State Strategies for Financing Career and Technical Education

Categorical Funding for CTE Programs at the Postsecondary Level (AY2011–12)

Survey results indicate that just five of the 37 states for which information was available provided categorical funding for CTE at the postsecondary level in AY 2011–12, with the majority (30 states) relying on foundational funding to support instructional programming at IHEs. Two states reported directing some categorical funds to area CTE centers. The absence of categorical funding for CTE does not mean that technical training is not valued within states; but rather, that funding for CTE at the postsecondary level is simply not differentiated from the state’s basic aid for community and technical colleges. Within the categorical funding group, states used one of two approaches at the postsecondary level to distribute funds:

Student-based formulas (two states)
As in secondary education, states use this approach to distribute funds based on the number of students enrolled in CTE programs. Both states weight CTE student participation according to program type.

Unit-based formulas (three states)
Three states tie state funding to CTE instructional units as a way to fund the differential costs of course delivery. An instructional unit is defined as the ratio of CTE instructors to student credit hours.

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Student-based Forumla
Unit-based Formula