The Sedalia 200 Board of Education approved committing to the Jobs For America’s Graduates (JAG) program at Monday Night's meeting.

According to information in the board packet, JAG is a curriculum designed to help students with significant barriers in their lives graduate from high school and make positive transitions to post-secondary education and/or a meaningful career.

JAG has a mission of helping to help develop the workforce in Missouri and has been in existence since 1979. The program has served more than 1.3 million students. The program reportedly has a success rate of over 90% of students being engaged in some combination of work, higher education and/or the military for 35-40 hours per week.

Superintendent Steve Triplett said the annual estimated investment to bring JAG to Smith-Cotton High School is $60,000, which includes the salary and benefits for one new elective teacher.

Cost of trips, special events and miscellaneous expenses will also be factored in.

With the board approving the Memorandum of Understanding comes a grant from the state for approximately $30,000, which is about half the cost for implementation of the JAG program to begin in the 2019-2020 school year.

The Sedalia area is expected to see approximately 1,200 new jobs over the next 2-3 years. Nucor was cited as one example of new business and for implementing the program. Triplett said the goal of the district is "to stay ahead of job growth."

Sedalia 200 now moves forward with a commitment to the program and hiring one additional elective teacher at Smith-Cotton High School.

Kurt Parsons