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NORTH HOLLYWOOD : High School to Get Transportation Grant

Pending final approval by a federal appropriations committee, North Hollywood High School will receive a $1.1-million grant as part of an education project of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, the MTA confirmed Monday.

As part of the Transportation Occupations Program (TOP) of the MTA, North Hollywood and two other Los Angeles Unified School District high schools will spend $4 million over the next three years to create transportation academies.

The academies will focus on educating students about transportation-related professions, with the goal of attracting them to the fields.

“It’s not just a matter of here’s a bus and here’s a driver,” said Cathy Lum, principal at North Hollywood High.

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“We need to expose students to what we mean by the transportation industry,” she said.

Lum said city planning, engineering, architecture and business will play important roles in the core curriculum of the program, which she hopes to launch in September, 1994, with 60 to 90 students.

While TOP has been involved with educating students in the transportation field since 1985, the proposed programs at North Hollywood, Alain Leroy Locke and Woodrow Wilson high schools mark the agency’s first attempt to create a transportation-focused core curriculum within the Los Angeles school district.

MTA expects $2 million from the Federal Transit Administration to be allocated by the end of this month.

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The remaining $2 million in matching funds will come from the MTA as part of its 30-year integrated transportation plan, a spokeswoman for MTA said.

Lum said the grant, covering the cost of personnel, computer equipment, textbooks and field trips, is the largest the school has received.

The first year will be spent in development of course work by a committee made up of administrators, teachers and parents, Lum said.

She said the program comes at a crucial time.

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“Transportation in this area is key to our economic futures,” Lum said. “Aerospace is practically gone. The auto plant in Van Nuys is long gone. Mass transportation will make a tremendous difference in all of our futures.”


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