Frequently Asked Questions
Under Perkins V, eligible recipients include local educational agencies (LEAs), area career and technical education schools, educational service agencies, Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, Tribal educational agencies, or a consortium eligible to receive assistance under section 131 of the Act, or, an eligible institution or consortium of eligible institutions eligible to receive assistance under section 132 of the Act.
The Perkins Local Funds are available to all secondary and post-secondary LEAs (see question 1) and allocations are pre-determined using a formula. To receive local funds, a local application must be fully completed by the secondary and postsecondary LEA (stand-alone and consortia).
The Local Perkins Application asks LEAs to describe how they will use federal funds to strengthen CTE programming and expand student access to CTE programs.
In addition to the local funds, the Rural Reserve Grant funds are available through a competitive application process to post-secondary institutions and consortia. Reserve funds will be reviewed alongside the following legislative-led priorities:
- career exploration
- CTE dual enrollment
- promotion of Montana Career Pathways
- industry-recognized credential attainment
- work-based learning opportunities
Funding for postsecondary programs is determined by dividing the number of Pell grant and Bureau of Indian Affairs program recipients enrolled in the two-year postsecondary institution by the total number of Pell Grant and Bureau of Indian Affairs program recipients in the state.
The Federal government typically releases estimates for Perkins allocations in mid-March. We generally expect these allocations to be similar to past grant cycles and not vary too much from the finalized value.
When preparing your local application before your campus' estimated allocation is known, we encourage you to use the previous year's funding as a guide and keep in mind that it may change.
Per guidance from Perkins V, a post-secondary CTE concentrator is a student enrolled in an eligible LEA who either earns 12 cumulative credits in a CTE program; or completes a program comprised of fewer than 12 credits.
Per guidance from Perkins V, a post-secondary CTE participant is an student at an eligible LEA who completes not less than one course in a career and technical education program.
The newest Perkins law requires a set-aside for recruiting special populations into CTE as part of the state leadership funds. It also includes them in the local application and needs assessment, and requires their consultation. Perkins V gives greater responsibility to states and districts to advance equity at the local level, namely among students within Special Populations.
Special populations include:
- Individuals with disabilities
- Individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including low-income youth and adults
- Individuals preparing for non-traditional fields
- Single parents, including pregnant women
- Out-of-workforce individuals
- English learners
- Homeless individuals
- Youth who are in, or have aged out of, the foster care system
- Youth with a parent who is a member of the armed forces and is on active duty
Both secondary and postsecondary Perkins’ grant recipients report on the above special populations with the exception of migrant students in post-secondary settings. By reporting on data disaggregated by gender, race, and each of the nine special population groups, eligible agencies can use these results to identify gaps in participation and performance and move forward with potential strategies to address the root causes.
After the local application and budget is approved and the grant cycle is underway, there may be need to submit an amendment.
Any one of the following criteria necessitate submitting an amendment:
- an adjustment to spending greater than 10% of the sub-total for the major budget category (such as Salaries or Travel),
- reallocating funding to a new project, or a change in the scope of objectives of programmatic goals
- A 25% reduction in time devoted by the Perkins Coordinator or a change of any key persons specified in the grant application
- there has been a change to the type of equipment identified for a project.
There is no limit to the number of amendments a campus may submit during the grant cycle.
The final cut-off for submitting amendments during a grant cycle is May 1st.
In some case-by-case instances, an amendment may be approved after the May 1st date.
Any spending needs to support programming in the academic year in which the grant was administered. In other words, grant funding spent at the end of the grant cycle cannot be used to fund programming or projects for the upcoming academic year
Is an amendment needed to purchase additional quantities of a previously approved piece of equipment?
Unused Perkins funds are pooled from all campuses at the end of the grant cycle to create a statewide carryover sum. At the start of the grant cycle in the following year, carryover is reallocated back out to campuses based on the % of Pell eligible/economically disadvantaged students used to calculated the percentage of the Federal allocation.
Not all programs or courses offered by Perkins funds recipients are allowable expenses. Courses and programs must fall under a recognized area of Career and Technical Education.
- Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources
- Architecture & Construction
- Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
- Business Management & Administration
- Education & Training
- Health Science
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Human Services
- Information Technology
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
- Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Administrative activities include, but are not limited to, grant development, grant monitoring, evaluation of program effectiveness, data input, developing reports, payroll, providing technical assistance, clerical, and accounting duties. Expenditures for administrators’ registration, professional development and travel are also included under the administrative cap but will be recorded under a different budget code.
Is equipment repair an allowable expense? What if the equipment was purchased with past Perkins funds?
Repair is never an allowable expense even in the instance where the equipment was purchased with past Perkins funds. General maintenance agreements for equipment or property, regardless of whether or not it was purchased with Perkins funds, is not an allowable expense.
Our culinary program would like to buy an espresso machine for students to learn on and to use to sell coffee (or any other equipment that will be used to prepare/manufacture/develop a product to be sold on campus). Can we use Perkins funds?
No. Perkins funds can not be use to fund equipment, software, or other purchases that will be used to create a product that will be sold and generate revenue. These purchases, if used solely for CTE-specific educational purposes AND meet industry standards (ie. are not common household items) may be an allowable expense.
Please refer to the linked resources on non-allowable expenses.
It's getting close to the end of the academic year. May I use grant funds to purchase equipment or fund a program that will begin in the new academic year?
No. Perkins funds must be spent in the academic year that coincides with the grant cycle.
Yes. Perkins funds may support a teacher and/or staff member’s salary, however Perkins cannot supplant salaries previously payed by the campus.
Can Perkin's funds be used in marketing materials to recruit specific populations to our CTE programs?
Under the Perkins Reserve or Non-Traditional grants, funds may be used to recruit special populations or non-traditional genders to CTE programs. However, marketing materials that specifically recruit for one campus' CTE program is NOT allowable.
A good rule of thumb is that marketing materials could be reasonably used by any campus in the Montana University System. OCHE will be reviewing all marketing materials before reimbursements will be provided.
For more information, contact the OCHE Perkins Program Manager or refer to the linked resources on non-allowable expenses.
The CLNA must be completed and updated at least once every 2 years.
If the CLNA is only required every two years, is any supplementary information needed in the "off-years"?
While it is not required to submit a new CLNA every year, in the years in which a full CLNA is not required ("off year"), justifications for projects in the local application should reflect the evidence provided in the most recent approved CLNA. In instances where there is new evidence or projects that are not supported by the most recent CLNA, it will be necessary to submit an addendum/updated worksheet to the CLNA within the local application.
It is optional for a campus to choose to submit a full CLNA with their local application in "off" years.
While the CLNA should be submitted by each eligible agency's grant coordinator to the OCHE Perkins Manager.
The findings should be compiled in consultation with a stakeholder group composed of (at a minimum):
- Representatives of CTE programs from both secondary and post-secondary institutions
- Teachers, instructors and faculty o Career guidance and advisory professionals
- Administrators, principals
- Specialized instructional support personnel and paraprofessionals
- Representatives of regional economic development organizations and local business and industry
- Parents and students
- Representatives of special populations
- Representatives of regional or local agencies serving out-of-school youth, homeless children and youth, and at risk youth
- Representatives of Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations in the State, where applicable.
Student data from the most recent, completed academic year alongside the most current economic and other data should be used when completing the CLNA prior to submitting a local application.
CLNA data should not go beyond the previous two years, since the last completed CLNA, except in instances of showing trends over time up to present day.
In the Local Application, recipients will need to identify which CLNA items and programs are addressed in the budget narrative and budget detail for each requested expenditure before grant approval will be given.
Still have questions? Contact us.
Perkins Program Manager
Montana University System
Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
560 N Park Ave
Helena, MT 59601