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Shapiro Administration Highlights STEM and CTE Investments at Forbes Road School District


Waterfall, PA - Today, Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin visited Forbes Road School District (FRSD), one of the smallest school districts in the Commonwealth. During his time with students and staff, he was able to see first-hand how investments in career and technical education (CTE) and STEM programs are helping students prepare for jobs in critical sectors across Pennsylvania.

“Schools are the heart of our communities, they play a pivotal role in the lives of students and their families, neighbors, businesses, and connect people through common experiences, backgrounds, and goals,” said Sec. Mumin. “Despite its small size, Forbes Road School District is doing big things for its students and the community. Providing opportunities for students to learn and grow through hands-on programs like welding and automotive technology, STEM programs, and their development of a new STEM lab and maker space will propel students into their futures, ready to take on whatever the world has in store for them.”

Forbes Road School District – one of the smallest school districts in the Commonwealth, with around 400 total students – provides no shortage of opportunities for students to learn, grow, and explore career paths and interests. Career and technical education (CTE) courses such as Automotive Technology and Welding prepare individuals to apply the technical knowledge and skills they learn in the classroom to real-world examples. In addition to receiving a real-world, career-ready education, students in the Automotive Technology Program can earn credentials such as their Motor Oil License, General Inspection License, Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification, and more. Students in the Welding Technology program are able to earn certifications by the American Welding Society, obtained through the welding program, in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SWAM), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Oxy-Arc Cutting (OAW), and many others.

The Shapiro Administration is committed to making sure students have access to the resources and support they need to succeed – in school and beyond. In addition to a historic increase in basic education funding, the Governor’s 2023-24 budget secured $23.5 million for career and technical education to prepare more students for skilled careers, $6 million in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programming, and an additional $3.5 million to fund the Schools-to-Work Program to develop and expand career pathways for high school students. The 2024-25 budget proposal builds on last year’s progress with another $2.4 million investment in career and technical education to ensure all Pennsylvania children in schools of all sizes have the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed. 

“Forbes Road School District would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education, Dr. Khalid Mumin. In our close-knit community, every student is a story waiting to unfold, and we are glad PDE gets to witness the passion, dedication, and boundless potential that define the heart of rural education," said Superintendent Clint Heath.

In addition to hands-on CTE opportunities, FRSD is in the process of developing a pre k through 12th grade maker space and STEM lab which plans to open in time for the 2024-25 school year. This space will serve as a creative hub where students can explore, innovate, and collaborate on hands-on projects. It will foster skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity through activities like tinkering, designing, and building. In this space students can turn their ideas into reality and develop practical skills across various disciplines – from STEM to arts, and beyond.

Governor Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposal, in addition to continuing support for career and technical education, builds on last year’s historic budget and includes a nearly $1.1 billion increase in basic education funding – the largest in Pennsylvania history. It also includes $300 million for school environmental repairs, $100 million for mental health supports in schools, a $50 million increase for special education funding, increases in career and technical education, a $50 million annual investment in school safety and security improvements, $10 million for the Educator Talent Recruitment Account, and $975 million to the community colleges and PASSHE universities that will comprise a new postsecondary system—a 15 percent increase in the amount of funding those institutions received last year.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on FacebookTwitterYouTube, or Pinterest

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