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The Daily



08-30-03: Tri Star loses funds due to state shortfall

A number of grants that help fund the Tri Star Career Compact are lower this school year because of state budget problems, advisory council members learned this week.
The career development grant helping to pay for a number of activities mandated by the state was hardest hit hardest by funding cuts. Tri Star will get only $19,067 for career development activities this year, down from $31,145 last year. Two years ago, the funding topped $55,000.
All school districts in the state are required to have a career development curriculum. Tri Star, with its 18 vocational and professional programs, has traditionally done its own career development programs in addition to whatever the school districts provide.
Activities in the program include career surveys, interviews with high school seniors about their job futures, career interest and aptitude tests, career days and other programs. Career development is the only Tri Star program that serves students in all grades, kindergarten through high school, Director Tim Buschur said.
The state funding helps pay the salary of Marcia Helentjaris, Tri Star’s career development specialist.
“Her position helps all nine schools. At least it didn’t get cut completely,” Buschur said.
Other available grant money will be tapped to make up the shortfall in the career development grant, Buschur said. Officials are hoping state career development money will be fully restored when the state is on better financial footing, Buschur said.
A federal Perkins grant, Tri Star’s largest source of outside income, is reduced slightly for this year too. The career compact will get $142,276, down from $142,823 a year ago.
An annual state grant to help improve technology or perform training also is reduced. After getting $13,250 last year, Tri Star is in line to get only $10,000 this year, Buschur said.
In other business during the Tri Star Advisory Council meeting, council members:
• Agreed to buy a 20-foot trailer to use as an office/storage area during the Tri Star construction class’ annual project to build a house. The cost is $4,037 for the trailer from Midway Trailer, St. Marys.
• Learned officials are pursuing national certification for the machine trades program.
• Learned that enrollment for this year is about 500 students among the nine school districts.


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