Red-Tape Concerns Raised On Federal High School Aid

Career College Central summary:

  • A new $100 million program aimed at helping high schools better prepare students for college and high-tech careers is getting a divided reaction from advocates worried its value could be undercut by the federal strings and lengthy application form.
  • The program, called Youth CareerConnect, which President Barack Obama first sketched out in his State of the Union Address, appears to be a mix between the Race to the Top and the Investing in Innovation programs. But it will be operated by the U.S. Department of Labor, not the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Between 25 and 40 grants will be awarded next year for high schools that team up with colleges and employers. The grants will range in size from $2 million to $7 million. Just as with the i3 competition, winners will have to secure private matching funds of at least 25 percent to get their grant.
  • Awards are expected to be made in early 2014 so schools can implement their winning plans during the 2014-15 school year. Applicants must include, at a minimum, a local education agency, an entity such as a state or local workforce investment board, an employer, and an institution of higher education. To put it in perspective, these are not huge grants. The 2013 i3 grants—designed to find and scale up the most innovative education practices—ranged from $3 million to $20 million.
  • The high school grants will be paid for with revenue from the Labor Department's H1-B visa program, which helps attract highly skilled workers to the country.

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EDUCATION WEEK
 

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