This past Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed A4224/S2830 and A4225/S2831 into law, awarding school districts and county colleges a second round of grant funding through the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act (SOCFBA). The grants will fund improvements to and enhancements of career and technical education (CTE) programs in county vocational-technical school districts (CVSD) and county colleges throughout the state. Funds from the SOCFBA must be used to directly expand CTE program enrollment through constructing and/or expanding classrooms, laboratories, libraries, computer facilities, and other academic structures that will provide direct benefits to students.
The second round of grants will total nearly $57 million and be distributed by the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE). Funds will be disbursed on a rolling basis contingent on final grant revisions and recipient submissions of reimbursement requests.
With this second round of funding, the state has awarded over $305 million in CTE projects. The first round of grant funding for CVSDs and county colleges totaled nearly $250 million and was awarded last summer. The SOCFBA is supported by $500 million in bonds approved by New Jersey voters in November 2018 to expand county college and vocational school CTE programs, enhance K-12 security, and support water infrastructure improvements in New Jersey schools.
“Funding that aids our career and technical education programs in county vocational-technical school districts and county colleges will give New Jersey students the skills they need to stand out in a competitive job market,” said Gov. Murphy. “New Jersey is the top ranked state in the nation for public school education and I will continue to put pen to paper on legislation, like these two bills, that will help keep us on top.”
A4224/S2830 appropriates $19,993,837 for County College CTE Projects. The SOCFBA allocated funds for county colleges to construct or expand classrooms, laboratories, libraries, computer facilities, and other academic structures to increase CTE program capacity.
The second round of the SOCFBA will fund six projects in this category, including:
A4225/S2831 appropriates $36,960,028 for County Vocational School District CTE Projects. The SOCFBA allocated funds for construction projects that support CTE program expansion for County Vocational School Districts (CVSD), in accordance with labor market demands and economic development goals. These projects will fund renovation and new construction to increase student capacity in select county vocational CTE programs, including related demolition, site improvements and physical plant upgrades, and furniture and equipment in renovated, reassigned, or new spaces related to county vocational CTE program expansion. Applicants were required to demonstrate that new student seats would be in county vocational CTE programs that prepare students for high-demand, technically-skilled careers.
The second round of SOCFBA will fund six projects in this category, including:
DOE and OSHE will be announcing additional SOCFBA funding opportunities later this year.
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