Carnegie, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Secretary Pedro A. Rivera today joined school and local officials at Carlynton Junior-Senior High School to discuss the Wolf Administration’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP), the 2019-20 budget proposal which expands STEM and computer science instruction and increases investments in schools and teachers.
“Pennsylvania's economic future depends on a well-educated and highly trained workforce,” said Secretary Rivera, who was visiting the school as part of the Schools That Teach Tour. “Governor Wolf’s SWEAP plan expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in PAsmart and educational opportunities, and partners with the private sector to make sure students are learning the skills they need to be successful when they graduate.”
During the visit, Secretary Rivera also learned about the district’s Schools Together with Athletes Reaching Success (STARS) program, which coordinates interscholastic opportunities among 23 districts where students build friendships through athletic and social events.
Introduced in this year’s budget proposal, the SWEAP plan focuses on recruiting and retaining qualified teachers by raising the minimum salary from the current $18,500 to $45,000; raises the age at which high school students can drop out of school from 17 to 18; and advocates lowering the compulsory age for school attendance from 8 years to 6 years.
It also includes an additional $10 million in funding to build on the success of the PAsmart initiative. Governor Wolf launched PAsmart last year as a groundbreaking approach to prepare students and workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow. PAsmart expanded STEM, computer science education, and apprenticeship and job training to close the skills gap and rapidly meet the needs of employers.
In January, the Carlynton School District received funding from a PAsmart targeted grant to expand computer science classes and teacher training. In addition to helping schools introduce and expand computer science programming, the targeted grants will provide greater opportunities for students of color, low-income students and girls to learn critical skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce.
Combined with the $8.7 million in PAsmart targeted grants, the Wolf administration has awarded nearly $20 million this year to bolster STEM and computer science in schools and nearly $10 million to expand apprenticeships and job training.
Investing in schools and improving education for all students has been the hallmark of Governor Wolf’s vision for Schools That Teach. Under his leadership, Pennsylvania has increased access to high-quality education to ensure all students, regardless of zip code, are college and career ready.
Through the Schools That Teach Initiative, Wolf Administration officials from multiple agencies have visited dozens of schools across the state since 2015. View a Google map of all tour stops.
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