Applications now open for $45 million in career technical education funding

Grant applications for the Idaho Career Ready Students (ICRS) program — a $45 million career technical education initiative — are now open. School districts and charters can apply for the funds here.

The ICRS program was approved by the Legislature earlier this year, and signed into law by Gov. Brad Little on March 31, after the state superintendent brought forward the idea. Supporting CTE is one of Critchfield’s top priorities for her time in office.

“This program allows schools to tailor their Career Technical Education offerings to the unique needs of their communities,” Critchfield said in a Thursday press release. “We know that the best people to ask about the needs of a community are the members of that community, and this program positions Idahoans to create workforce solutions that are responsive and tailor-made for their area’s individual needs.”

ICRS grants will go to boost CTE initiatives in Idaho’s middle and high schools, particularly those in rural and remote regions of the state. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Capital expenditures needed to upgrade and expand existing CTE programs (e.g., machines, tools, and other one-time purchases)
  • Capital costs associated with building programming and construction (e.g., architectural and design fees, actual construction costs, and costs to finish out an existing construction project)
  • Initial investments to develop CTE programs specific to a local region and job market (e.g., instructional and program promotional materials and supples, consumable materials and supplies, and equipment specific to program instruction)

Project proposals should be sustainable, responsive to community and statewide workforce needs and supportive of partnerships between schools and industry stakeholders. Preference will be given to projects in rural and remote districts, or schools that otherwise have trouble accessing resources to create lasting CTE programs.

There is no set application deadline for ICRS grants — the 11-member ICRS program council, led by state superintendent Debbie Critchfield, will meet quarterly to review applications.

Sadie Dittenber

Sadie Dittenber

Reporter Sadie Dittenber focuses on K-12 policy and politics. She is a College of Idaho graduate, born and raised in the Treasure Valley. You can follow Sadie on Twitter @sadiedittenber and send her news tips at [email protected].

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