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Coming merger is end of era for career education at Hamilton High

When the school year ends in the spring of 2019 so will an era of independence in career training among Butler County school districts that was unique to Hamilton Schools.

The Hamilton High School’s Career Tech Education (CTE) center, located adjacent to the high school, has offered nine career training programs annually for about 500 juniors and seniors.

FIRST REPORT: Hamilton, Butler Tech in talks to merge career school

Since the 1950s, career learning has been offered in various forms in Hamilton Schools, but the Hamilton Board of Education recently voted to take the first step in closing down the CTE program and merging with Butler Tech’s career schools used by all other districts in Butler County.

The move, which was publicly announced as an option being considered in March, sets up a series of scheduled actions that will see the program dissolve at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

The Hamilton High School’s Career Tech Education (CTE) center, located adjacent to the high school, has offered nine career training programs annually for about 500 juniors and seniors. (GREG LYNCH/FILE)

“Although CTE will be entering into its final year as a Hamilton school district program, it also marks the beginning of expanded opportunities for our students at both Hamilton High School and at the Butler Tech Campus located just outside of town,” said Hamilton Superintendent Larry Knapp.

“Hamilton students will definitely benefit from the chance to compete for the best career training available in the state and they will have that opportunity with Butler Tech,” said Knapp of the county-wide program that is one of the largest career schools in Ohio.

Hamilton City Schools for years has been the lone holdout among nine other Butler County public school districts in not partnering with Butler Tech.

MORE: Home grown: Hamilton Schools buck trend toward county-wide career schools

The CTE center is one of about two dozen of Ohio’s 611 school districts statewide offering on-campus career training. Officials for years had touted the advantages of cost-savings and proximity to the high school in keeping the program operating.

Hamilton schools enroll 10,000 students and is one of the largest school districts in southwest Ohio.

Butler Tech serves about 1,400 students on its high school campuses and approximately 15,600 students daily through programs based in its associate high schools, middle schools and junior schools in local school districts. It serves more than 2,000 adult students annually in its adult education programs.

Prior to August of 2019, Hamilton High School sophomores, juniors and seniors will be able to apply for Butler Tech’s various career instructional programs.

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