State Proposes Help For Career, Technical Students

The state Education Department has proposed revisions to the state’s Perkins V Plan to help career and technical education students address circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While all aspects of school operations have been affected by the pandemic, career and technical education programs face unique barriers to delivering all components of their programs including access to hands-on training and work-based learning opportunities.

“As we continue to see the many ways the pandemic has affected our schools, the lack of access to in-person career and technical education training has been a significant hurdle for many of New York’s students,” said Lester W. Young Jr., Regents chancellor. “These proposed changes to the State’s Perkins V Plan ensure that our students are engaged in rigorous coursework while addressing the barriers caused by COVID-19.”

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, also known as Perkins V, required that states submit a plan to administer the grant covering the years 2020-2024. In accordance with Section 122(c)(2) of the new legislation, the New York state plan, including proposed performance targets, was developed in consultation with the stakeholders. Targets set by the state based on available data, and recent performance levels, are intended to challenge subrecipients to improve outcomes for all students. The law, however, provides an opportunity to request a revision of the targets based on unanticipated circumstances or changes related to improvements in data or measurement approaches.

The department is proposing revisions to the performance targets in two of the secondary performance indicators (post program placement and participation in work-based learning) and three postsecondary performance indicators (postsecondary retention and placement, earned recognized postsecondary credential, and non-traditional enrollment) based on unanticipated circumstances caused by COVID-19 and improvements in data approaches. Perkins indicators are used to determine a program’s effectiveness in meeting the intent and purpose of the legislation. Perkins grant recipients measure their performance against these targets to identify underperforming areas. The pandemic’s impact on the job market, opportunities for work-based learning, postsecondary enrollment and completion, and non-traditional enrollment in postsecondary programs has made it necessary for New York to request an adjustment to these targets.

“Our goal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to ensure that every child in New York has access to the services they need to be successful, and our career and technical education students are no exception,” said Betty Rosa, state education commissioner. “Work-based learning is a fundamental component for CTE and one that many of our students haven’t been able to utilize due to social distancing. This is why these adjustments to our Perkins V Plan are so critical. I look forward to hearing from our stakeholders on this important issue.”


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