House and Senate conferees reached agreement last week on the reauthorization of federal vocational education legislation, allowing the measure to go to both chambers for a final vote as early as this week.
The deal, announced July 20, resolves a number of disagreements between separate House and Senate versions that would renew the $1.3 billion-a-year program, known as the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998.
Spokesmen for the House and the Senate said the bill would leave the portion of the program that promotes partnerships between K-12 schools and colleges, known as Tech Prep, with its own separate funding stream, rather than mandate that it be consolidated into the rest of the program. States would be granted more flexibility in how to spend that money, however, the congressional aides said.
The bill also would change the current law’s references to “vocational education”—a term some observers see as antiquated and derogatory—to “career and technical education.”
A version of this article appeared in the July 26, 2006 edition of Education Week