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The U.S Department of Education Announces $600,000 Competition for Rural Schools

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a new technology education competition for rural schools. In a press release issued in June by the United States Department of Education, the competition is “a challenge to advance high-quality technology instruction in rural communities.” The Rural Tech Project encourages high schools, as well as local educational agencies (LEAs), to “develop competency-based distance learning programs that enable students to master skills at their own pace with the goal of preparing them for the well-paying, in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow.”

The Rural Tech Project is the latest Ed Prizes competition, which aims to expand access and capacity of career and technical education programs.

The total cash prize pool is $600,000. Up to five finalists will receive equal shares of $500,000 to develop a two-year academic program. In 2023, the finalists will submit their learning outcomes to a judging panel who will select one grand prize winner to receive the remaining $100,000. Information from all five finalists will be shared as resources for other communities.

Rural high schools and LEAs interested in participating will be asked to provide the following:

  • a program overview (including the delivery model)

  • curriculum topics

  • intended collaboration with local employers and other partners

A virtual information session about the Rural Tech Project will be held on July 21. Proposals are due October 8.