Let Students in P-TECH Schools Use TAP Funds for Community College Classes


In his 2013 State of the Union speech, then-President Barack Obama called out a new New York school for praise. P-TECH, which had opened in Brooklyn two years before, was the nation's first school providing students in grades 9-14 a concurrent high school diploma and a competitive two-year community college degree. The school's business partner, IBM, offered students mentoring and paid internships, and ensured completing students would be first in line for available jobs. Obama later helicoptered into Prospect Park and visited the school, saying that this was an opportunity that should be "made available to all students."

Eleven years later, there are over 350 P-TECH schools across 15 states and 28 countries involving hundreds of business partners, all attempting to realize Obama's vision. Rosabeth Moss Kanter of the Harvard Business School says P-TECH was the most scalable and effective school model in the nation.

The state that started it all, New York, now has 60 P-TECH schools across every economic development region of the state. One program pairs students at Uniondale and Freeport high schools with Farmingdale State College. A recent independent evaluation completed by the MDRC research institute documented increased passing rates on state Regents exams [and] increased college course completion...for P-TECH students despite the schools serving more low-income students and students of color. Two-thirds of the cybersecurity degrees awarded by Orange County Community College go to P-TECH students from upstate Newburgh.....

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