1917 - 1956

1917 - Smith Hughes Act

The Smith Hughes Act was the first federal vocational legislation. It recognized the disaplines of agricultural education, home economics and industrial education in public high schools. It allotted $7,161,455 to vocational education. States who wished to receive funding for vocational education were required to establish a state board for vocational education. Some states established vocational education boards that were separate from it's state board of education. The Smith-Hughes Act focused on a segregating a curriculum in Agriculture, Homemaking, Trade and Industrial apart academic studies and all other vocational programs. This allowed student organizations to form such as the FHA and FFA.

1929 - George-Reed Act
George-Reed Act focused only on agriculture and home economics. It removed home economics from the trade and industrial sections of the Smith Hughes Act. It allotted no funding, and had a five year term limit. It did however authorize annual appropriations.

1936 - George-Deen Act
The George Deen Act allotted $12 million for agriculture, home economics, and trade and industrial education. It added distributive occupations which are referred to today as marketing programs. Of the $12 million, $1.2 million were allotted to vocational guidance and occupational information. For the first time, it included funding for supervisor travel. It was the beginning of a trend towards making vocational education more flexible.

1946 - George-Barden Act

The George Barden Act amended the George-Deen Act, and allotted $34 million towards the programs specified in the George-Deen Act. It was even more flexible than the George Deen act, and could be distributed by the state boards of vocational education in four specific fields. It allowed for funds to be used for state director salary and expenses; vocational counselor salary and expenses; training and work experience programs. It could also be used for out of school youth programs, and to support travel associated with the FFA, and the NFA. and the New. Money could also be used to purchase or rent any equipment necessary for vocational instruction, teacher training, guidance, and research.

1956 - Health Amendments Act
The health Amendments Act of 1956 added Title II to the Vocational Education Act of 1946. It authorized an appropriation not to exceed $5,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1957, and for each of the next four fiscal years, for the purpose of extending and improving practical nurse training.  P.L. 87-22 extended this appropriation authorization an additional four years, to June 30, 1965, and deleted the phrase requiring extension and improvement.