Voters will have their say on a $47 million school reform plan that received unanimous backing from the Waterloo Board of Education on Monday (Oct. 26, 2015).

Board members approved a steering committee's recommendation to implement 30 new career and technical education (CTE) programs into a new $35 million center that would be built on district-owned property adjacent to Central Middle School. The courses would be offered for all high school students in Waterloo and provide them with a hands-on learning experience in such areas as construction, engineering, health care, business, media and manufacturing.

By implementing CTE courses into the curriculum, local education officials hope to better prepare students for life after high school. The district's school reform committee recently made the recommendation to the Board after spending three years studying other district's where the addition of CTE courses produced higher graduation rates.

District officials have developed a funding plan for the new career center. The plan would require a bond vote, but district officials aren't planning to increase the property tax rate.

The reform plan approved by the board also includes $6 million that would by used to finance renovation projects at East and West high schools.

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