July 17, 1997

H.R. 1853 - Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act Amendments of
(Rep. Riggs (R) CA and 3 others)

The Administration is committed to enactment of legislation to reauthorize vocational-technical education programs, including a separate tech-prep program, as proposed in H.R. 1853. The Administration has serious reservations about H.R. 1853, but does not oppose House passage of the bill. The Administration will work to improve the bill in the Senate.

In its present form, the bill:

  • Fails to ensure grantees' accountability for Federal funds to assist students in attaining the advanced academic and occupational skills that are necessary for high-skill, high-wage careers. It does not ensure the establishment of challenging performance goals/objectives or the joint development of core performance indicators with the Federal Government, States, and other important stakeholders to measure program effectiveness across all States and local areas. As a result, it is highly unlikely that the Department of Education would be able to meet performance objectives envisioned under the Government Performance and Results Act.

  • Insufficiently emphasizes program quality and effectiveness by: (1) limiting the ability of States to design and implement programs to attain industry-recognized skill standards; (2) providing insufficient resources for State leadership and administration; and (3) reducing the reasonable minimum local grant size below current law.

  • Fails to provide for adequate intra-State targeting of program funds to schools and postsecondary institutions with the greatest need for funds.

Pay-As-You-Go Scoring

H.R. 1853 would affect direct spending and receipts; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. OMB estimates that H.R. 1853 would decrease direct spending by $1 million in FY 1998 and a total of $29 million during FYs 1998-2002.