PRESS RELEASE - April 12, 2004
Office of The Governor
Capitol Bldg., 4th Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87503

Gilbert Gallegos
(505) 476-2217

Governor Bill Richardson announces $10 million for technical-vocational centers

Money will benefit charter school and public school students

Albuquerque - Governor Bill Richardson today announced plans to use $10 million to design and build career technical-vocational education centers across the state. Each center will include a state-of-the-art program that prepares eligible charter and other high school juniors and seniors as they transition into college career programs and technical careers.

“I said during the gubernatorial campaign that I wanted more charter schools and programs that focus on helping students who want to pursue vocational or technical careers,” Governor Bill Richardson said.

Governor Richardson said he wants the new program to reach as many students as possible.

“It’s great that Albuquerque students have this option,” Governor Richardson said during a news conference today at the Charter Vocational High School, the only school in the state that currently focuses on vocational and technical careers. “But I also want students in rural and isolated communities to have the same opportunities. That’s why these programs will be developed in conjunction with existing two-year colleges and surrounding school districts.”

The Commission on Higher Education will work with the Public Education Department to design the centers and the program. Local school districts, two-year education institutions, the State Economic Development Department, and business and industry leaders will also provide input.

In addition to the $10 million in capital money that Governor Richardson got for the centers, the Governor also signed legislation that provides $4 million that enables public schools to pay for leased space. The law applies to all public schools, but charter schools would benefit the most.

“Many charter schools will realize a major benefit from this extra funding,” Governor Richardson said. “It will free up money to spend in classrooms, directly benefiting students.”