In a significant investment for rural education, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has committed over $1.5 million to educational services in rural Oklahoma for 2023.
The Rural Development Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn disclosed rural education development through an official press release. Over the past fiscal year, the USDA’s rural development initiatives have contributed to 22 projects across Oklahoma, amounting to a total of $1,560,665 dedicated to enhancing educational facilities in rural public schools.
Funds to Play a Pivotal Role
The allocated funds have played a pivotal role in supporting various initiatives, including the acquisition of new buses, cafeteria improvements, advancements in computer technology, procurement of educational program equipment, energy-efficient upgrades, and more.
This financial support falls under the Rural Development Community and Facilities Loan and Grant program, designed to offer affordable funding for rural education advancement. The program focuses on projects that provide crucial services to local communities in primarily rural regions, excluding private, commercial, or business undertakings.
Eligible entities for this program encompass a broad spectrum of rural areas, including cities, villages, townships, towns, public bodies, community-based nonprofits, and federally recognized tribes.
Public Schools Benefiting from the Funds
Public schools benefiting from the funds distributed this year include communities in various districts such as Boswell Public Schools, Calvin Public Schools, College of the Muskogee Nation, Dahlonegah School District, Elmore City-Pernell School District, Glover Public Schools, Kiamichi Technology Centers, Lowrey Public Schools, Oak Grove Public Schools, Okemah Public Schools, Smithville Public Schools, Soper Public Schools, and Wapanucka Public Schools.
Rural Development Oklahoma Director Corn expressed enthusiasm about the immediate impact these funds can have on schools, benefiting the development of the next generation of Oklahomans. He encouraged small communities, county officials, and tribal nations to engage with Rural Development staff to explore how the program can contribute to their growth and prosperity.
The USDA’s substantial investment underscores its commitment to fostering educational advancement in rural areas, aiming to create thriving communities and ensure a bright future for the students and residents of rural Oklahoma.