Montgomery County Board of Education approves new tech center

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Montgomery TEC has generated a lot of interest from business and community leaders because it has the potential to increase our graduation rate, while also strengthening our local economy by creating a larger skilled workforce. JobKeeper Alliance is in the process of forming a partnership that will connect students at this new school with industry leaders and employers that have a high demand for skilled workers.

A career tech center for Montgomery Public Schools’ students will be a reality this fall.

For months officials have talked about the project and moved swiftly laying its foundation even as it lacked formal board approval. But Tuesday, the Montgomery County Board of Education gave the official OK.

The Montgomery Technical Education Center, or Montgomery TEC, as its been dubbed, will be housed in the now vacant McIntyre Middle School. It is expected to accommodate about 300 students and cost between $3 million and $4 million, which will be paid for using Qualified School Construction Bonds.

The center was first publicly discussed in February, and since then, officials have moved quickly on the project, which has received the support of the local business community.

“Of all the initiatives in Montgomery, this is probably one I’ve heard the most positive comments from,” Thompson said during Tuesday’s school board meeting. “We are not creating something else to create something else. It’s a genuine need.”

When the project came up for a vote most board members immediately volunteered to make a motion to approve the center. Though, board president Charlotte Meadows still had questions.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the center with Meadows abstaining. She later cast the dissenting vote when officials opted to move $3 million of QSCB monies to fund the project.

“I didn’t get my questions answered in a timely manner for a decision this important,” Meadows said after the meeting.

Thompson said she did answer Meadows’ questions, adding that the board has been talking about the project for a while.

As of Tuesday, 243 students have signed up for the program that has been billed as an additional “pathway” for students who have been overlooked in the past.

Thompson previously has said she thinks the new program will help the system’s graduation rate.

Montgomery Advertiser
by: Annie McCallum Bitter
For more information on the new Montgomery TEC high school, please visit the MPS website