The Official Portal for the State of Georgia

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
Georgia Seal

Governor Perdue Announces Expansion of Stay in School Program

Friday, June 30, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Governor Perdue Announces Expansion of Stay in School Program

$1 Million Workforce Investment Grant to Help Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Graders Stay in School

GAINESVILLE, Ga. – A dropout prevention program run by the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE) that shows great promise for keeping eighth, ninth and tenth grade students focused on school and their future career will be expanded thanks to a $1 million grant from Governor Sonny Perdue.

“Middle school is the ideal time to provide advice and counseling to students on their career choices,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “DTAE’s Stay in School initiative works to share information with these students on the education needed for future job opportunities. It’s a smart way to ensure that we keep students focused on staying in school and earning their high school diploma.”

The Governor announced the Stay in School (SiS) program expansion as he presented the Governor’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Statewide Discretionary Grant to DTAE Commissioner Mike Vollmer during a ceremony at Lanier Technical College.

Governor Perdue also took time during the ceremony to recognize the partnerships that Georgia’s local business and community leaders have made with the education system to develop programs that keep kids in school by helping them make more informed career decisions.

“The Stay in School initiative is not only engaging Georgia students, but also helping them to realize that completing high school and transitioning to postsecondary training is the most effective way to guarantee a strong economic future for themselves and for the state of Georgia,” said Governor Perdue. “It is critical that we link education and workforce development early in our students’ career path.”

DTAE’s Stay in School initiative partners individual technical colleges with middle and high schools in the college service areas. The colleges and schools begin by counseling eighth grade students on potential career paths and provide students with information on how to achieve their career goals. Students’ progress is monitored and supported as they advance through high school and on to graduation.

DTAE Commissioner Mike Vollmer stated that the Technical College System of Georgia currently has 23 of 34 technical colleges that are actively engaged in the Stay in School initiative. Governor Perdue’s grant will enable DTAE to expand the success of the program to additional technical colleges and more middle and high schools.

“We’re appreciative to Governor Perdue for this funding, and thankful that his vision and leadership supports an important program that can and will impact the dropout rate in Georgia,” said Commissioner Mike Vollmer. “We anticipate that by the end of this school year, nearly 17,000 eighth graders from across Georgia will be participating in the program. Ultimately, we want every one of our colleges involved so that we can reach as many middle and high school students as possible.”

Debra Lyons, program manager for the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, praised the initiative for its positive impact Georgia’s economic future. “Research is showing us that more informed career decision-making can result in better coordination among levels of education, improved educational achievement by Georgia’s students and, most importantly, higher gradation rates,” said Lyons.

# # #