Beyond Perkins V: How to get your CTE Program Funded

Beyond Perkins V: How to get your CTE Program Funded

In developing robust career and technical education (CTE) programs, securing funding is a crucial challenge for any school. While the Perkins V Act is a well-known source of funding, there are various other avenues that schools can explore to enhance their CTE initiatives. This article dives into a variety of funding methods—from federal and state grants to private foundations and corporate sponsorships to crowdfunding—that can provide the necessary finances to elevate and expand your offerings. Resources that schools may wish to invest in include tools, technology, or even access to immersive career exploration content like CareerViewXR. Let’s review various funding options and help your school provide students with the practical skills needed for success in the workforce. 


Federal Funding 

  • Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act  (Perkins V): Perkins V is the premier source of funding when one thinks of CTE. The act’s goal is to improve CTE opportunities, helping students across the country earn skills and certifications for their future. For an in-depth look at Perkins V, check out our article, Exploring Perkins V. 
  • Elementary and Secondar School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER): ESSER is a notable federal funding opportunity that will be concluding in 2024. It was established in March of 2020 to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it allowed spend for CTE purposes. Any remaining funds held must be committed by September 30th, 2024. 
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Established in December of 2015, this act requires that all US students are taught to academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in their next stage of life, whether that be entering college or a career path. CTE programs are referenced as a part of the definition of the “high-quality education” that ESSA strives for. Funds may be used for the integration or revamping of CTE coursework and career readiness initiatives at the discretion of a state’s education agency. 
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): As the name of this act implies, the purpose of IDEA is to support the education of students with disabilities. Its current iteration was last revised in 2004. It outlines that funding may be allocated to enhance the inclusion and participation of students with disabilities in CTE programs.  
  • Additionally, grants that are currently accepting applications from the Department of Education and other agencies can be found at 

State Funding 

  • Many states offer their own grants for educational initiatives, which can support a variety of programs including career and technical education. These grants are often specific to the needs and priorities of each state. Connect with your state departments to learn about existing and potential upcoming opportunities.  

Private & Foundation Funding 

  • Corporate Sponsorship/Partnerships: Many corporations have programs that sponsor educational initiatives, especially those that align with their business goals, such as technology companies funding computer science education or financial institutions supporting financial literacy. Local, regional, statewide, national, and even global corporations may be interested in sponsoring CTE supplies, software, events, curriculum, student scholarships, etc. at your school. 
  • Private Grants: Private grants provided by corporations, nonprofit organizations, and foundations are sometimes easier to obtain than other types of funds for CTE programs. Some examples of private grants include: 

Fundraising & Crowdfunding 

  • Traditional Fundraising: One option to gain funding for your CTE initiatives is to do traditional fundraising. Whether you choose to do a festival, bake sale, sports tournament, t-shirt sale, auction, or something totally unique – be sure to make sure that parents, local businesses, and the entire community are aware of your event! 
  • Crowdfunding Platforms: Platforms like Donors Choose, Adopt A Classroom, Classful,  are specifically designed for crowdfunding classroom resources. General crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or Indiegogo have also been used for education-related fundraising. Scholastic’s ClassroomsCount platform gives teachers a place to gather funds that can be spent for books, magazines, and resources. Crowdfunding platforms may help get your initiative in front of people that are not in your community. Be sure to check if your school or district has rules around usage of crowdfunding platforms before trying them out.  


As we've explored, numerous funding opportunities exist beyond Perkins V that can support career and technical education (CTE) programs. From state grants and federal initiatives to private foundations and corporate partnerships, these resources offer schools a wealth of options to enhance their offerings. Embracing these opportunities will ensure that CTE programs continue to adapt and thrive, preparing students for a bright future in their chosen careers. 


DISCLAIMER: CareerViewXR does not endorse nor is affiliated with any groups referenced within this article. Always do proper research on the rules and expectations for grants, sponsorships, donations, and fundraising in your school district. 

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