Questioning the Perkins grant

Concerns raised about federal CTE grant, board elects new officers


January 1, 2020

“I really think this is a huge sink of my time and , considering the amount of money and considering what I was hired for, I do not think this is the most effective use of my time.”

During the December 16 meeting of the Carbon County School District No. 2 (CCSD2) Board of Trustees, CCSD2 Curriculum Director Noel Manning advised the board against applying for the Perkins V Grant for the upcoming school year. This recommendation was supported by CCSD2 Superintendent Jim Copeland.

The Board of Trustees also elected new officers during their December meeting, with Joe Gaspari no longer serving as Chairman.

The Carl D. Perkins Career Technical Education Act was originally passed in 1984 and was reauthorized in 1990, 1998 and 2006. The most recent reauthorization passed through both the House of Representatives and the Senate with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Donald Trump on July 31, 2018. The new requirements as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) went into effect on July 1, 2019.

According to Homeroom, the official blog the United States Department of Education, “Perkins V removes the Department from negotiating state performance levels for student academic attainment and other outcomes, leaving it to states and their stakeholders to determine their performance goals.”

At the November meeting of the Board of Trustees, Manning had explained that attempting to fulfill all the requirements to initiate Perkins V funding was taking time from other aspects of his job as curriculum director. To illustrate his point, during the December meeting, Manning provided a 16-page document that explained all the work required for the grant currently and what would be expected in the future.

Manning added that at the end of the packet he provided the board was his recommendation that the district not apply for the grant. Copeland informed the board that, during a meeting of superintendents at the Wyoming School Board Association Fall Conference, nearly 30 out of the 48 school districts in the state said they were considering not applying for Perkins V.

Copeland added that it would be possible for the school district to apply at a later point, but that there were still a lot of questions with the grant. One of those questions was what courses could use funding from Perkins V as the district had been informed that many agricultural courses may not qualify.

“It’s just a lot of things up in the air if we continue to go through all this work right now,” said Copeland.

Manning asked the Board of Trustees to review the packet he had given them before the January meeting in hopes of having an answer as to whether they wanted the curriculum director to continue applying for the grant.

In other business, the Board of Trustees held their annual elections for officers. James Sewell was elected Chairman, Kaycee Alameda was elected Vice-Chairman, Kassie Westring was elected Clerk and Joe Gaspari was elected Treasurer.

The next meeting of the Carbon County School District No. 2 Board of Trustees will be at 4 p.m. on January 20 at Medicine Bow Elementary School in Medicine Bow.


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