The Role of Tech-Prep Education in Preparing America's Future
(3) Allowable Uses of Tech-Prep Funds
On May 19, 2000, OVAE/DVTE Program Memorandum 2000-8 outlined the permissible uses of tech-prep funds. As noted in the memorandum, a State may reserve some of its tech-prep funds for the reasonable and necessary costs of administration but that amount generally would not exceed five percent of the State's total allotment and often might be less. All remaining funds must be awarded to eligible consortia for tech-prep education programs. A State may not reserve a portion of the State tech-prep allocation for State leadership activities such as curriculum or professional development, regardless of whether the State carries out these activities directly or by contracting with a third-party.
(4) Special Consideration for State funding decisions
As States make decisions about which programs to fund, they need to keep in mind that section 205(d) requires that States give special consideration to applications that:
provide for effective employment placement activities or the transfer of students to baccalaureate degree programs;
are developed in consultation with business, industry, institutions of higher education, and labor organizations;
address effectively the issues of school dropout prevention and reentry and the needs of special populations;
provide education and training in areas or skills in which there are significant workforce shortages, including the information technology industry; and
demonstrate how tech-prep programs will help students meet high academic and employability competencies.
(5) Quality Tech-Prep: A Strategy for Systemic Change
The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) is committed to supporting State efforts to fully implement quality tech-prep programs consistent with the requirements of Title II of Perkins III. This commitment will be demonstrated through a variety of OVAE-led activities that are aimed at focusing attention on the statutory provisions applicable to tech-prep programs. These activities include: annual review of budget documents; collection and analysis of the State performance data; and on-site monitoring visits.
The statutory program requirements are at the heart of the effort to structure tech-prep programs to achieve measurable results. The Department is concerned that stronger links are needed between secondary and postsecondary components of tech-prep programs to meet the requirements of Title II of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998. States are required to comply with the law, and we expect to use various mechanisms to ensure that statutory requirements are met, taking into account the specific circumstances of each State. These mechanisms include conditional approval of program applications, imposing high-risk grantee status and special conditions on the grant award, providing partial funding of tech-prep programs through installment payments based on meeting specific conditions, compliance agreements, withholding part or all of program and administrative funds, and obtaining cease and desist orders when necessary. In short, the Department expects each State to abide by the commitments it made when it chose to receive tech-prep funds. We expect your agency's complete cooperation in this effort that meets our mutual goals of assisting students in the most effective ways.
If you have any questions, please contact Ron Castaldi at 202-205-9444.