Fairmont Schools Superintendent Joe Brown and welding instructor Bob Bonin in the past two weeks testified in front of key legislative committees on three bills that provide funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes outside the regular school day.

Fairmont has been a leader in offering CTE classes, starting with welding on Saturdays and in the summer for high school students who otherwise cannot fit them into their schedule and community members who wish to learn these valuable CTE skills for employment. This effort has been supported by local employers who are looking for skilled CTE workers, especially welders.

On Thursday, Brown and Bonin shared their district’s experience with the House Education Finance Committee and advocated for the expansion of this opportunity to other school districts.

Each bill is slightly different. Here’s a look at each of them:

  • HF 692 (Poppe) allows any school district that offers and enrolls students for secondary credit in career and technical education courses outside the school day extended time revenue up 0.2 ADM for this purpose.
  • HF 73 (Gunther) expands on HF 692 by allowing school districts to access extended time revenue up to 0.2 ADM for CTE classes and science, technology, engineering, or math courses offered outside the regular school day.
  • HF 246 (Bennett) limits the total amount of funding to a set appropriation for FY 20 and 21 and has the Commissioner of Education prioritize school district grant recipients according to programs provided. The maximum grant amounts are determined by the number of students enrolled.  The appropriation line in the bill was left blank at this time.  HF246’s companion SF2281 (Rosen) was heard earlier this month in the Senate E-12 committee.

MREA recognized the Bob Bonin and the results he has achieved in the Fairmont community as a 2018 MREA Educator of Excellence.

Extending CTE funding to extended time is part of the MREA 2019 platform.

View Video   Listen to Audio Testimony begins 1 hour 13 minutes into the meeting.