Unfortunately, classroom curriculum doesn’t always translate into the real world. That’s not to say that classroom learning is not important, but knowing how to successfully function in the workforce, or perform a practical job is equally as significant. For this reason, Career and Technical Education programs, also known as CTE, have steadily become a part of the K-12 education plan. Unfortunately, these programs require funding that most public schools in America just don’t have.

Luckily, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 have provided federal funding to states and discretionary grants for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary CTE programs across the nation. Locating these grants, however, is half the battle. This blog provides a list of both public and private grants that can be utilized to help jumpstart, facilitate, and maintain much needed CTE programs in your school or district.

Public Grants for CTE Programs

Public funds are generated by the government in order to provide goods and services to the general public. These funds are “gifted” based on specific qualifications, and thus do not require direct reimbursement (though sometimes funds must be matched in order to continue receiving backing).

Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education Grant
A Career and Technical Education grant from Grants.gov with an estimated program funding of over $3 million. Application for this grant is open to teachers, and a short email detailing your intent to apply (with “Intent to Apply” in the subject line) must be submitted to CTETeacherGrant@ed.gov before an official application can be submitted.

Community Grant Program
Through the Community Grant Program, individual Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs, and logistics facilities can support the needs of their communities by providing grants to local organizations. Potential grantees should be nonprofit organizations with programs that benefit communities within the service area from which they are requesting funds.

Advancing Wellness Grants Program
Expanding Education and Employment Pathways The California Wellness Foundation focuses its grant making on promoting employment and asset-building opportunities and increasing educational opportunities for resilient youth aged 14 to 26 who have at one point dealt with unfortunate circumstances.

Private Funding for CTE Programs

Unlike public or federal funds, private grants are provided by private organizations and foundations, and are often easier to obtain, and more flexible. Because of this, they are more likely to conform to a program’s unique needs.

Education and Youth Grant
The Webb Family Foundation makes grants in the areas of education; youth development; career and workforce readiness; financial literacy; entrepreneurship; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; digital and blended learning; and youth mentorship.

Bruce J. Heim Foundation Grant
The Bruce J. Heim Foundation strives to help young people with the potential for excellence in an area of interest. The foundation makes grants to organizations that assist young people in improving and developing their talents.

Connecting Mathematics to Other Subject Areas Grant for 9-12 Teachers
The purpose of this grant is to create classroom materials or lessons connecting mathematics to other fields. Materials may be in the form of books, visual displays, computer programs or displays, slideshows, videotapes, or other appropriate medium. The focus of these materials should be on showing the connectivity of mathematics to other fields or to the everyday world.

For hundreds of other CTE relevant grants, visit GetEdFunding.com

Why It’s Important to Find Funding for Career and Technical Education Programs

CTE programs have been proven to minimize the likelihood of students dropping out of school. According to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 93 percent, compared to an average national graduation rate of 80 percent. These numbers aren’t coincidental. When students can focus on what peaks their interest in an environment that encourages individuality and a hands-on approach, they are more likely to recognize the benefits of their education and discover what it is that they can contribute to the world.

The K-12 education environment transforms into a place where students can hone in on their unique talents, diminishing the dry, institutional milieu often associated with the school system. The benefits of CTE are vast and increasingly more apparent. ACTE goes on to state that 91 percent of high school graduates who earned 2-3 CTE credits later enrolled in college. These statistics paint a valuable picture for student success, and finding funding for Career and Technical Education Programs is the first step.

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