Twenty-five school systems in Oregon are splitting up $9 million in state grants to improve and expand career programs.
Most of the six-figure grants are going to schools outside the Willamette Valley, namely in eastern, southern, and coastal Oregon.
The 100-student high school in Elgin — in northeastern Oregon — received a grant worth nearly $400,000.
Elgin superintendent Diane Greif said the money will replace outdated welding equipment and help build an agricultural sciences classroom. She’s happy for Elgin students, and their shop teacher.
“It nearly brought tears to his eyes,” said Greif. “I think for a young teacher, this is probably like a dream, to get to rebuild your shop and put the equipment in — that you know you can make your kids have the skills to be successful as they leave your program.”
Grants in the Portland Metro area will go to districts such as St. Helens, Hillsboro, and Beaverton.
And in good news for Burns, Oregon: the Harney County School District got a career-tech grant totaling $368,000.
The Oregon Department of Education and Bureau of Labor and Industries announced the awards Tuesday.
It’s the third round, and the most grant money awarded at one time, since lawmakers approved the Career Technical Education program in 2011. The state started with a total of $1.8 million in awards in 2011. It followed up in 2013-15 with two allocations of $8.87 million and $2 million.