Government Comes up with New Competitive Grant Program

Association of Educators
November 20, 2013 — 793 views  

President Barack Obama launched his latest competitive grant program which has been designed to prepare students in a much better way to opt for high tech careers. But the grant program did not do much to impress either the education groups or the lawmakers.

Named as Youth CareerConnect, this program aims to deliver 25-40 competitive grants to groups of secondary schools as well as higher education institutions. These grants worth $2-$7 million will be given to those educational institutions which build programs for helping students in preparing for their jobs in the market.

Obama spoke about the program during the official announcement. He said that the government has already outlined the challenges that the program might face and is coming up with solutions to deal with them.

This program, which is going to cost the government around $100 million, has taken inspiration from technical education and career programs such as P-TECH (which offers educational courses for graduation, associate degrees as well as for students between the age group of 9 to 14.) Obama had paid a visit to this school in the past month and also mentioned it in his State of the Union addresses of 2013.

Ready to Work on Challenges

The process of starting out with the awards will begin in early 2014. Obama said that the groundwork for this program is already ready. He also said that care was taken to ensure that it was well according to the regulations given out by the Education Department’s competitive grant program. A website has already been put in place giving the details of the program. It also includes the information about applicants and has put up the due date to be January 27.

The guidelines of the program indicate that it won’t be very easy for schools to win the grant. A big part of the application evolution will be based on the way the programs of the institutions have been designed. Also, preference will be given to schools which have many students from low-income families.

Few Groups Not Happy with the Program

But certain parts of the grant program have not gone down well with some lawmakers and educational institutes as they are worried about such programs putting rural schools at disadvantage. Certain educational advocates believe that it may get a little difficult for most of the rural schools to come in terms with the guidelines mentioned in the grant. They were specifically unhappy with the proposal mentioning the requirement of getting into a partnership with K-12 and institutions providing higher education.

Association of Educators