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School districts in Tennessee can now apply for Innovative School Model Grants that focus on job training for students.

“Through reimagining the middle or high school experience, students will have a variety of opportunities to gain real-world experience, explore various industries and available jobs, and choose a pathway best suited to their skillset,” said Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

 “I thank Governor Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly who passed this historic opportunity, all districts interested in applying for this funding, and those who helped us celebrate throughout the month.”

The state plans to give out $500 million in grants to schools that apply and are accepted into the program, which was piloted last year.

“In May 2021, the department awarded 21 school district Innovative High School Model grants, which included an initial investment of $30 million to foster local community partnerships that boost student readiness,” according to a TDOE release. These partnerships have already shown an incredible impact on students’ experiences and readiness for the workforce and postsecondary opportunities.

Innovative School Models are meant to prepare Tennessee’s students to join the workforce in a job that is suitable for their skillset. There is a heavy focus on “reimagining the high school experience,” as mentioned by Schwinn.

“The future of innovative programs to boost student and workforce readiness in Tennessee is brighter than ever,” TDOE says. “Through reimagining the high school experience; becoming more strategic about engaging younger students in career exploration; expanding access to courses; improving how data is collected and used; and being even more intentional in how we listen to—and learn from—Tennesseans, we will continue to keep our state’s workforce strong for years to come.”

In addition, the Tennessee General Assembly unanimously passed a law requiring school districts to implement new computer science course guidelines.

“The new computer science requirements include providing professional development for teachers to successfully implement computer science instruction, all elementary schools must provide each student with a grade-appropriate computer, all middle schools must provide students access to computer science instruction for a minimum of at least one grading period of one school year, and all high schools must provide all students who pursue a traditional diploma with at least one course credit of computer science education,” TDOE says.

_ _ _

Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Autoshop Class” by the US Department of Education. CC BY 2.0.

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Tags: computer science penny schwinn tennessee department of education tennessee general assembly tennessee department of education the tennessee general assembly school districts school districts the tennessee the workforce boost student at least one districts in tennessee

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Schools could cut classes to just THREE DAYS a week as rising teacher salaries and huge energy bills cripple budgets

SCHOOLS are considering slashing classes to just THREE days a week as rising teacher salaries and monster energy bills erode budgets.

It comes as headteachers, trustees and governors have been holding concerning "crisis meetings" to thrash out ideas to keep schools' finances above water come September.

2Kids could be facing three day weeks so their schools can keep their doors open in the face of soaring pricesCredit: Getty 2Southend High School for boys will see a whopping £200,000 rise in utility bills this SeptemberCredit: Google Maps

Amid energy bills rising by a whopping 300 percent and teacher pay rising, schools have been considering all options to save cash.

Marc Jordan, CEO of Creative Education Trust, which has 17 schools in the Midlands and East Anglia, told The Telegraph he'd caught wind that some schools are discussing a “three-day week” to save on costs.

Meanwhile Dr Robin Bevan, headmaster of top grammar school Southend High School for Boys in Essex, said four-day weeks "will certainly be being considered” by others.

He added how the slashed weeks are will become a "realistic prospect sooner rather than later” thanks to drastic underfunding of schools which haven't kept up with soaring inflation.

Shorter school days and fewer after school clubs are likely to become a common sight in schools as well, another academy trust CEO warned.

And this will likely come alongside draconian restrictions on energy usage in schools up and down Britain as the nation weathers the energy price crisis.

Speaking about his own school, Dr Bevan revealed utility costs had risen by an astounding £200,000.

Rising salaries for teachers will add an additional £70,000 more than the Essex school had budgeted for, while a further £40,000 will need to be found for support staff.

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It comes as funding per pupil in England has collapsed by nine percent between 2010 and 2020 in real terms.

Despite this, the Government has pledged an extra £7 billion for school budgets in England by 2024.

The Sun Online have approached the Department for Education for comment.

The shocking revelations come as parents will be struggling to shell out on new uniform and back to school kit for their kids amid the soaring cost of living.

But new research has found the best days to pick up the essentials at the cheapest price.

And buying at the right time could save you nearly £200, according to Idealo data shared exclusively with The Sun.

Those wishing to pick up school bags should aim for August 26 for the best bargains.

Meanwhile tablets are at their cheapest on September 8, costing £370.78, on average -25 percent cheaper than in January when they' avaeage £434.94.

Pens and pencils are estimated to be at their cheapest September 12 at £9.92 while sport lovers should pick up their football boots September 4 as they're predicted to be priced at £62.60.

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