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Grant could boost Hart district program

$177,000 would be used to train teachers for technical education studies

Posted: June 14, 2009 10:52 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Hart district officials hope a $177,835 grant from the federal government will give its career-technical education program for students a boost for the 2009-10 school year.

"We want the career-technical education classes to be up to date," said Ron Rudzinski, the Hart district's coordinator for technical education and workforce preparation.

Examples of the Hart district's career-technical education paths range from plumbing to drafting and child-care occupations, Rudzinski said.

The Hart district grant would come from the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act.

Since the grant is from the U.S. government, it is not tied to the current state budget crisis, Rudzinski said.

The funds would not directly benefit students. Instead, they would be used for teacher training.

Making sure that teachers are properly trained makes sure that the students get more information and training, and thus are better able to find entry-level jobs after high school, or pursue further training, he said.

"We're trying to keep up with the curve of technology," he said.

At the same time, funding the program keeps kids interested in earning real-world skills.

"It can help build the marketing and interest level of the students and allow them to go into more venues to apply what they've learned," he said.

The funding, which benefits the district's Regional Occupational Program and career-technical classes at the high schools, allows for the district to enhance its program through supplemental supplies, such as the purchase of a new machine for a class, he said.

While there are no plans for a new addition, the grant would allow for the funding of a program for up to three years, he said.

Instructors are also able to attend training seminars related to the career-technical field they teach, he said.

The funding comes at a time where a budget crunch has eliminated the option of attending conferences for professional development, he said.

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