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Public Schools and Agriculture Education

Written By: Jerry Hanson  |  Posted: Saturday, May 14th, 2011

                An April 28 WEAU news report indicated that the Alma Center - Humbird - Merrillan (ACHM) school district was looking at eliminating its agriculture education program. In the report it was not clear what state or federal cuts were responsible. It turns out that Pres. Obama's budget calls for a 21% cut in Perkins grants to states. The Perkins Act provides almost $1.3 billion in federal support for career and technical education programs in all 50 States. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, was passed almost unanimously by Congress in late July, 2006.

                In my opinion the WEAU report left most viewers with the impression that this was all to be blamed on Gov. Walker's budget cuts. Under Pres. Obama's budget, Wisconsin will lose a little over $2 million in Perkins grants. The WEAU report also mentioned that the Department of Public Instruction was targeting cuts to 33 agriculture programs across the state. I have been unable to verify that statement. Correcting these neglected bits of information does not mean that we should not consider whether our state public school system should be involved in agriculture education.

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