Baltimore is in line to have two schools that offer a career pathway program developed by IBM.
Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill into law on Tuesday that provides framework and funding for P-TECH in the state. The Pathways in Technology Early College High School program follows a model of partnering with companies to provide students with STEM skills so they are immediately ready for a job. Starting the program in 9th grade, the students receive a high school diploma, associate’s degree and additional workforce training.
The bill sets out an initial four schools in Maryland, with two in Baltimore city. The initial industry partners will be Johns Hopkins, IBM, Kaiser Permanente and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
The schools, which have yet to be identified by officials, are expected to start implementing P-TECH in the fall. Johns Hopkins President Ronald Daniels said last fall that the university is “keenly interested” in starting a health-focused program at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. The East Baltimore school is just outside the JHU’s hospital campus.
The initial four schools are operating as a pilot. A legislative analysis submitted to the General Assembly states that the 2017 budget includes $104,000 for grants to schools, and another $600,000 for planning grants for the other four schools. An RFP was issued in the fall for the other two schools, which must be located in Western Maryland or on the Eastern Shore. The program is slated to begin at those schools in 2017.
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