Budget could help with skilled worker shortage

More Kansas high school students would be able to attend college-level technical courses free of charge under a proposal by Gov. Sam Brownback.

The proposal comes after under-funding of an existing program in recent years.

Commonly called Senate Bill 155, the program allows high school students to qualify for state-paid tuition in technical courses offered by Kansas technical and community colleges and obtain certificates. But over the past two years, costs have outpaced funding, according to the Kansas Board of Regents.

Kansas has a need for more skilled technical workers, including in aviation. Brownback’s overall budget proposal has drawn scorn from Republicans and some Democrats who question how he plans to pay for new spending, but Wichita manufacturers and the business community have praised its increased funding for career and technical education.

Civic and business leaders have said Kansas needs to attract more skilled workers to remain competitive with other states. Nearly 6,000 Kansas jobs requiring vocational training were vacant in 2017, according to state data.

Click here to read Jonathan Shorman’s complete article published on The Garden City Telegram website. 

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