On Wednesday, September 14, 2016, about 200 interested citizens from Saline County and beyond gathered to learn about a school that may be coming to Benton. It’s called a Career Technical Education (CTE) School, and would work with local schools to equip students with technical skills that they can use to gain employment. This type of school pools resources from area schools. Where a smaller school might not be able to offer a certain pathway of learning due to its size, sharing a CTE school with other districts fills that need. There are seven local school districts that have been planning together with the Saline County Economic Development Corporation, Benton and Bryant Chambers of Commerce, Saline County government and State Legislators to make this happen. The schools are Bauxite, Benton, Bryant, Fountain Lake, Glen Rose, Harmony Grove and Sheridan.
In the following video from the meeting, you’ll see several speakers, but the main information begins at 00:43:16 with Theo Pappas.
- 00:01:22 – Lamont Cornwell, Director of Saline County Economic Development Corporation welcomes those gathered.
- 00:05:03 – Arkansas Senator Alan Clark speaks on his experience as a business owner and legislator without a college degree.
- 00:17:55 – Linda Bunch of Rineco tells about the need for technical expertise in industry.
- 00:31:08 – Tom Baxley of Baxley Penfield Moudy speaks about his son’s success after going through an apprentice program instead of college.
- 00:41:49 – Cornwell summarizes, then introduces next speaker
- 00:43:16 – Theo Pappas, Architect, Senior Planner at Stantec – slide presentation
- 01:13:49 – Cornwell speaks about the CTE School in Frisco, TX
- 01:15:28 – Q&A from audience regarding time, funding, transportation, similar schools, landowner, location, more.
The following are screenshots from Google Maps, showing the location for this proposed school to be near Exit 114 on Interstate 30.
Wide, Medium and Close-up screenshots – click each to see large version.
On Tuesday, September 14, 2016, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins Act).
Congressman French Hill (AR-02) stated, “One of the great challenges of our education system today is providing students with the necessary skills to ensure successful careers. [This] bill would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act for the first time in more than 10 years, empowering our state and local leaders, modernizing our CTE programs for today’s jobs, and ensuring that students in Arkansas and throughout the country obtain the skills needed to find long-term, meaningful employment.”