PUTNAM COUNTY – The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) announced $2.9 million in Perkins Reserve Grants to 44 school districts for the 2022-23 school year to support career and technical education (CTE) across the state. Districts are eligible to apply for a Secondary Grant and/or Regional Career Pathways Grant, which are included in the Perkins Reserve Grant funds provided to states. Putnam County School System (PCSS) was awarded $40,000 for the secondary grant and a $150,000 grant for Regional Career Pathways.
“We are incredibly honored and excited to receive this funding for our CTE programs. We plan to increase industry certification opportunities in all high-wage, high-skilled and in-demand programs of study for students and begin the creation of a new mobile career exploration lab called, JACEE, Jobs and Career Exploration for Everyone,” said Dr. Leslie Eldridge, CTE Supervisor for PCSS. “As we enter into the new school year, we will allow submissions from the middle and high school fine arts classes to submit the design for the JACEE bus.”
According to the TDOE, the Perkins Reserve Grant (PRG) is a competitive grant opportunity made possible through the federal Perkins V legislation passed in 2018. In 2020, the PRG grant opportunity was redesigned under the four-year Strengthening Career and Technical Education in Tennessee state plan to foster local innovation and support implementation of CTE programs and career pathways, especially in more rural areas, aligned with regionally identified high skill, high wage and/or in-demand occupations or industries.
During the month of July, the department is celebrating Innovative School Models, which are aligned to the programs funded through the Perkins Reserve Grant Awards by eliminating structural barriers that exist between the middle and high school, workforce, and postsecondary opportunities. These models allow students the ability to seamlessly make connections earlier and graduate high school prepared to successfully complete a postsecondary credential or excel in a career pathway of their choice.
Director of Schools Corby King shared, “We continue to focus, prioritize and strengthen our CTE program helping bridge the gap between middle and high school. With grant funds like Perkins Reserve given to our district and those across the state, we are able to continue that mission and prepare students for in-demand jobs in our workforce.”
More information on the Perkins Reserve Grant may be found here.