing abilities. The rise on income also means a change in the structure of the society in that when a particular group changes some aspects, there is an imbalance in the social structure and therefore more people will rise to ranks of wealth and get accommodated to higher social, economic classes based on income.

The legislation asserted that a certain percentage of the money gets set aside to cater for the education of the girls and women of ages 14 to 25 through sex equity programs. Gender equity is a status that each nation fights to achieve through various strategies. By the suggestion that a certain percentage of money gets set aside for the training of girls, this is a violation of the equality between genders and can be regarded as discriminatory as the males also need education and therefore such claims can only work if they are strongly backed by justification.

Since the year 1990, the Act has been modified twice in the year 1998 and 2006 to accommodate further changes that deemed detrimental to its application. The changes in 1998 renamed the Act to Perkins Vocational and Applied Act of 1998 and were aimed to increase the requirements for the contextual learning component. The Act also sought to relax some of the structures on how the funding could be spent and as well included the element of student accountability. In the year 2006, the Act was further changed to Perkins Career and Technical Act of 2006 and is the most recent amendment that maintains the provisions of the 1998 version and provided funding for the programs through 2012. The 2006 Act demands a funding of about 1.13 billion dollars per every year of the federal budget. The funding is then distributed to states on the grounds of the population, per capita income and age groups. The state education departments are allowed to use some of the funds in managing the state’s programs. Despite the departments being allowed to use the funding, 85 percent of the funds must be distributed to the school districts and post-secondary institutions directly.

The legislation should be sustained as it has numerous benefits for the United States. For one the United States competes in a global economy, and this suggests that the Perkins Act is vital in the preparation of a workforce with the academic and vocational training skills that are required to compete successfully in a global market. The vocational education is also beneficial as it allows the students to explore more career options and develop the skills that they require both in school and workplace. The legislation is essential in that it is a combination of the classroom’s instructions and job training that are equipped to meet the students’ different learning styles and thus none of the students is left behind in regard to understanding.

It is also worth noting that the legislation’s claim for vocational training and funding equips the students with the necessary skills and therefore prepares them for both post-secondary education and employment as well. The vocational training as well prepares the students for the bulk of America’s jobs as most of the jobs require more than just a high school education and more often requires the post-secondary education such as colleges in the community level. It is therefore essential to sustain the Perkins legislation for the benefit of the American students and economy as well.


Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1990: Public Law 101-392, performance report on federally funded vocational-technical education: Retrieved from: Gordon, H. R. (2014). The history and growth of career and technical education in America. Waveland press.

Kincheloe, J. (2018). How do we tell the workers?: The socioeconomic foundations of work and vocational education. Routledge.

Tech Prep Projects FY 96 Application Guidelines. Title III E of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational & Applied Technology Education Act of 1990: Retrieved from: American Presidency Project: Retrieved from: Department of Education. (2002). The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, Public Law 105-332 Retrieved from:

Vocational, C. D. P. (1990). Applied Technology Education Act of 1990. Public law, (101-392).