Career Ready Students overwhelming response from school districts around Idaho

The council has received 108 applications for a requested $111 million.
Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 8:45 PM MST
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —Idaho Career Ready Students Program that increases the capacity of career technical education for students in grades 7th through 12 here in Idaho have been overwhelmingly popular.

The council that oversees the program has received 108 applications for a requested $111 million. They’ve awarded over $35 million out of the $45 million available in grant funding that will fund 22 plans and programs around the state.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield says, “To me what the interest shows of the grant program is how much the need is around our state particularly in our smaller more rural communities and that’s why we put this grant together was to really take in the school districts that are prioritized out of federal and state money that want to be creative and really align with local business and local industry.”

In Northern Idaho programs that assist in logging education were awarded. In the Magic Valley requests to support an ag extension and welding program were awarded.

Most of the districts couldn’t keep up with the demand for certain training programs without the help.

“Particularly here in the Magic Valley as we look at supporting programs in welding, in automotive and other skill related certificate related industries. We see districts who’ve had a popular program as an elective that because of their limited resources they haven’t been able to add students into something,” said Superintendent Critchfield.

Superintendent Critchfield says that all the applications have really good ideas, but they have to go with ones that benefit the students and the state.