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PTECH programs set to receive extended state funding

PTECH programs across New York that receive state grant funding – including three programs in the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery region – will receive additional state funds to continue operation for up to 11 more years, and possibly permanently.

In 2013, New York State launched the Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or PTECH, program, awarding 16 grants to help fund programs in different areas of the state, including the HFM PTECH in Johnstown. In subsequent years, the state awarded additional PTECH grants including one for the HFM Agricultural PTECH in St. Johnsville and another for the recently announced Foothills PTECH, which will open in September 2018 in Gloversville and Johnstown. Today, there are more than 30 PTECHs receiving state grants, and additional programs are set to open next year. This week, the New York State Department of Education notified district superintendents that the grant cycles for PTECHs across the state have again been funded for many additional years.

“We are very appreciative to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Education for recognizing our efforts and continuing the support of this highly successful program that is transforming education in our region and across the state,” said HFM BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel. “We will continue to advocate for legislation that is being developed now to make PTECH funding permanent, thereby ensuring the PTECH model can be implemented by every school district in the state.”

Locally, through the state’s commitment for continued funding, HFM PTECH will continue to receive grant funding through the end of the 2024-25 school year, Ag PTECH through the end of the 2026-27 school year, and Foothills PTECH will be funded through the end of the 2028-29 school year.

Dr. Michel says state legislation will soon be introduced to permanently include PTECH funding in New York State Education Law and incorporate it into state Foundation Aid. “I am pleased to see the commitment on the state level to make our PTECH model a permanent part of the educational opportunity in New York State.”

PTECH schools embrace a new model for high school education centered on project-based learning and include college-level, credit-bearing coursework in the curriculum that allows students to choose their own “pathways” to high-skills jobs in different career clusters. PTECH students begin the program in ninth grade and spend the next four to six years earning a Regents high school diploma and an associate degree at no cost to their families.

In additional to the two existing PTECHs and the new Foothills PTECH, HFM BOCES is also working with other school districts in the area, including Amsterdam and Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville, to offer college degree and career pathway opportunities for their students next year using the PTECH model.

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