Congress has approved an updated version of the nation's vocational education law, rebuffing White House attempts to kill the program. The move secures federal support for vocational education through 2012. President Bush signed the bill into law Aug. 14.

Known as the Perkins Act, the law steers $1.3 billion a year into career-based courses in high schools and community colleges, a large part of which is used to purchase technology and train students for success in an increasingly competitive global economy. Though the federal commitment represents only a fraction of the money schools spend each...

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