Report: Alabama schools are underfunded

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A new report says the majority of southern schools are under-funding education.

The advocacy group M.D.C. says southern transplants are more likely to have a bachelor's degree than people born and raised in the South.

That report also suggests increasing opportunities for internships and on job training. That's exactly what leaders in Jefferson County say they are and have been doing.

"What we've tried to do is instill a level of purpose for education," said Jefferson County Schools superintendent Dr. Craig Pouncey.

That means making kids more workforce ready, whether that's a job they need to train further for in college or one they can get right out of high school.

"All of our students that are enrolled in the 13 high schools in Jefferson County are enrolled in career paths. We have career academies at all 13 high schools."

That includes programs for everything from architecture to finance to law enforcement to manufacturing and everything between.

"All of our 11th graders actually go through an 18-lesson soft-skills program to make them more marketable when they enter into the workforce," said Pouncey.

The superintendent believes by having kids with a specialized focus and working towards a goal, it makes them work harder. In turn, it improves on the quality of worker different industries get.

"That not only holds students interest but, then it really gives them a purpose for coming to school and working hard and studying," said Pouncey.

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