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Rural schools in Texas are finding themselves in a financial crisis. It is a result of the push by Governor Abbott to privatize education. The rural schools find the difference from what they bring in from property taxes and the educational costs of running their school continues to become a wider and wider gap. The cost of inflation to deliver the educational needs of their students along with the state mandates continue to go up but the money coming from property taxes stays the same. It has become harder and harder for them to recruit and retain teachers because they have the lowest base pay with no money for incentives or stipends. In many cases, teachers are asked to be responsible for more and more tasks just to keep the school running. The students are robbed of extracurricular activities because there just isn’t enough money to offer them. They will be forced to consolidate with other small school districts which sometimes are quite a distance from the population they serve. This will mean longer bus rides for students as well as their sense of community being stripped.
Pepelwerk’s career management platform for educators has a goal to ensure their students invest in education that aligns with available jobs. We want every school to align education to industry so that people can close the skills gap and prepare for the future of work. The current CTE career pathways are certainly limited if a student goes to a rural school. Pepelwerk is working to launch our career service platform to these rural schools to help the students in these areas have access to information about the jobs that will be available in the future. We will work in collaboration with a group of schools to provide the same access to our platform that large districts are able to provide. Pepelwerk will be able to help the staff shortages by providing mentors, coaches and counselors to the students in rural settings to give them more information and guidance about career choices. Because pepelwerk’s platform matches the abilities, aptitudes and skills of the students to prospective employers, we will be able to give the schools the help they need in educating students as to the possibilities they have in the job market and what they need to do to obtain the skills to secure the job. Not only can pepelwerk help the counselors with additional personnel to work with their students, but our outcome reporting will help them demonstrate the value of their courses and economic impact reporting.
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