TDOE Announces Over $2M in Perkins Reserve Grant Awards, Cannon County Schools are Part of the Program

Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced over $2 million in Perkins Reserve Grant awards to 38 school districts for the 2021-22 school year to support career and technical education (CTE) across the state. Two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars are allocated for Cannon County Schools.

The Perkins Reserve Grant (PRG) is a competitive grant opportunity made possible through the federal Perkins V legislation passed in 2018. In 2020, the PRG grant opportunity was redesigned under the four-yearStrengthening Career and Technical Education in Tennessee state plan to foster local innovation and support implementation of CTE programs and career pathways, especially in more rural areas, aligned with regionally identified high skill, high wage, and/or in-demand occupations or industries.

At the K-12 level for the 2021-22 school year, 38 Tennessee school districts, 13 of which are in economically at-risk or distressed counties, will receive a total of $2.3 million in Perkins Reserve Grant (PRG) awards. 

“Tennessee is continuing to focus on career and technical education to boost student readiness and postsecondary success, and the Perkins Reserve Grant awards help support this work especially in our rural districts,”said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “These grant awards will ensure districts, schools and partners can continue coming together to help expand CTE opportunities for all students.” 

The 38 school districts across the state are receiving a 2021-22 Perkins Reserve Grant awards. Listed below is Cannon and any surrounding counties: 

School District Secondary Award Regional Career Pathways Awards Program(s) Funded 
Cannon County Schools  $50,000.00   $200,000.00  ·  College and Career Awareness of High Skill, High Wage, and In-Demand Occupations at the Middle Grades Level  
·  Expansion of STEM Pathway  
Coffee County Schools  $41,079.38  – Career and Job Skills for All  
Rutherford County Schools  $50,000.00  – ·  Student Industry Certification Initiative 
·  New Audio/Visual Production CTE Program of Study 
Warren County Schools  $50,000.00  – ·  CTE Industry Certification Exam/EPSO Dual Credit Initiative 
·  Virtual Job Shadow  
·  BOXLIGHT Technology  
Wilson County Schools  $50,000.00  – Closing the Gap with CNA 

This year’s Perkins Reserve Grant recipients submitted applications for programs, initiatives, and strategies that help to ensure their students succeed in exploring, choosing, and following a career pathway to success, whether by providing equitable access, aligned career pathways, high-quality learning experiences, or a combination thereof.

“Thanks to the Perkins Reserve Grants, Cannon County Schools’ students will have additional resources and additional opportunities specifically in the Middle Grades regarding Career and Technical Education through CTE equipment, which is so very important to prepare them for future postsecondary and career success,”said Mr. William Freddy Curtis, Director of Schools, Cannon County Schools. “This funding will enable and enhance our efforts in College and Career Awareness of high skill, high wage, and in-demand occupations at the Middle Grades Level and the expansion of our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Pathway.   We are so very appreciative to the Tennessee Department of Education for these funds to keep Cannon County and Tennessee to be focused on education, skills, and aiding in the preparation of Cannon County students for career and workforce development.”

Applications were reviewed by a team of TDOE staff from the Division of College, Career and Technical Education and partners from the Tennessee Board of Regents. All applications needed to address at least one of the priority areas of the state plan – ensuring equitable access, aligning career pathways, and/or ensuring high-quality learning experiences, and the Regional Career Pathways application must also include a regionally focused secondary and postsecondary or workforce partnership.

“Cannon County Schools is excited to have been chosen as a recipient for both the Secondary Perkins Reserve and the Regional Career Pathways Grants. This funding will allow Cannon County Schools to increase awareness of Career and Technical Education at the middle grades level by utilizing career exploration programs and enable the county to employ a dedicated middle grades teacher to ensure equity for all students,” commented Mrs. Crystal Kennedy, Cannon County Schools Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director.  Another aspect of this funding is to expand our STEM pathway programs at both the high school and middle grades level by purchasing much needed industry-standard equipment, working with post-secondary institutions to offer industry certifications and course credit, as well as partnering with local and regional industry partners to host internships and Work Based Learning opportunities.

More information on the Perkins Reserve Grant may be found here.