Gov. Tom Wolf is dedicating approximately $10.5 million to Career and Technical Education Centers to assist them in implementing public health and safety plans and help them to resume operations. CTC Equity grants provide funding to support effective continuity of education programs, such as summer and other expanded programming, and industry credential assessments for students enrolled in CTCs negatively impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Bucks County Technical High School in Fairless Hills will receive $138,470.
“CTCs across Pennsylvania are preparing students to enter the commonwealth’s workforce, and our communities depend on having these highly-skilled students complete their education and earn their certifications,” Wolf said. “This funding will help these institutions resume instruction safety.”
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes governors to determine the educational use of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds.
Grants were calculated based on the allocation formula for federal Perkins CTC grants, which takes into account the population of students ages 5-17 and the percent of poverty within the same age group. In addition, the formula includes a factor to account for a local education agency’s overall student enrollment in career and technical education programs.
GEER funds can be used toward the safe reopening of schools in light of COVID-19. This may include, but is not limited to, purchasing protective equipment, hand sanitizer/cleaning products, equipment or technology to take classrooms online, installation of barriers or other protective devices in building structures, or to purchase health apps to assist in contact tracing and monitoring of students.
Grant recipients will receive direct communication from PDE with eGrant application instructions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all levels of education across the commonwealth, including CTCs which have a greater level of hands-on instruction,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “Many of these students start their careers right after graduation, contributing to the economies of their local communities and the state. It’s imperative that we keep this pathway available for students.”
Since 2014-15, the number of career and technical education students earning industry-recognized credentials has increased by 50.1 percent and the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs has grown by 43.3 percent.
There are more than 80 CTCs in Pennsylvania that offer a combination of classes and hands-on learning in programs approved by the Department of Education. Thousands of students earn industry credentials or certifications for local jobs in high demand, so they graduate on a path for success.