ESD 105
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News Release
Educational Service District 105 Receives $2,549,111 Career Connected High School Grant from U.S. Department of Education - Grant Promises to Enhance Educational Support in Rural Washington through Targeted Funding. - 02/13/24

We are thrilled to share that Educational Service District 105 (ESD 105)  has been selected as a grant recipient of the Career Connected High School grant award, as part of the first-ever Perkins Innovation and Modernization, Career Connected High Schools (CCHS) grant program.  As one of more than 160 eligible applications from 43 states and the District of Columbia received by the Department of Education, ESD 105 represents the only agency selected from our state. ESD 105 has been awarded $2,549,111 over three years with the opportunity to extend.


This grant, part of a $25 million investment issued by the U.S. Department of Education, builds the capacity of education and workforce systems to partner with business and industry to develop new high-quality career-connected high school programs for more students. Grantees will leverage four evidence-based strategies, or “keys,” to help students in unlocking career success including: providing postsecondary education and career guidance; increasing access to dual or concurrent enrollment programs; increasing work-based learning opportunities; and providing industry-recognized credentials.


School districts in rural Washington face paraeducator shortages, reflecting the broader challenge of accessing teacher preparation resources and attracting suitable candidates across our nation. Of the 25 school districts ESD 105  serves, 100% have reported a need for paraeducators, teacher assistants, and classroom support. This funding aims to enhance the involvement of underserved students in career and technical education (CTE) programs, specifically in pathways leading to careers in education. 


“ESD 105 with state partners will launch the Teacher Academies Project (TAP) for South Central Washington in collaboration with regional higher education institutions. Through TAP, high school students will have access to earning college credit through a blend of hands-on training, academic learning, and real-world experience. As a result, students will be able to earn a certificate for employment immediately after graduation and increase their employability. These credentials are valuable assets that impact the region's paraeducator shortage and align with the needs of our school districts." Dr. Melissa Matczak, Director of Educator Growth and Development.


Our goal is to give students access to work-based learning opportunities, college credit, and mentorship to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the field of education. 


For more information about CCHS grant awards, please visit the Innovation and Modernization Program webpage here, and consult the Unlocking Career Success website for more information on career-connected learning.


Additional quotes provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

“President Biden understands that it’s time to invest in career-connected learning that will better prepare our young people for exciting careers and family-sustaining jobs in today’s most in-demand fields,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “We can transform the American high school experience and Raise the Bar for student engagement, achievement, and career-readiness in this country by providing all students with access to dual enrollment classes, work-based learning, industry credentials, and comprehensive career advising. The Biden-Harris Administration is going to keep on fighting to provide every student in every community with career-connected learning."  NOTE: THIS QUOTE CANNOT BE ALTERED. 


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About ESD 105:

ESD 105 supports 25 public school districts and more than 20 state-approved private and tribal schools in South Central Washington.  The agency serves the expressed needs of those schools in coordinating and conducting cooperative programs to benefit the approximately 68,000 K-12 students who are served in Kittitas and Yakima counties and portions of Grant and Klickitat counties.  As one of nine ESDs in the state, ESD 105 carries out liaison activities between local school districts, the Washington State Office of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education.


View more news releases from ESD 105.