STARS program awarded $100K CDBG grant
The STARS program in Pleasanton will be receiving a $100,000 community development block grant to help it meet the demand for its job-skills based program for the 2023-24 school year.
MOUND CITY – The Linn County Commissioners learned on Monday, July 31, that the county had been awarded a $100,000 community development block grant (CDBG) for assisting the Southeast Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) at Pleasanton.
Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower had worked with the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission (SEKRPC) to write the grant, which will allow the STARS program to purchase computers, desks and chairs for the computer lab as well as two desktop heavy-equipment simulators.
A public hearing was held on April 10 for The Youth Job Training Opportunity Grant and the commissioners approved it. The county will act as the funds intermediary for the grant.
The Linn County Commission voted on May 15 to budget one mill in county taxes for the STARS program in 2024. Currently, a mill will bring in about $320,000. The motion passed 2-to-1 with Commissioner Jim Johnson voting against it because he wanted to see what the schools could contribute.
At present, the STARS program is working on remodeling the former Cox auto dealership into classroom areas to prepare for the expected 200% increase in enrollment over the 2022-23 school year.