Exploring Perkins V

Exploring Perkins V


Every year, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, commonly referred to as Perkins V, disperses funding for career and technical education in US schools.  The goal of this act is to improve CTE opportunities, helping students across the country earn skills and certifications that support them as they head into the workforce. Whether you’re hoping to get new equipment for automotive studies or wanting a subscription to an immersive career exploration platform like CareerViewXR, let’s go over how this funding may help you reach your goals! 


Originally introduced as the Carl D. Perkins Act of 1984, this long-standing act has been authorizing federal funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE) for nearly 4 decades. While it has been around for many years, it hasn’t stayed exactly the same! Reauthorizations with updates were introduced in 1990 (Perkins II), 1998 (Perkins III), 2006 (Perkins IV), and finally 2018 (Perkins V) where it started its fifth iteration as the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. While Perkins is one of the most notable acts involving support for CTE, it was no where near the first! Perkins was proceeded by various legislations, but the first federal authorization was the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917. This act promoted education in agriculture, trades and industry, and homemaking by allotting funding that was to be matched by each state to pay the salaries of teachers in those subjects. 


The current iteration of the Perkins Act was implemented during the 2019-2020 school year, bringing further refinements and focusing on current workforce needs across the country. Compared to the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, the horizons on supported industries have really broadened for federal grants! A large emphasis has been put on encouraging students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) industries. Implementing more work-based learning opportunities and getting special populations access to high-quality CTE have been other notable areas of attention. 


Are you Eligible? 

To qualify for Perkins V, institutions must develop and maintain CTE programs that meet the needs of their local workforce and adhere to specific federal guidelines for program quality and accountability. Secondary and some postsecondary institutions are the primary recipients. This includes public high schools, technical centers, and community colleges that offer CTE programs. Additionally nonprofit private schools, correctional institutions, state colleges and universities, and even consortia of schools or institutions that collaborate on CTE can be eligible. No matter what type of institution, the funding ultimately can only apply to career and technical education-related needs. 


Examples of Eligible Funding Use 

  • Instructional material and supplies 
  • Software and platforms like CareerViewXR 
  • Renting or leasing equipment and/or rental facilities 
  • Technical skill assessments/certification exams 
  • Curriculum development 
  • Transportation costs (associated with CTE-related opportunities) 
  • Program evaluation 
  • Training for teachers, instructional support personnel, counselors, and other faculty 
  • Compensation for teachers 


Examples of Use That’s Not Eligible: 

  • Scholarships and tuition 
  • Non-instructional furniture 
  • Food/Drink 
  • Entertainment 
  • Items retained by students (uniforms, equipment, etc.)  
  • Insurance 
  • Dues/memberships to professional organizations or societies (for individuals) 
  • Construction, renovation, and/or remodeling of facilities 
  • Promotional materials 


CareerViewXR is an Eligible Expense for Perkins V 

CareerViewXR is an immersive career exploration platform that aligns perfectly with the objectives of Perkins V by providing students with interactive and engaging learning experiences perfect for career and technical education. Using 360-degree technology, CareerViewXR captures footage of real professionals doing real work in real work environments and turns it into interactive web-based field trips and companion VR videos! Students and adult job seekers alike can explore tours highlighting in-demand industries like skilled trades, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, technology, and more. Since Perkins V funds are designated to support innovative educational tools and methods that prepare students for high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand career paths, investing in CareerViewXR qualifies as an eligible expense! 


The platform is perfect for CTE course lessons, school advisors and counselors' offices, and as a resource in technology labs and libraries. VR headsets are optional, and the growing library of content is accessible on devices that are already in your school like laptops, cell phones, and tablets. To try out a handful of our free experiences (look for the free graphic), schedule a demo, or to simply learn more about CareerViewXR, visit our website. 


Perkins in Your State 

While Perkins V is an allocation of federal dollars, decisions on how the money is spent locally is decided by your state’s education department. The act gives states and localities more flexibility in how they use federal funds, encouraging innovation and tailored solutions to unique local challenges. Each state submits a state plan and outlines local use criteria for how funds should target ongoing goals and needs. When reviewing proposals for usage of funds from schools and other entities, the state’s education department refers back to the plan and criteria to ensure that ideas align with their outlined goals. 


Additionally, states must conduct a local needs assessment every two years. This comprehensive assessment ensures that the CTE programs in place are aligned with local economic needs and that they are effectively preparing students for in-demand careers in that economy. 


Due to decisions on allocation being made at a state level, interpretations of what is eligible and not eligible spend under Perkins V varies based on the state your organization is based in. Be sure to check with your department of education, department of career and technical education, or other similar state entity for helpful resources like general guidance, common allowable and unallowable uses, requirements, and other useful information. 


How to Apply 

Just as goals and allowable expenses vary by state, the same goes for applications or proposals a group must submit to be granted funding. You will likely need to provide a summary of a local needs assessment for the community you serve as well as answers to several outlined questions. Questions may involve describing what you hope to accomplish, how you will work with other workforce agencies, how the academic and technical skills of students will improve, how your ideas will prepare special populations for occupations, and more. After applying, you may be asked to provide additional information or even present your proposal in front of a review committee. Specific details on requirements for applications in your state can be found through your department of education, department of career and technical education, or similar state entity. 


Other Funding Opportunities 

In addition to Perkins V, there are several other funding opportunities that can be used to support Career and Technical Education available to schools.  


Federal Funding 

State Funding 

Private & Foundation Funding 

Fundraising & Crowdfunding 

For more information about alternative avenues of funding your career and technician education initiatives, check out our article, Beyond Perkins V: How to get your CTE Program Funded



Perkins V funding provides a critical pathway for enhancing and expanding career and technical education programs across the United States. By leveraging these funds, schools can equip students with the skills necessary to thrive in an ever-evolving job market. Always connect with your local department of education to learn specific rules and requirements for Perkins V and other funding in your region. The strategic and innovative use of Perkins V by the educators and administrators of today will continue to play a role in shaping the future of a skilled workforce ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead of them. 

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