MISSOURI — State lawmakers are considering giving graduates a new option when it comes to career training after high school.
It would add a new dimension to the Missouri A+ program, offering new funding options with a quicker track to get into the workforce.
“Until about February 7, it was under $1,000. And you could have it within the timeframe, possibly a week. Now, you would have to have a five week course and pay about $4,000,” said RyLee Huff, Sarcoxie Student.
RyLee Huff wants to get his commercial drivers license, something that isn’t easy or cheap. He testified in Jefferson City about a bill that could help.
“This bill is to help A+ students getting out of school. Now, you have a lot of kids that might have otherwise gotten a CDL, they’re not going to get CDLs anymore because of the expense.”
State Representative Ann Kelley of Lamar filed House Bill 2670 to expand A+ funding. It would allow graduates who meet those guidelines to use A+ tuition benefits for short term training.
“You have certain kids that just want to go to get their CDL and run their own business or work at MODOT. And then you have cosmetology – so there’s lots of programs, just short license programs and A+ does not cover that,” said MO. Rep. Ann Kelley, R.
Right now, A+ funding targets community colleges, or just generally college credit hours. Kelley sees the proposed change as a way to connect Missouri students with the jobs they want, and keep them in state.
“And to me, this is just a great opportunity that the state can come in and beef up those A+dollars and try something different,” added Kelly.
House Bill 2670 has passed an initial hearing but has not come to a vote.
Time is starting to run out — there’s less than a month and a half to go in the session.