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Career Technical Student Organizations Memo

Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division
May 2007

Expenditure of Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, (P.L. 109-270) Funds for Career Technical Student Organizations.

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 permits the use of Title I, Basic Grant Funds, to support career technical student organizations (CTSOs) and related activities. Funds used for appropriate CTSO activities must follow the established guidelines for use of Title I- Part C funds.

The Act defines “career and technical student organizations” as “an organization of individuals enrolled in a career and technical education program that engages in career and technical activities as an integral part of the instructional program. Such organizations may have state and national units that aggregate the work and purposes of instruction in career and technical education at the local level.” In California, the state supported career and technical student organizations include: California DECA: A Marketing Association (formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), and Skills USA (formerly Vocational Industrial Clubs of America-VICA).

Outlined below are the criteria for expenditure of Perkins funds for CTSOs by general areas of expenditures of funds, as well as examples of both allowable and non-allowable expenditures.

  1. Qualifying Criteria for the Expenditure of Funds:
    • Title I-Part C funds may only be expended in instructional programs identified for improvement in the application/plan for Perkins funds.
    • The career technical student organization must be an integral part of the instructional program.
    • All expenditures must be for the purpose of improving and expanding career and technical instruction and meet the guidelines for the use of funds.
    • Activities supported with these funds must be made available to all students enrolled in a class or program without regards to membership in any career student organization.
  2. General Areas Where Funds May Be Expended:
    • Career technical student organization supplies and materials
    • Career technical student organization activities
    • Career technical student organization advisor expenses
  3. Examples of Allowable Expenditures:
    • Student in-state travel expenses when organization membership is not a precondition
    • CTSO advisor travel (both in-state and out-of-state), lodging, conference registration, and per diem while supervising students participating in approved career technical student organization activities
    • Instructional supplies and materials, such as chapter handbooks, leadership development materials, and official recordkeeping handbooks
    • Equipment that is appropriate to the career technical student organization program and that benefits all students in a class/program
  4. Examples of Non-allowable Expenditures:
    • Career technical student organization membership dues
    • That portion of a student’s conference registration fees used for food, lodging, awards, social assemblages, and recreation.
    • Student food and/or lodging expenses
    • Student out-of-state travel
    • Any item which becomes the personal property of a student or advisor such as a uniform, briefcase, or pins
    • Cost of a social activity or assemblage, such as a dance

The California Department of Education continues to recognize and support the role and value of career and technical student organizations in providing quality leadership development training for students related to the career and technical education course/program in which they are enrolled.

For further information on uses of Title I- Part C funds, please contact Michelle McIntosh, Administrator, 916-322-5050 or email

Questions:   Perkins | | 916-322-5050
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 22, 2020