"In two years, students will be required to stay in high school until they reach 18. Career and technical education has concrete, real-world applications, and we believe it poses one viable option for students who may otherwise have chosen to drop out," said Gov. Mike Rounds.
Through career and technical education, students learn about the strong connection between high school, postsecondary education and the workplace.
Grant proposals focused on seven key areas: academic and technical skills, career guidance, entrepreneurial activities, new CTE programs within specific career clusters, partnerships, adding rigor to high school, and distance learning.
"By encouraging distance learning projects within this grant, we should see more CTE courses available statewide via the new Virtual High School," said Mark Wilson, director of career and technical education for the South Dakota Department of Education.
The South Dakota Legislature appropriated $1.5 million in career and technical education funds earlier this year, which was an increase of $500,000 over last year's funding. The Department of Education received more than 80 applications requesting $2.8 million to fund initiatives during the 2007-08 school year.
Local districts that are recipients of career and technical educations grants include the Vermillion School District, the Viborg School District and the Yankton School District.