Advanced CTE Funding

We Need to Close the CTE Funding Gap. Here’s Why

Career and technical education (CTE) is a fundamental part of the high school and postsecondary experience, and with many small and large businesses struggling to find skilled workers with the proficiencies needed for success, CTE funding is more important now than ever.

Yet, CTE programs have been chronically underfunded for at least the last few decades—and this shortage of funding has compromised the ability of schools and colleges to meet the demands of students and employers.

The main source of federal funding for CTE is the Perkins Basic State Program from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. In the 2023 fiscal year, Perkins grants were funded at $1.44 billion. However, this funding source has remained relatively flat since the 1990s. When adjusted for inflation, funding for Perkins state grants has fallen more than $320 million below FY 2004 levels, an analysis from the nonprofit association Advance CTE revealed.

At the same time, technology has evolved rapidly, and schools don’t have the budgets to keep up with these significant changes. What’s more, the gap between the skills that students are graduating with and the skills that employers require is widening.

In fact, the skills gap is so large that that it’s one of the main barriers keeping companies from modernizing their business, according to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). To keep up with the rapidly shifting landscape, WEF says, nearly half (44%) of employee skills need to be updated.

CTE programs are pivotal in helping to close this skills gap, but that can only happen if lawmakers make the necessary investments in CTE instruction.

Perkins funding is distributed to states by formula, and then states decide how to split the money between secondary and postsecondary institutions. Nationally, about 62 percent of the money goes to K-12 districts and 38 percent is awarded to colleges, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) says.

“Just based on inflation alone, we are hundreds of millions below the Perkins funding levels from 20 years ago,” says Alisha Hyslop, Chief Policy, Research, and Content Officer for ACTE. “We also know that employers are facing shortages of skilled workers, and in many places, CTE programs have wait lists. There just isn’t enough capacity right now within CTE to educate as many people as are needed in a variety of career fields.”

A survey of school districts from the U.S. Department of Education found that the top barrier to offering CTE instruction in high school was a lack of funding, coupled with the high cost of these programs.

In the FY 2024 budget process, the Senate has proposed a $40 million increase in Perkins grants, while the House bill would level-fund the program. ACTE is calling for a $400 million increase in Perkins grants to address the funding deficit.

In a joint statement to lawmakers, Advance CTE and ACTE wrote: “A significant, robust investment in CTE programs is still needed to account for persistent underfunding, the lack of inflation-adjusted increases, and the overwhelming growth in demand for these programs from both learners and the wider American economy.”

If we want strong, effective, and sustainable CTE programs in K-12 school systems and community colleges, then policy makers need to step up and close the CTE funding gap. Educators and administrators can help by contacting their senators and representatives and communicating the need for additional money.

In Summary

Companies like ours, Intelitek, have invested significant effort in keeping our Industrial Maintenance, Mechatronics, manufacturing and Industry 4.0 educational programs aligned with technology and trends in industry. Schools on all levels across the board are keen to implement, update and expand their current programs. Funding is key to making this happen.

Serving OH, MI, NY & NJ

150 Industrial Drive
Lexington, OH 44904
Toll-free: 844.447.8644

Serving CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT

Technology Education Concepts, Inc.
32 Commercial St.,
Concord, NH 03301
p 800-338-2238 Ext. 301 | f 603-225-7766

Serving AK, ID, MT, OR, WA

Northwest Technical Products
4928 SW Lake Flora Road
Port Orchard, WA 98367
Toll-free: 800.258.8893
p 360.874.1822 | f 360.876.1871

Serving Iowa, Nebraska &
South Dakota

Mid-West 3D Solutions
1018 – 8th Street, PMB 22
Boone, IA 50036
p 888.509.0690 | f 515.598.5129

110 Locust
Panama, NE 68419
p 888.509.0690 | f 402.788.2802

Serving Texas & Oklahoma
Lab Resources, Inc
27905 Commercial Park Rd.
Suite 430
Tomball, Texas 77375
p 888.963.2200/281.516.2200
f 281.516.2202
Serving New York & New Jersey

Joe Zahra Associates
91 Blake Avenue
Bohemia, NY 11716
p 516-695-0392

Serving Illinois, Indiana & Pennsylvania

JBH Technologies
P.O. Box 2218
Glenview, IL 60025-2218
p 800.455.9310 | f 847.729.1755

Serving Colorado, Utah, Wyoming

High Country Technology Consultants
P.O. Box 336222
Greeley, CO 80633
Toll-free: 866.303.5582
p 970.351.0005 | f 970.351.0006

Serving North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin

First Technologies, Inc.
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Toll-free: 800.787.9717

Serving VirginiA, West Virginia, Maryland, & DElaware

Diversified Education Systems 
205 E. Washington Street
Middleburg, VA 20118
Toll-free 800.409.8641
p 540.687.7063

Serving Kansas & Missouri

DEPCO Enterprises, LLC
264 N. Industrial Drive
Frontenac, Kansas 66763
p 800.767.1062

Serving Arizona & New Mexico

Aztech Educational Resources LLC
17611 N. Foothills Drive
Sun City, AZ 85373
p 623.815.1394 | f 623.815.1454

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Serving Canada

Alpha Educational & Technological Solutions Inc.
Unit B3, 1410 Parkway Blvd., Dep 19
Coquitlam, BC, Canada, V3E 3J7
p 604.782.4568 | f 604.942.4419

Contact an International Dealer

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Serving MISSISSIPPI, Arkansas & Louisiana

Magee Enterprises, Inc.
105 Millcreek Corners
Brandon, MS 39047
Toll-free: 800.613.1085
p 601.992.0741 | f 601.992.2162

Serving CAlifornia, Hawaii & Nevada

Paton Group
787 W. Woodbury Rd., #10
Altadena, CA 91001
p 800.826.0570 | f 626.791.1476

Serving AL, GA, KY, NS, SC, TN

Learning Labs, Inc.
P.O. Box 1419
Calhoun, GA 30703
Toll-free: 800.334.4943
p 706-629-4624 | f 706.629.6761

Serving Florida

Technical Training Aids
2076 Valleydale Terrace
Birmingham, AL 35244


October 6

Leaders in CTE Training for MFG

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