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Sullivan schools may partner with Jacobs Creek Job Corps

August 8th, 2012 12:15 am by Rick Wagner

BLOUNTVILLE -- If the details are worked out among attorneys, 30 to 70 teenagers from the Jacobs Creek Job Corps may be able to get Tennessee high school diplomas through Sullivan County's public school system.

That would boost the county's student enrollment and state funding, but officials said no local funds would be used in the proposal.

The teens would not attend classes in a county school but would be eligible, based on Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) rules, to play sports at Sullivan East High School near Bluff City.

Board of Education attorney Pat Hull and Director of Schools Jubal Yennie explained the proposal to the BOE Monday night, but they asked that the matter be deferred until some liability concerns of Hull's regarding the draft contract are worked out with U.S. Forest Service attorneys.

Yennie said the advantage of the program is that the Jacobs Creek participants would earn a state high school diploma, not a GED.

The students would receive instruction at the Jacobs Creek site, located in the far northeast section of the county near the Offset community. But the students basically would be using the county's Diploma on Time (DOT) program at Sullivan East High School, Yennie said.

Yennie said Jobs Corps officials like the county DOT program better than one that has been used at Jacobs Creek.

For the county, the advantage is the students would be counted in the average daily attendance and average daily membership, meaning more money from Tennessee for the students. However, when questioned by BOE member Jack Bales, Yennie said no local money would be used in addition to the state money, and Jacobs Creek would provide, as it already does, teachers for the students.

Yennie said 30 to 70 students at Jacobs Creek would be eligible, but the program can serve and house up to 200 students.

The Job Corps is a self-paced, no-cost education and career technical training program for those age 16 to 24. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and operated by the U.S. Forest Service. However, the diploma program will be open to students age 14 to 21 at Jacobs Creek, according to the draft contract presented to the board.

The contract may come before the BOE for a vote at its Sept. 4 meeting.

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