Our work is driven by the Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education Act of 2006, to improve career technical education and create opportunities to enter high skill, high wage or high demand employment in Minnesota for all learners.

The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006 provides an increased focus on the academic achievement of career and technical education students, strengthening the connections between secondary and postsecondary education, and improving state and local accountability. Access the full length Perkins law.

Minnesota's New Direction is the product of much discussion from within the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and from discussions with several groups of local Perkins recipients.

Seven Principles are guiding Minnesota's transition from Perkins III to Perkins IV:

  1. No longer are Career and Technical Education (CTE) housed in separate silos.
  2. College and Work Readiness skills are one and the same.
  3. Each student needs at least some education or advanced training past high school whether 2-year college, 4-year university, industry certification, or advanced training through work.
  4. Federal Perkins Funding for career and technical education is not an entitlement at either the state or local level.
  5. All education spending must be connected with student success outcomes.
  6. High Schools and colleges must continue to implement that which has worked well and improve on areas of need.
  7. CTE must be strategically placed within the broader vision, mission and goals for education within the state of Minnesota.

From these seven principles, and the requirements and intent of the new Law, Minnesota will modify the way it operates under Perkins IV.

High School to College Transitions

  • Required local use of funds
  • Consistent with Governer's High Schools Initiatives
  • Builds upon the most successful Tech Prep articulation models of Perkins III

Programs of Study

  • Organized sequence of courses
  • Academic and technical content
  • Provides technical skill proficiency
  • Aligned with 16 national career clusters
  • State will develop models with local input
  • Must span at least grades 11 through 14
  • Must identify a nonduplicative sequence of both academic and technical courses leading to an industry-recognized certification or a degree/certificate from a 2-year college


  • Locally negotiated performance targets beginning in FY09 (except secondary academic attainment and graduation in FY08)
  • Adopt state levels of performance or negotiate separate local levels
  • Improvement plans developed in collaboration with the state where 90% of performance target not met after one year
  • Threat of loss of funds where performance repeatedly not met or improvement plan not implemented

Tech Prep Roll-in

  • After transition year, tech prep and basic grant funds combined for distribution to local consortia
  • Local plans must continue to address tech prep activities within the limits of the new Act


  • Minnesota's requirement for reserving 10% of funds for collaboration continues during the transition year
  • Collaboration funds may continue strong collaborative activities or be redirected to building broader postsecondary/secondary collaborative relationships

Employer, Community and Education Partnerships

  • Employer, Community and Education (advisory) Partnerships remain a requirement for operating CTE programs in Minnesota

Service to Special Populations

  • A new emphasis of Perkins IV is on the provision of services that help members of special populations prepare for entry into high skill, high wage or high demand occupations
  • New alliances will be forged with secondary special education personnel

A New Consortium Structure

Beginning in FY2009, Perkins funds will be distributed in separate secondary and postsecondary allocations to consortia that include at least one secondary district or consortium and at least one eligible postsecondary institution

During 2007-2008, each recipient will recommend a local partnership structure to implement Minnesota CTE in 2008-2009. The state retains authority to negotiate this structure.

Secondary and postsecondary recipients will be independently responsible for meeting accountability measures.

In 2008-2009, tech prep activities will be a required component under the local plan. Tech prep and basic grant funds will be combined for the purposes of distribution, though the state intends to use reserve funds to partially address the changing distribution patterns.

  • A single joint local plan will govern the use of Minnesota CTE funds (secondary basic, postsecondary basic and tech prep).
  • Joint local plans will be signed by secondary, postsecondary and tech prep representatives.
  • Joint local plans will be approved by staff from both the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor.

The new local plans will focus on the establishment of Programs of Study, but it will not be a requirement that all local programs must have secondary and postsecondary components of each program of study within the consortium.

All partners are responsible to ensure opportunities for students to continue in their chosen programs of study at the postsecondary level (brokering of services).