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Teachers fear agricultural education programs will wither away

by Take Two®

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Photo by Paul Bica via Flickr Creative Commons

Teaching kids technology in the classroom is one of the biggest initiatives around the country.

But in the Inland Empire, teachers prize their agricultural education programs, too, and they're worried that they might wither away. Governor Brown's proposed budget would shift grant money for these classes into a general fund. That could gut a program like Norco High School's.

Ag teacher Robin Grundmeyer explains that the money is needed to give her kids hands-on experience.

"In order to get supplies and materials for our students, we obviously need extra funding so students aren't just reading out of a book and watching video clips," says Grundmeyer, "Students really learn what they're doing."

Out of the $4.1 million reserved for agricultural programs in the state, Norco High School currently receives nearly $20,000 in aid. That's then matched by the school district.

Grundmeyer says it's a modest amount to help her students towards a viable career path.

"Our country's in desperate need of welders and plumbers and electricians," she says, "and we're meeting a need that the colleges and universities are sometimes lacking because they're not teaching that hands-on application and theory."

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