The budget approved by the State Legislature on Sunday includes $1.5 million to establish a National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program in San Joaquin County, the first of its kind in Northern California.
ChalleNGe is a residential schooling program for 16- to 18-year-old high school students who have dropped out of school or are at risk of dropping out. There are already two ChalleNGe programs in California, in Los Alamitos and San Luis Obispo. Between them, they graduate about 800 students a year, but turn away at least as many because of a lack of capacity.
Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman has been working to open a third ChalleNGe program, in San Joaquin County, since early 2012.
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