What were the major provisions legislated by the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917?  

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dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 legislated federal funding for vocational education in public high schools. Two major provisions of the act required that federal funds for vocational education be separated from the general education funding and that students be segregated from those not in the vocational programs. The states recieving this funding were mandated to set up a State Board of Vocational Education. The purpose of this board was to keep all vocational funding separate, annually document and report how funding was spent. The law also stipulated how the vocational curriculum would be segregated from the academic. Referred to as the 50-25-25 rule, students educated under the funding must have 50% of their education in shop vocational, 25% in related subjects, and 25% in academic studies. Although these provisions intended to secure accountability for the federal funds as well as provide a complete vocational education to all those in the programs, in reality the vocational students were at an academic disadvantage. It must be noted that the Smith-Hughes act of 1917 has undergone several changes since becoming law, most of which dedicated to its effectiveness and relevance in education.