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Vocational Education--Basic Grants to States

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Program Office: Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
CFDA Number: 84.048
Program Type: Formula Grants
Also Known As:Perkins Title I Grants, or Perkins Formula Grants


Under Title I (Basic State Grants) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which was reauthorized in 2018 under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), Congress appropriates roughly $1.3 billion annually in State formula grants for the development and implementation of career and technical education (CTE) programs. Perkins Title I grants are allotted to States through a formula based on the States’ populations in certain age groups and per capita income.

Each State is required to distribute not less than 85 percent of its Perkins Title I funds by formula to local education agencies, area career and technical schools, community colleges, and other public or private nonprofit institutions that offer CTE programs. Each State determines the split of funds to be distributed to recipients at the secondary versus postsecondary level. On average, 64 percent of funds are spent at the secondary level and 36 percent at the postsecondary level.


The State-level agency responsible for administering the Perkins Title I grant may not spend more than 5 percent of its grant or $250,000, whichever is greater, on administrative activities and not more than 10 percent on State leadership activities. With its State administration funds, a State may cover the costs of:

  • Developing its State plan
  • Reviewing local applications
  • Monitoring and evaluating program effectiveness
  • Assuring compliance with all applicable Federal laws
  • Providing technical assistance
  • Supporting and developing State data systems relevant to the provisions of the Act
  • With its leadership funds, a State must allocate:
  • Between $60,000 and $150,000 of its funds for non-traditional programs and services
  • Not less than the lesser of an amount equal to 0.1 percent or $50,000 of funds for the recruitment of special populations to enroll in CTE programs
  • A State also may use up to 2 percent of its total allocation to serve students in State institutions, including correctional institutions, juvenile justice facilities, and schools for the deaf and blind, but these funds are subject to the 10 percent cap on the amount of funds a State may spend for State leadership. The required and permissive State leadership activities are described in section 124 of Perkins V. Local recipients of Perkins Title I funds use those funds to develop, coordinate, implement, or improve CTE programs to meet the needs identified in a comprehensive local needs assessment that the local recipient is required to complete and update biannually. Requirements for the local uses of funds are described in section 135 of Perkins V.

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    Last Modified: 02/22/2021