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New Regulations Causing Concern

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Washington--Concerned about the tight schedule states face to meet the requirements of the new Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act, the National Governors Association convened a special one-day meeting here last month at which state officials discussed the law's details and how they might mesh vocational programs with other employment and training efforts.

The new vocational-education law was signed by President Reagan last Oct. 19, but proposed regulations for the law were not published by the Education Department until Jan. 25.

State Board Mandated

The regulations require that each state establish a state board of vocational education to administer programs under the act. The boards had until last week to assess the state's vocational-education needs and formulate a state plan.

The rules require a 60-day review period of the plan, which is to be submitted to the state job-training coordinating council, the legislature, and a 13-member state vocational-education council, which has at least 7 members from the private sector.

A final version of the plan must be sent to the Education Department by May 1 to be considered for federal aid, the regulations stipulate.

The Perkins Act reauthorizes federal funding to vocational education for five years. And the states' plans are also required to cover a five-year period. The first plan to be submitted to the Education Department will cover three years, and a second, which will be submitted later, will cover two years, in order to coincide with the specifications of the Job Training Partnership Act.

The new vocational law calls for increased coordination between vocational efforts and those undertaken with jtpa funds, as well as greater involvement by the private sector.

Robert T. Jones, administrator of the office of comprehensive employment and training of the Labor Department, stressed in his remarks to state job-training officials that the majority of funds for the jtpa at some point flow through the vocational-education system.--pw

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