U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn announced today that USDA has invested more than $1.5 million in education support services in rural Oklahoma communities in 2023.
During the past fiscal year, Rural Development has funded 22 projects throughout the state totaling $1,560,665 that has been delivered to rural public schools in Oklahoma. These projects helped fund items that supported busses, school cafeterias, computer technology, equipment to support educational programs, energy efficiencies and more. These funds were obligated under the Rural Development Community and Facilities Loan and Grant program.
This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural areas including cities, villages, townships and towns including Federally Recognized Tribal Lands with no more than 20,000 residents according to the latest U.S. Census Data are eligible for this program.
“As we near Thanksgiving, I am beyond thankful that our President is committed to supporting our rural schools and providing our underserved communities with a helping hand that is certainly not a handout,” Corn said. “As I have traveled across Oklahoma speaking to our educators, principals and superintendents, the message back to me has been resounding that the programs the Biden-Harris Administration delivers are essential to the very survival and success of our educational services we provide in rural Oklahoma.”
Funds distributed to public Oklahoma schools this year included communities in:
- 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
- Wapanucka Public Schools
“Since arriving at Rural Development, President Biden has made it clear that his priority to me is to get funding out to our underserved communities that have been left behind, and let’s face it rural Oklahoma has been left behind for far too long,” Corn said. “The funds in these Rural Development programs make an instant impact for our schools, as they can instantly direct them to benefit the development of our next generation of Oklahomans and give these communities a chance to thrive instead of striving to thrive. I would strongly encourage small communities, county officials and tribal nations to speak with our staff on how Rural Development can be a part of their growth as well.”
For more information on how to apply call 580-889-2554 ext. 116.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/ok.