[Federal Register: February 17, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 31)]
[Page 7985-7987]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998; 
Workforce Investment Act of 1998

AGENCY: Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of request for public comment.


SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education invites written comments regarding 
the implementation of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical 
Education Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-332, enacted October 31, 1998) 
(Perkins III) and titles I and V of the Workforce Investment Act of 
1998 (Pub. L. 105-220, enacted August 7, 1998), as they pertain to 
Perkins III.

DATES: Comments received on or before April 5, 1999 will be considered 
in the development of guidance and any regulations that may be 
necessary, as well as the overall implementation strategy.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to Patricia W. McNeil, 
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department 
of Education, Room 4090 Mary E. Switzer Building, 400 Maryland Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC 20202-2645. Comments may be submitted 
electronically to dvte@inet.ed.gov. You must include the term ``FR 
Notice'' in the subject line of your electronic message. The receipt of 
comments transmitted electronically will be acknowledged 
electronically. Commenters wishing acknowledgment of receipt of 
comments transmitted by mail must submit them by certified mail, return 
receipt requested.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gisela Harkin, (202) 205-9037. 
Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday. 
Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternate 
format (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on 
request to the contact person listed in the preceding paragraph.


Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998

    Signed into law on October 31, 1998, Perkins III restructures 
programs previously authorized by the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and 
Applied Technology Education Act, setting out a new vision of 
vocational and technical education for the 21st century. Improving 
student achievement and preparation for postsecondary education, 
further learning, and careers are the central goals of this new vision. 
Perkins III promotes reform and innovation in vocational and technical 
education to help ensure that all students acquire the skills and 
knowledge they need to meet challenging State academic standards and 
industry-recognized skill standards, and to prepare for postsecondary 
education, further learning, and a wide range of career opportunities. 
Implementation of Perkins III promises to make vocational and technical 
education an integral part of State and local efforts to reform 
secondary schools and improve postsecondary education.
    The new law focuses the Federal investment in vocational and 
technical education on high-quality programs that integrate academic 
and vocational education; promote student attainment of challenging 
academic and vocational and technical standards; provide students with 
strong experience in, and understanding of all aspects of an industry; 
address the needs of individuals who are members of special 
populations; involve parents and employers; and provide strong linkages 
between secondary and postsecondary education.
    Programs must also develop, improve, or expand the use of 
technology in vocational and technical education, such as by providing 
training in the use of technology to educational personnel, preparing 
students for careers in the high technology and telecommunications 
fields, and by working with businesses in high technology industries to 
offer internships and mentoring programs for students. To enhance the 
quality of instruction in vocational and technical education, Perkins 
III requires local programs to provide comprehensive professional 
development opportunities for teachers, counselors, and administrators. 
These opportunities may include workplace internships that provide 
teachers with business experience, training in effective teaching 
skills, programs that help teachers and other personnel stay current 
with all aspects of an industry, and other activities.

[[Page 7986]]

    Perkins III also eliminates a number of prescriptive administrative 
requirements and restrictions on the use of funds in order to give 
States, school districts, and postsecondary institutions greater 
flexibility to design services and activities that meet the needs of 
their students.
    To promote continuous program improvement, as well as to ensure 
optimal return on the Federal investment, Perkins III creates a State 
performance accountability system. Under this system, the Secretary and 
each State reach agreement on annual levels of performance for a number 
of ``core indicators'' specified in the law:
    * Student attainment of challenging State-established 
academic, and vocational and technical, skill proficiencies.
    * Student attainment of a secondary school diploma or its 
recognized equivalent, a proficiency credential in conjunction with a 
secondary school diploma, or a postsecondary degree or credential.
    * Placement in, retention, and completion of, postsecondary 
education or advanced training, placement in military service, or 
placement or retention in employment.
    * Student participation in, and completion of, vocational 
and technical education programs that lead to nontraditional training 
and employment.

States also use these ``core indicators'' to evaluate the performance 
of local grantees.
    Title II of the Act reauthorizes the Tech-Prep Education State 
grant program, an important catalyst for secondary school reform and 
postsecondary education improvement efforts. Tech-prep programs prepare 
students for careers in high-skill fields or further education by 
integrating academic and vocational and technical learning in a 
sequential course of study that includes a minimum of two years of 
secondary education and two years of postsecondary education or an 
apprenticeship program. Perkins III promotes the use of work-based 
learning and new technologies in tech-prep programs and encourages 
partnerships with business, labor organizations, and institutions of 
higher education that award baccalaureate degrees. States must give 
special consideration in awarding funds to tech-prep programs that 
provide education and training for employment in industries in which 
there are significant workforce shortages, including the information 
technology industry.

Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA)

    Title I of the WIA authorizes employment training and other 
workforce investment activities that are administered at the State and 
local level by workforce investment boards. These services must be 
provided through a one-stop delivery system that is established by each 
local board. The one-stop system also provides a means of accessing 
education and employment-related services available under eleven other 
Federal programs, including postsecondary vocational and technical 
education programs authorized by Perkins III. Entities that carry out 
postsecondary vocational and technical education programs funded by 
Perkins III will participate in one-stop systems through memoranda of 
understanding negotiated with local workforce investment boards. The 
services provided under Perkins III through the one-stop systems must 
be consistent with the Perkins III requirements.

Title V of the WIA

    Title V of the WIA authorizes States to submit a single ``unified'' 
plan for two or more of fifteen Federal education and employment-
related programs identified in the statute. Postsecondary vocational 
and technical education programs authorized under Perkins III are among 
the programs that may be included in the unified plan. Secondary 
vocational and technical education programs authorized under Perkins 
III also may be included in the unified plan with the prior approval of 
the State legislature. Other programs that may be incorporated in the 
unified plan include programs covered under the Adult Education and 
Family Literacy Act, workforce investment activities authorized by 
Title I of WIA, and activities authorized by title I of the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The portion of the unified plan that covers 
each activity or program is subject to the requirements specified in 
the original authorizing statute for that particular activity or 
program. Title V also authorizes the award of incentive grants to 
States that exceed agreed-upon performance levels for title I of WIA, 
the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, and Perkins III.
    Copies of Perkins III and WIA are available on the website of the 
Office of Vocational and Adult Education at http://www.ed.gov/offices/
OVAE/VocEd/InfoBoard/legis.html. The text of the Conference Report on 
H.R. 1853, the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act 
of 1998 (Conference Report 105-800), can also be found in the 
Congressional Record, October 8, 1998, pp. H10032-H10048. The text of 
the Conference Report on H.R. 1385, Workforce Investment Act of 1998, 
can be found in the Congressional Record, July 29, 1998, pp. H6604-

Issues for Public Comment

    The Secretary invites the public to submit written comments and 
recommendations regarding the implementation of Perkins III and the 
provisions of titles I and V of WIA that relate to Perkins III.
    The Secretary is particularly interested in receiving comments and 
recommendations concerning the following topics:
    1. How best to implement the performance accountability system 
described in section 113 of Perkins III for Fiscal Year 1999 and 
subsequent fiscal years, including--
    (A) Definitions for the core indicators of performance;
    (B) Criteria for identifying the students within a State for whom 
outcomes must be reported; and
    (C) Procedures for establishing, revising, and reporting eligible 
agency adjusted levels of performance.
    2. The award of incentive grants to States that exceed the State 
adjusted levels of performance for WIA Title I workforce investment 
activities, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, and Perkins 
III (section 503 of WIA).
    3. Procedures for the development and submission of State unified 
plans (section 501 of WIA).
    4. The participation of postsecondary vocational and technical 
education programs authorized by Perkins III in the planning, 
governance, operation, and funding of the one-stop delivery system 
described in Title I of WIA.
    Comments and recommendations are also welcome on other issues and 
concerns that should be addressed or clarified through guidance or 
    Under its Principles for Regulating, the Department of Education 
will regulate only when it improves the quality and equality of 
services to its customers--learners of all ages. The Department will 
regulate only when absolutely necessary, and then in the most flexible, 
most equitable, and least burdensome way possible. The Department will 
regulate if a demonstrated problem exists and cannot be resolved 
without regulation or if necessary to provide legally binding 
interpretation to resolve an ambiguity. The Department will not 
regulate if

[[Page 7987]]

entities or situations to be regulated are so diverse that a uniform 
approach does more harm than good.

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web at either of the 
following sites:


To use the pdf, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at the previous sites. If you have 
questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government Printing Office 
toll free at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone also may view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511 
or, toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under Option 
G-Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.
    Additionally, in the future, this document, as well as other 
documents concerning the implementation of Perkins III will be 
available on the World Wide Web at the following site: http://

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

    All comments submitted in response to this notice will be available 
for public inspection during and after the comment period in Room 4090, 
Mary E. Switzer Building, 300 C Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 
the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday of each 
week except Federal holidays.

    Dated: February 11, 1999.
Richard W. Riley,
Secretary of Education.
[FR Doc. 99-3878 Filed 2-16-99; 8:45 am]