Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers provide information about the inner workings of the Perkins Act in Maine.

Question

Answer & Explanation

Use of Perkins Funds For:

 

Teacher Travel to National/State Conferences

Teacher travel to national and state professional development conferences, such as the National Business Educator’s Association, is an allowable expense. Conference attendees are responsible to share information with other district staff and making improvements to curriculum in an effort to increase overall program quality.

Teacher Education Costs

A teacher’s educational costs which are directly related to their career and technical education (CTE) program area are an allowable expense. Course work necessary to enhance teacher knowledge directly related to CTE curriculum improvements or student instruction is permissible, i.e., CAD, Microsoft Office Suite.

Equipment for Teacher Use

Equipment purchased using Perkins funds, solely for teacher use is not allowed. All equipment purchased with Perkins funds must be for student use or utilized in instructing students in the classroom. However, as long as the equipment is used by a CTE teacher in furtherance of CTE activities, such expenditures would be allowable under federal law.

School to Career Activities

There is a prohibition clause within the Perkins legislation for use of funds for School to Career activities. However, funds used for CTE student career development is an allowable expense.  

Professional Development for CTE staff

Professional development activities:

  • Are high-quality, sustained, intensive and classroom-focused
  • Will help teachers and personnel improve student achievement.
  • Will help teachers and personnel: stay current with all aspects of an industry; effectively develop rigorous and challenging integrated curricula (jointly with academic teachers, to the extent practicable), develop a higher level of academic and industry knowledge and skills, and effectively use applied learning.
  • Promotes integration with professional development activities that the State carries out under NCLB. Title II of ESEA prohibits one-day or short-term workshops, unless such workshops and conferences are part of a larger series of professional development activities.
  • May include internship programs that provide relevant business experience or programs designed to train teachers specifically in the effective use and application of technology to improve instruction.
  • May include initial teacher preparation professional development

Facility Construction or Remodeling

Renovation of the school facility cannot be funded by the Perkins grant. However, equipment required to startup or upgrade CTE programs is allowable.

Equipment

Equipment is defined as “an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year. Equipment with a purchase price limitation of $1,000 or more must be accounted for and controlled in accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A-87 and A-21. Minor equipment lists should be kept for equipment costing less than $1000 with a useful life equal to or longer than one year.

Inventory and Labeling of Perkins Equipment

The local school district must inventory any equipment purchased with Perkins funds. (See Equipment Guidance on the online grant application and www.maine.gov/doe/cte.)  In addition, all equipment must be marked with a permanent marker indicating grant source, year of purchase, school name and program area.

Equipment Shared with Disciplines other than CTE

The primary use of equipment purchased with Perkins funds should be utilized by CTE students who are enrolled in courses from one of the CTE program areas.  When the needs of the CTE students are fully met the equipment can be used by non CTE students. If such use is more than incidental, the other discipline must share the cost of the equipment in proportion to its use.

Limitation for Certain Students

‘‘SEC. 315. LIMITATION FOR CERTAIN STUDENTS.
‘‘No funds received under this Act may be used to provide career and technical education programs to students prior to the seventh grade, except that equipment and facilities purchased with funds under this Act may be used by such students.”

CTE Expenses Previously Paid by the Local School District

SUPPLANTING

Use of Perkins funds to pay for any expense that was previously paid by the local school district is considered supplanting. This may include salaries, textbooks, stipends etc.

‘‘SEC. 311. FISCAL REQUIREMENTS.
‘‘(a) SUPPLEMENT NOT SUPPLANT.—Funds made available under
this Act for career and technical education activities shall supplement,
and shall not supplant, non-Federal funds expended to carry out career and technical education activities and tech prep program activities.

CTE Teacher and Staff Salaries

Perkins funds may support a teacher and/or staff member’s salary, however, the State has a “three year rule” on salaries using Perkins funding. A CTE related position will be funded for three years only. It is the responsibility of the local board of education to sustain this position after the first three years.

Interdisciplinary/Integrated
Curriculum Program Expenses

Expenses related to interdisciplinary activities/courses (i.e. CTE subject’s team taught with academic areas) are fundable by Perkins.

CTE Professional Organization Membership

Professional CTE Organization membership dues are an allowable expense for the school, but not for the individual.  Costs of membership in organizations engaged in lobbying are unallowable.

Maintenance of Equipment

Maintenance of equipment purchased with Perkins funds is allowable as long as the expenditures adhere to the guidance in A-87, Attachment B, item 25.

Supplies

Costs incurred for materials, supplies, and fabricated parts necessary to carry out a federal award are allowable.

CTE Program Promotional Items

Perkins funds cannot be used to purchase items such as mugs, T-shirts, pencils, etc., to promote CTE programs.

Administrative rule

Administration – 5 percent ceiling-secondary Postsecondary –MCCS office

 ‘‘(d) ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS.—Each eligible recipient receiving funds under this part shall not use more than 5 percent of the funds for administrative costs associated with the administration of activities assisted under this section.

Foreign Travel

Foreign travel- funds cannot be used for foreign travel unless a grantee receives prior approval of the awarding agency- federal DOE.  Each trip requires a separate approval.

Rule of Authority

Rule of authority – the regulation that is the most rigorous is the document that the grantee needs to comply with.  Federal Perkins requirements are the final rule when in doubt.

Expenses Related to Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO)

CTSO allowable costs

Grant funds can be spent on:

  • leadership workshops
  • curriculum development
  • advisors
  • Field/Laboratory work and activities of students at skill competitions and conferences
  • conferences in which the primary purpose is to disseminate technical information
  • support of student CTE organizations that are an integral part of the CTE instructional program and part of a larger program to serve special pops or nontrad students

Grant funds cannot be spent on:

  • social assemblage and social conventions
  • dances or other recreational activities
  • purchase of items for students personal ownership
  • purchase of awards
  • Payment of membership dues

All travel costs including meals, mileage and lodging must follow the State of Maine guidelines for allowable costs and adhere to the Federal amounts allowed per state and county.  Meal and lodging expenses are the per diem rates established by the United States General Services Administration.  Further guidance can be found at www.maine.gov/osc/travel/travelfaqs.htm.

CTSO unallowable costs

Funds cannot be spent on:

  • social assemblage and social conventions
  • purchase of items for students personal ownership
  • purchase of awards
  • Payment of membership dues

Perkins funds may be used to purchase instructional supplies for CTSOs.

Perkins Eligibility Requirements

CTE State Assessment

All Perkins grantees must participate in the State CTE school review or provide documentation that the school was reviewed by a Maine DOE accepted accreditation organization.

Prior Year Commitments

All required reporting from a previous year must be submitted and approved and unused funds returned before any new grant funds will be awarded.  Failure to comply with the due dates may influence future grant awards.

Establishment of Secondary Career and Technical Education Organizations

All districts must have at least one Career and Technical Education Student Organization (CTSO) in place by the end of the grant year.

Career and Technical Education Advisory Committees

All grantees are to establish an advisory board/committee to serve in an advisory capacity.  The required membership and meeting requirements can be found in State Statue 20-A, Chapter 313.

Career and Technical Education Program Advisory Committees

All grantees are to establish a program advisory board/committee to serve in an advisory capacity. They are required to meet at least annually. 

Live Work
Cooperative Agreement Review

The secondary grantees are also required to hold advisory meetings and review and approve their live work policy and cooperative agreement yearly. Documentation of this review and approval in the advisory meeting minutes will meet this requirement. Please submit by Oct. 2 to Jan Cowan, Maine DOE, State House Station #23, Augusta, Maine, 04333.

Timelines for Administration of Perkins to:

Modify the Perkins Grant

Expenditures of Title I, Part C funds must be in accordance with the budget approved for this project. Any requests for deviation from that budget that exceed 10 percent or $500 per line category per activity must be approved by the Division of Career & Technical Education prior to expenditure of funds. These forms (Project/Budget Adjustment Report) need to be completed online at the Carl Perkins grant site.  Budget adjustment requests must be submitted and approved before the expenditure change can be made.  If the changed expenditure is made before the approval is received the cost may be the responsibility of the CTE school. 

To Obligate the Expenditures:

The grantee must obligate or encumber all Perkins funds prior to June 30 of the current grant year. No extensions are allowable beyond that date. Encumbered funds must be liquidated within 3 months of the end of year.  Encumbrances must be a contract, a formal and binding memorandum of agreement or a purchase order.

Maine Department Of Administrative and Financial Services Cash Management Reports

The department has instituted a cash management system to meet federal regulations regarding limitations on cash-on-hand among recipients of federal funds. Expenditure and cash balance reports will be required on a modified quarterly basis. Further information and forms for this requirement can be obtained from DAFS, Division of Finance. Failure to submit necessary reports on a timely basis for any given grant may result in suspension of all grant payments

Perkins Reporting Requirements

  • Yearend requirements must be submitted and approved before any grantee is eligible for New Year funds.
  • The mid year PPR is due on Jan. 15. 
  • The Financial Year End Report and Annual PPR are due on June 30 to accommodate the new timeline.
  • The postsecondary recipients may have a different due date to enable the system office to review and approve before submission to Maine DOE.
  • The secondary documents are on the online grant system.  The postsecondary documents will be provided by the MCCS office.