Bartow plans for CTAE
by Mark Andrews
Jul 24, 2013 | 1594 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bartow County Public Schools are expanding their Career Technical and Agricultural Education offerings this upcoming school year. Despite lapses in federal and state funding as well as other economical factors that have hurt most public entities, Bartow County College and Career Academy CEO Paul Sabin said he remains optimistic about the growing educational field.

“In 2006, the basic federal grants for CTAE were over $16 million and in this fiscal year it’s almost $12 million, so overall there has been about a 30 percent cut over that timespan,” Sabin said during Monday’s Bartow County Board of Education work session. “Even though we continue to talk building skills in this area, the funding has been reduced and of course when the federal funds get reduced to the state, they get reduced to the local systems.”

For example, he said in 2006 the system received $132,000 in the form of a grant for CTAE and the amount for 2013 will be $104,000.

“We are in the process of trying to build something here that the community has asked for with the college and career academy,” Sabin said. “We’re trying to do more with less and we’re trying to provide a service for our students and community and we’re doing it ... on a shoestring budget.”

In an effort to continue its partnership with the BCCCA, the Georgia Power Foundation on Monday presented a $15,000 check to Sabin to aid with the academy’s engineering program.

“This [grant] is perfect. We’re going to be preparing people for that particular industry,” he said, adding the system is appreciative of the grant.

Sabin said student enrollment in CTAE courses has gone up in the past few years and he expects that trend to continue as the state requires high school students to complete what are considered “career pathways” in order to graduate. However, the pathways are not limited to CTAE courses.

Following the work session was a business session, during which the board voted to approve the application of nearly $500,000 in CTAE grants.

In other school news, the system is continuing to expand its technology and infrastructure to meet the addition of new laptops in schools beginning this year. For example, increasing bandwidth from 100 [megabytes-per-second] to 100 Mbps at all facilities.

“For the last several years the connectivity between our facilities has been minimal and it really hasn’t needed to be much more than that,” Director of Technology Services Mark Bagnell said. “But when you start exponentially increasing the number of devices on your network and the communication between our facilities ... and the outside world, that bandwidth has to increase.”

The board also approved the purchase of 3,000 Filewave licenses in the amount of $42,840 which Bagnell explained will allow the technology department to work on the newly purchased laptops remotely in the case of technology issues.