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State Senate President Announces $250 Million Career Education Grant

Careers Pathway Trust, a grant that was proposed by state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, will provide money for programs in high-demand sectors including science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

State Senate President Announces $250 Million Career Education Grant
By Bay City News Service

A $250 million state grant towards career-oriented programs for high schools, community colleges and their business partners in high-demand fields was announced in El Sobrante Tuesday morning.

Careers Pathway Trust, a grant that was proposed by state Sen.  Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, will provide money for programs in high-demand sectors including science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The grants would be implemented through "linked learning" curriculum that combines academic rigor with career preparation, Steinberg's communication director Mark Hedlund said.

The approach would allow a student in an engineering program, for example, to learn mathematics applicable to their field as opposed to taking algebra, geometry and pre-calculus classes, he said.

The grant comes from the state's 2013-14 Budget Act that would be available over a three-year period and could be spent through 2018.

It would be administered through the state's Department of Education that is expected to have a process set-up for school districts or regional consortiums comprised of multiple districts to apply for the grant by January, Hedlund said.

Steinberg announced the grant during a news conference with educators and employers this morning at De Anza High School, which offers academies in health, tech and law.

Steinberg also visited classes offered by each academy this morning, tech academy lead John Hillyer said. Linked Learning at De Anza High School is one the early pilot programs that has been around for five years.

During their freshman year students take a class from each academy a quarter and join one for their last three years, Hillyer said.

One aspect of the program is integrative projects where the students' curriculum would incorporate aspects of their assignment.

For example, a student could design a project in their elective class, conduct research in their history class and learn how to write a proposal in their English class, Hillyer said.

In the tech academy, new Apple and PC computer labs were created at the high school's new campus that opened in September, he said.

Careers Pathway Trust would address the skills gap and high dropout rate in the state's education system, according to a statement from Steinberg's office.

Steinberg recently visited Switzerland schools where he learned students who participated in career-oriented programs had higher rates of graduation and enhanced job skills during their apprenticeships.

Switzerland has the world's lowest youth unemployment rate at four percent, according to a statement from Steinberg's office.

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