H.R. 5587, Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, as amended

H.R. 5587

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, as amended

September 13, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On­­­­ Tuesday, September 13, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5587 was introduced on June 28, 2016, by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by a unanimous vote of 37-0 on July 7, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5587 reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins Act) to help more Americans enter the workforce with the skills necessary to compete for and succeed in high-wage, high-demand careers. The bill accomplishes the goals by (1) empowering state and local community leaders; (2) improving alignment with in-demand jobs; (3) Increasing transparency and accountability and (4) ensuring a limited federal role. Specifically, the legislation:

  • Simplifies and streamlines the state application requirements and process;
  • Allows providers to complete local applications, and partner with local stakeholders to perform reviews to help career and technical education (CTE) programs meet the needs of local communities;
  • Permits states to set aside up to 15 percent of federal funds to assist students in rural areas or regions with a significant number of CTE students.
  • Promotes work-based learning and encourages state leaders to better integrate CTE services with other state-led job training programs;
  • Encourages stronger engagement with employers by ensuring local business leaders are involved in the development of state and local CTE plans;
  • Empowers state leaders with more flexibility to direct federal resources to CTE programs that provide students with skills to fill available jobs in their states and communities;
  • Streamlines the number of performance measures used to evaluate CTE programs and aligns academic standards with those set by each state under the Every Student Succeeds Act;
  • Streamlines the number of performance measures at the postsecondary level and aligns them with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act;
  • Allows states to set performance goals through an open process that includes input from local education leaders, parents and students, workforce development boards, community and business representatives, and others;
  • Requires states to include target levels of performance in the state plan and report annually the results;
  • Repeals the requirement that states must negotiate their targeted levels of performance with the Secretary of Education;
  • Prevents the Secretary of Education from withholding funds from a state that does not meet certain performance targets and rather empowers state leaders to develop an improvement plan; and
  • Requires the federal plan for research, development, dissemination, and evaluation to be carried out by an independent entity rather than the Department of Education.


Since 1984, the Perkins Act has provided federal support to state and local CTE programs. These programs are created and operated by state and local leaders, and designed to prepare high school and community college students for the workforce.

According to the Committee, states, high schools, and community colleges use Perkins Act funding to expand access to CTE programs, align programs with state academic standards and employer needs, purchase equipment, provide students with career counseling, and support teachers’ salaries. The majority of Perkins Act funds are provided through the Basic State Grant, which was funded at $1.17 billion in fiscal year 2016. The Act was reauthorized in 2006 but authorization expired in 2012.

Federal funds are estimated to account for approximately 4 to 7 percent of nationwide CTE funding. However, the Perkins Act is one of the largest sources of federal support for high schools and the largest federal source of institutional support for community colleges.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits, contains no private sectors mandates, and would impose not costs on state, local or tribal governments. The costs of the legislation fall within the budget function 500, and if appropriated as authorized, H.R. 5587 would cost $4.4 billion over the 2017-2021 period and about $2.7 billion after 2021. There are no pay-go concerns.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.