New funds in Governor Bill Lee’s budget will be coming to Upper Cumberland CTE programs starting next school year.
Over the course of the next four years, innovative grants up to $1 million for high schools and $500,000 for middle schools will be available statewide. White County Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger said the district has preliminary plans prepared for the application coming next month.
“With our award-winning broadcast department, we want to do a mobile television truck,” Dronebarger said. ‘We want to roll that thing and go around the community, use our kids to film all kind of events going on and of course cover our sporting events and graduation. So that’s one idea.”
Dronebarger said the high school also exploring an idea of purchasing a food truck for culinary students to use. Dronebarger said the idea brings an opportunity to partner with the agricultural department.
“Thrown out the idea and working with our culinary arts department and being able to serve our teachers at events, and maybe different events around the community and having our kids work the truck,” Dronebarger said. “There’s even talk of eventually coordinating with our agricultural department and using some of the food products that they grow.”
Dronebarger said another idea is using the money to expand the schools computer science program. Dronebarger said he sees the career options as the wave of the future.
“We always look at data and look at what the trending jobs are and what employees need right now,” Dronebarger said. ‘We know the computer industry is booming. It is involved in so many aspects and it’s an area that we don’t really have a strong program in right now.”
Dronebarger said at the middle school level, the money could be used to introduce careers to younger students. Dronebarger said the grants are not competitive. Dronebarger said the application would be just a formality to express intent to use the funds.