NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Career and technical education programs in Tennessee schools are receiving a boost.

The Tennessee Department of Education says 96 school districts across the state have been awarded a total of $3.7 million for career-focused programs.

The funds from the Perkins Reserve Consolidated Grant are awarded annually. Priority goes to rural areas and areas with a large number of career and technical education students.

Among other things, this year's grants will fund the creation of new middle school programs; the purchase of advanced manufacturing and health science equipment; and financial assistance to students taking certification exams.

Gov. Bill Lee says in a news release that high schools need to offer students "multiple pathways to success and these grants will allow local districts to do just that."

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