The three-year commitment would provide start-up capital in support of the expansion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming to 12 primary schools beginning this school year, with more to follow in the years to come.
The money would be used to pay for necessary materials and equipment such as iPads and robotics kits,
Additional funding for teacher training and other related expenses would come from the school corporation,
Commission members were generally supportive of the idea but had some questions and concerns.
"This is a very worthy cause, but it really worries me when we're using (TIF funds) for sort of soft costs," Schey said, suggesting economic development income tax dollars be used instead.
Executive Director of Community Investment
"This (investment) provides us the opportunity to get up and running this school year, and that's critical,"
Ford said the city would be open to the use of EDIT funds for the program in year two or three.
"I do see this as an opportunity to help with education, but I would point out that the
Responding to that concern, Schmidt assured Varner of the school board's commitment to maintaining the program once it's up and running. "They are very supportive of the project moving forward and the whole concept of the STEM process," she said.
Project Lead the Way emphasizes hands-on, projected-based learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, with the goal of preparing primary and secondary students for employment in those fields.
"Jobs are going to move to where the talent is," he said, "and we feel this is going to develop that talent here."
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