Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (10/04/2004)

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2004 - Amends the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act (the Act) of 1998 to reauthorize and revise its programs. Renames the Act the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2004.

(Sec. 4) Sets forth definitions for: (1) career and technical education (CTE), and CTE students and student organizations; (2) career guidance and academic counseling, career pathways, and graduation and career plans; (3) core academic subjects; (4) self-sufficiency; (5) community colleges; and (6) articulation agreements.

Revises definitions relating to Tech-Prep programs (but continues the separation of funding for such programs from that for other programs under this Act).

(Sec. 6) Repeals a prohibition on use of funds under this Act to: (1) provide funding under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994; or (2) carry out activities that were funded under such Act through programs funded under this Act, unless such programs only serve participants eligible under this Act.

Title I: Career and Technical Education Assistance to the States - (Sec. 101) Revises, reauthorizes, and renames title I of the Act as Career and Technical Education Assistance to the States.

(Sec. 102) Revises provisions relating to reservations and State allotments. Requires a modified minimum State grant provision to be used as the basis for distributing any unreserved appropriated amounts in excess of the FY 2004 amount in any fiscal year under the basic State grant formula.

(Sec. 103) Revises requirements for within-State allocation of basic State grants (but maintains the requirement that at least 85 percent of such funds be distributed to eligible local recipients). Permits up to 15 percent of basic State grant funds to be used for specified State leadership activities and for administration of the State plan (while eliminating the current division of such portion into ten percent for such activities and five percent for such administration). Eliminates a maximum limit on the amount of State leadership activities funds which may be be used for services that prepare individuals for nontraditional services (and retains the current required minimum amount of such funding). Authorizes the eligible State agency, from the minimum 85 percent of basic State grant funds, to: (1) award grants to eligible recipients or consortia for specified CTE activities in rural areas or areas with high percentages or high numbers of CTE students; (2) reserve funds, with the approval of participating eligible recipients, for innovative statewide initiatives that demonstrate benefits for eligible recipients or for development and implementation of career pathways or career clusters; and (3) carry out activities described with respect to such grants or reserved funds.

(Sec. 104) Provides for separate local, as well as State, performance accountability systems, including core performance indicators, adjusted performance levels, and annual reports.

Requires certain core indicators of performance for secondary and postsecondary CTE students to be identified in State plans and to include measures of specified matters. Includes, among such measures of secondary CTE student performance, student attainment of challenging academic content standards and student academic achievement standards, as adopted by the State under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).

Requires eligible local recipients to accept State adjusted performance levels as local adjusted performance levels, or negotiate with the State to reach agreement on new local adjusted performance levels, for each of specified core indicators of performance for CTE activities.

Requires State performance level reports, with respect to additional indicators of performance, to disaggregate data: (1) for postsecondary institutions, by special populations; and (2) for secondary institutions, by special populations and by categories described in specified ESEA provisions.

(Sec. 105) Requires, in the annual report of the Secretary of Education to Congress on CTE program performance, the same manner of disaggregation of data required of States.

Revises requirements for an independent advisory panel.

Requires an institution of higher education that desires a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement to establish a national research center to identify, in its application, an independent governing board for the such center.

Extends through FY 2010 the authorization of appropriations for national CTE activities.

(Sec. 106) Revises requirements for CTE assistance for the outlying areas. Extends through FY 2007 the period during which the Republic of Palau may receive funds under this Act.

(Sec. 107) Includes among Native American CTE programs that are to be given special consideration in the Secretary's awarding of grants and contracts.

Eliminates recognition by the Governor of the State of Hawaii as a condition for organizations primarily serving and representing Native Hawaiians to be eligible being awarded CTE grants and contracts by the Secretary.

(Sec. 108) Directs the Secretary to provide tribally controlled postsecondary CTE institutions with a hearing on the record before an administrative law judge with respect to determinations of ineligibility for or the amount of certain CTE grants. Extends through FY 2010 the authorization of appropriations for such grants for such institutions.

(Sec. 109) Revises requirements for occupational and employment information and State applications.

(Sec. 110) Revises requirements for State administrative responsibilities.

(Sec. 111) Increases from five years to six the length of periods a State plan is required to cover. Allows submission of transition plans during the first full year of implementation after enactment of this Act. Revises requirements for State plan contents, consultation, and options.

Requires State plans to describe how the eligible State agency will support eligible recipients in developing or implementing career pathways for CTE content areas that are designed to meet relevant workforce needs.

(Sec. 112) Revises requirements for State and local program improvement plans. Provides for withholding all or a portion of funds where a State agency or local recipient fails to meet adjusted performance levels and has: (1) not implemented an improvement plan; (2) shown no improvement within one year after implementing such a plan; or (3) failed to meet more than one of the adjusted performance levels for two or more consecutive years. Allows waivers of such sanctions in exceptional circumstances. Requires technical assistance in improvement activities to be provided by the Secretary to State agencies and by State agencies to local recipients.

(Sec. 113) Revises required and permissible uses of funds for State leadership activities.

(Sec. 117) Revises requirements for local plans for CTE programs.

(Sec. 118) Revises required and permissible local uses of funds.

(Sec. 119) Revises (and redesignates as title I, part D the current title II) provisions relating to Tech-Prep programs (but continues the separation of funding for such programs from that for other programs under this Act). Extends through FY 2010 the authorization of appropriations for Tech-Prep programs.

Title II: General Provisions - (Sec. 201) Redesignates general provisions as title II (currently title III).

(Sec. 202) Revises fiscal requirements.

(Sec. 205) Repeals requirements that the Secretary : (1) receive funds collected from fees for use of property, rights-of-way, and easements under Federal control to place telecommunications services dependent on use of general spectrum rights for transmission or reception; and (2) use such funds to increase and expand use of technology in vocational and technical education instruction and personnel training.

Authorizes an eligible agency or recipient that uses certain funds for inservice and preservice CTE professional development programs for CTE principals to permit participation in such programs by principals in nonprofit private schools offering CTE programs located in the geographical area served by the agency or recipient.