The Alabama Legislature is close to approving a plan to borrow $50 million to replace outdated equipment in high school technology programs.
Lawmakers hope giving students better equipment will help make a dent in Alabama's dropout rate.
Bond issue legislation has breezed through the House and a Senate committee with only one negative vote. The tech director for the state Board of Education, Philip Cleveland, said schools have not received state money for equipment since they got $10 million in 2005. He said students in some programs are training on outdated equipment.
Proponents of issuing bonds to pay for school equipment, like former state school board member Gary White, predict stronger career tech programs will reduce Alabama's dropout rate.
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