May 13 Work Session: Area 18 - CTE Programming

Huntington County Community Schools Public Work Session on Area 18 Highlights Potential CTE Changes
Posted on 05/23/2024
Director of CTE Programming Tiffanney Drummond

During a public work session held by the Huntington County Community Schools, Director of CTE Programming Tiffanney Drummond and Attorney Joe Wiley discussed the district's involvement in Area 18, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) cooperative. The session focused on Huntington's role within the cooperative, potential benefits and drawbacks, and possible future directions for the district's CTE programs.

Principal Drummond provided an overview of Area 18, which encompasses nine high schools across five counties: Adams, Blackford, Huntington, Jay, and Wells. Geographically, Area 18 is the largest CTE cooperative in Indiana. Huntington North High School is the northernmost school in this cooperative, posing logistical challenges in sharing resources and students with other member schools.

Currently, Huntington North does not send or receive students from other schools within Area 18 due to the significant travel distances. Despite these challenges, Huntington North offers 19 career and technical education pathways independently, which allows students to explore various career options locally.

One significant benefit of being part of Area 18 is the administrative support provided, including the submission of Form 30A data to the state and participation in the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA), necessary for federal Perkins grant funding. However, there are notable drawbacks, such as limited local control over Perkins grant allocations and additional costs associated with the cooperative, including funding a portion of the Area 18 director's salary.

Drummond highlighted that Huntington North contributes 26% of the cooperative's enrollment but receives only about 20% of the allocated funding, creating a financial imbalance. This situation has prompted the consideration of forming a separate CTE district to regain control over funding and administration.

Joe Wy explained the procedural steps required to establish Huntington North as its own CTE district. This includes submitting a written request to withdraw from Area 18 to the cooperative's governing board and obtaining a two-thirds majority vote from the other superintendents. If approved, Huntington North could establish its own district and apply for Perkins funding independently by the 2025-2026 school year.

The discussion also touched on other schools that have successfully formed their own CTE districts, such as Hamilton Southeastern and Greater Lafayette. Proximity and existing strong programming at Huntington North further support the rationale for pursuing independence from Area 18.

The decision to withdraw from Area 18 requires timely action, with a request letter needing to be submitted by July 1, 2024, to be effective for the 2025-2026 school year. The board plans to discuss this proposal in detail during the next meeting on May 28, 2024.

The session concluded with appreciation for the efforts of Drummond and Wiley in examining this important issue. The board will consider the potential benefits of increased financial and administrative autonomy against the cooperative's support services before making a final decision.

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