KDE’s decision — the reasoning behind which is still unclear — means the program will not be receiving $15,000 in anticipated funding.
Whatever the basis of KDE’s decision, it certainly wasn’t because the Project Lead the Way Program (which provides intense technical and engineering training) was underperforming in Trigg County.
Indeed, at a recent computer-assisted design competition at Western Kentucky University, Trigg County students swept the top three places from the defending champions.
Lori Ricks, the teacher of the program, said Trigg County “is looked at as the No.1 program to go to and ask questions” about setting up similar programs. She said she has already played host to seven inquisitive districts, with more in the pipeline.
Director of Operations Matt Ladd said the frustration with KDE is exacerbated by the fact the program is ineligible for many grants because it has already gotten off the ground.
“If there was a grant to write, we’d write it,” he said.
Superintendent Tim McGinnis said the program’s successes had come without much support from KDE’s Career and Technical Education branch.
“You can’t count on them,” said Board Chairman Mike Davis.
At the recommendation of McGinnis, the board (sans absent members Marc Terrell and Sharon Simmons) unanimously approved up to $20,000 to continue funding the program.
“It’s a very, very rewarding program,” Ladd said. “It’s worth every penny.”
In other action, the board also approved the creation of a half-day position of math coach.
High School math teacher Karen Rogers will spend two weeks of extensive training at WKU, funded by the Kentucky Center of Mathematics, to become a math coach.
Though the training comes at no cost to the school system, they will have to fund up to $25,000 to hire a part-time math teacher to work during the time Rogers would serve as math coach.
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.