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Career Technical Education

Perkins Funding

The federal Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century, also known as Perkins V, provides federal funding to recipients to ensure students enrolled in career and technical education programs are able to fully develop the academic knowledge, technical skills, and employability skills needed to enter the workforce and pursue continued education in their chosen field.

This site covers these commonly asked questions about Perkins funding:

Additional resources on this page include:

How Is Perkins Allocated?

Secondary Secondary funds are based on a federally determined formula that allocates funds based on census population and census population at federally defined poverty level. To determine allocations:
  • DESE first determines the census population and percent poverty.
  • Then distributes the federal funds to school districts in MA towns and cities according that distribution.
  • Funds are reallocated to account for percent of students from those towns/cities who participate in CTE programs between the town/city and the regional schools.
  • Per the federal law, any allocations of under $15,000 are reallocated unless the recipient chooses to allocate their portion to a consortium that provides programming to their students. For information about forming a consortium, please email
Postsecondary Postsecondary funds are distributed based on the percentage of Pell eligible students at institutions offering postsecondary Career and Technical Programs. To allocate funds:
  • DESE collects Pell eligible enrollments.
  • Then proportionally distributes postsecondary funds.
State and County Correctional AgenciesState and County Correctional Agencies funds are offered on a competitive basis every three years.

What Can I Fund with Perkins Funding?

In Massachusetts, programs eligible for funding are: State-approved Chapter 74 CTE programs, state-approved Innovation Pathways programs, Secondary Career Connections Programs (N74), Post-Secondary CTE Programs, and CTE Programs at State Incarceration Institutions.

All Perkins Funded programs must:

  1. Align to MA definition of Size, Scope and Quality.
    For designated state-approved Chapter 74 CTE Programs adherence to program designation criteria meets these requirements. For state-approved Innovation Pathways Programs, adherence to design criteria and a few additional requirements outlined in the Perkins V/ Innovation Pathways Comparison ensures alignment. For non-designated programs (Career Connections (N74), Postsecondary programs, and programs at state and county correctional agencies) use these resources and resources on the dedicated pages (Career Connections, Postsecondary Programs) to ensure alignment.
  2. Ensure Equitable Access to programs.

For current grant recipients, questions regarding allowable expenses would be addressed by your RASP Liaison, Alex Chiu .

How Do I Apply?

First, confirm your district has been allocated funds. Perkins funding is administered through the Resource Allocation Strategy and Planning (RASP) /Federal Grant Programs team. Perkins funds are typically determined in late spring and available to apply for through summer with a Fall deadline.

What is the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment?


To further align the systems and expectations of Massachusetts Career and Technical Education, DESE has integrated the Secondary-level Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA) into a user-friendly CLNA self-assessment tool that looks holistically at students' high school experience. This new resource was piloted in Spring 2023.

Please plan to attend one of our webinar-style technical assistance sessions listed below. These identical sessions will provide an overview of the CLNA process and walk attendees through the self-assessment tool. Click on the links below to register.


Then complete the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment Guide and Worksheet . Use this information to identify, develop, revise, and implement your programs and apply for grant funding through the grant posting. The FY2024 Perkins Application will reflect updated language to recognize common findings from the CLNA process. More information will be updated here and technical assistance and information sessions will be held as the application is release.

What Measures Are Used to Evaluate Programs and Support Continuous Improvement?

In addition to measures used to evaluate state approved programs such as Chapter 74 and Innovation Pathways, Perkins Core Indicators are used to measure programs quality and opportunities for improvement for programs using Perkins funding. The Department has set State Determined Performance Levels (SDPLs) for each indicator. In limited cases, Districts, institutions & consortiums may propose Locally Determined Performance Levels (LDPLs). For questions regarding LDPLs, please contact .

Secondary These are the measures for Secondary Program Performance:
  • 1S1 Four Year Graduation Rate
  • 2S1 Academic Attainment in ELA
  • 2S2 Academic Attainment in Mathematics
  • 2S3 Academic Attainment in Science
  • 3S1 Postsecondary Placement
  • 4S1 Nontraditional Program Enrollment
  • 5S3 Program Quality: Participated in Work-Based Learning
Postsecondary These are the measures for PS Program Performance:
  • 1P1 Postsecondary Retention & Placement
  • 2P1 Postsecondary Credential, Certificate or Diploma
  • 3S1 Nontraditional Program Enrollment
State and County Correctional AgenciesAs established by the Program coordinator through the grant process. Please contact Please contact Yvonne Gittelson with questions.

Continuous Improvement Resources

Perkin Core Indicators can be used for program improvement using these resources:

What Reporting is Required?

Failure to submit required reports on time may result in the school district/postsecondary institution/consortium not receiving Perkins V Allocation funds.

  1. Districts & collaboratives with Secondary Programs are required to report CTE Enrollment SIMS.

  2. Graduate Follow Up. An important component of Perkins programs, including Chapter-74 approved programs, is the Career Technical Education Graduate Follow-up of graduates. This is used to calculate and report on a Perkins V Core Indicator: Postsecondary Placement (3S1) as part of the accountability system for federally funded Perkins programs. Refer to the CTE Data Instructions for more. To submit graduate follow-up results, districts use the CTE Grad Follow-up Results application in the Security Portal. Access is managed locally: the district's Directory Administrator may assign to a district staff person the security role "CTE Grad Follow-up Results". This district staff person can then enter and submit (or 'certify') the data. For more about grad follow-up, see Instructions or contact your liaison.

PostsecondaryInstitutions/collaboratives with Postsecondary Programs are required to submit Pell Reports and Perkins V PS Reports each year. See more on Postsecondary Programs page.
State and County Correctional AgenciesReporting is established by the Program coordinator through the grant process. Please contact Yvonne Gittelson with questions.

State Policy Resources for Perkins Implementation in Massachusetts

MA Perkins 2024 State Plan

Massachusetts first implemented updated Federal legislation, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act in Spring 2020. Our current state plan which defines the ways in which outlines Career and Technical Education in Massachusetts and identifies how our state uses federal funding for Career and Technical Education is due to be updated in Spring 2024. Leading up to that state plan, DESE will be soliciting feedback and updating resources and procedures to improve upon the financial and programmatic support DESE provides to Career and Technical Education.

Beginning with Superintendent meetings and including engagement with educators, administrators, workforce, students, families, and other stakeholders throughout the next year there will be many opportunities to provide feedback and input in the updating of the State Plan.

Opportunities to provide feedback will be updated on this website throughout the process. In the meantime, please submit general comments or questions using this form.

General Perkins Contacts

Who to contact:

  • For programmatic questions, please contact the Office for College, Career, and Technical Education (CCTE) which oversees High Quality College and Career Pathways. Please contact the CCTE Office at 781-338-3910 or or go to the list of CCTE district liaisons.
  • For Perkins Fund Code 400 & 401 grant application questions, please contact the RASP/Federal Grant Programs Perkins Liaison, .
  • For programmatic and grant questions related to correctional agencies, please contact Yvonne Corrections Education Specialist in the Office for Adult & Community Learning Services (ACLS), at 781-338-3815 or Yvonne Gittelson .

Last Updated: April 7, 2023

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.