State Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today applauded Marion City Schools on receiving more than $500,000 in state funds to develop an innovative career readiness program geared toward high school students and recent graduates.

Marion City Schools were among 200 districts that competed for funding through the Ohio Straight A Fund. Funds were awarded to support a program administered by Marion City Schools called “Diploma Plus Acceptance,” which creates a city-wide system of college and career support services to assist students in and beyond their high school education.

"Marion’s teachers and administrators acknowledge the importance of experiential learning by connecting students with prospective employers in their community,” said Burke. “The traditional model of just handing out diplomas without meaningful exposure to career and higher educational opportunities no longer works in our 21st century economy.”

The program also allows the school district to remain connected with graduates one year after high school to increase positive post-graduation outcomes. The goal of maintaining this relationship is to ensure graduates either enroll in advanced education, enter the workforce, join the military or secure an apprenticeship.

Ohio’s Straight A Fund supports initiatives from local educators that promote academic achievement and increase efficiencies. Independent scorers review each application to determine fiscal sustainability and long-term impact.

Ohio Governor John R. Kasich created the Straight A Fund in 2013, and the state budget signed last summer included $30 million for a two-year continuation.

The Straight A Fund Governing Board is comprised of nine members, including the state superintendent of public instruction, four members appointed by the governor, two members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and two members appointed by the president of the Senate.

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