Bill in legislature could bring funding for school technical pro - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Bill in legislature could bring funding for school technical programs

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PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) -

State legislators appear close to approving $50 million in bond money for schools. It would go toward replacing equipment in high school technology programs.

"The updated equipment, the latest equipment, is certainly going to be beneficial because it's going to help prepare out students for the real world," said Leslie McGough, Administrator at the Autauga Technology Center.

Students can get a wide range of hands-on experience at the center - from engineering to medicine.

It also touts the new Microsoft IT Academy program, from which 18 students already have certificates.

 "It's something employers are looking for, those credentials are very important," McGough said.

But with tight budgets, keeping up with the latest technology can be challenging.

"We're improving our financial situation, but we're not at the point where I can invest $100,000 in new technology," said Spencer Agee, Superintendent for the Autauga County Schools

Under the proposal, some of the funding would be allocated directly to school systems, while other funds would be distributed though the newly-created 21st Century Workforce Grant Fund program.  

"If we don't have continually a type of revenue source coming in to help us, the initial investment could become very stale," Agee said.

The State House of Representatives passed the bill overwhelmingly.  The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education has also approved the bill, which now heads to the full Senate.

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