School district among grant benefactors – San Benito News


By REGION ONE ESC
Special to the NEWS

EDINBURG, TX—Rio Hondo Independent School District (RHISD) is one of nine Valley school districts named as benefactors of a Region One Education Service Center (Region One) $4.2 million grant the educational entity will be awarded for the next three years by the US Department of Education (USDE) through the newly created Perkins Innovation and Modernization, Career Connected High Schools (CCHS) grant program.

School district stakeholders, industry partners and higher education representatives gathered at the Region One Conference Center in Edinburg on March 25, 2024 to celebrate the award.

According to the USDE, the grant is part of the Department’s Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success initiative, aimed at helping young Americans access good-paying jobs. The USDE received over 160 applications. Region One was among 18 other grant awardees in the country and is one of two awardees in Texas.

“Through this grant, our College, Career and Life Readiness Office will strengthen its commitment to aligning education with career pathways, preparing students to meet the workforce’s demands,” said Region One Executive Director Dr. Daniel P. King, Ph.D. “We’re proud to be among the first institutions to pioneer this new program, working collaboratively with our partner school systems and the private sector to ensure a seamless integration of education and career preparation.”

The initiative will serve 4,379 students across Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy Counties, empowering career and technical education programs at nine partner school systems: Lasara ISD, Lyford CISD, Monte Alto ISD, Point Isabel ISD, Raymondville ISD, Rio Hondo ISD, Roma ISD, San Isidro ISD and San Perlita ISD.
Rio Hondo ISD Superintendent Raul J. Treviño said the program is the missing piece rural school districts need to help students transition into in-demand careers.

“I’m excited to bring work-based learning opportunities to our students through this grant because, as a rural school district, we are not in close proximity to the industries that we are preparing students for careers in,” Superintendent Treviño said. “This is going to help us build a strong pathway to in-demand careers. Overall, the program will raise awareness for work-based learning experiences coupled with higher education opportunities.”

With the goal of improving academic scores and career readiness efforts, partner school systems will receive dedicated support from Region One to create modernized career and technical education programs. The initiative will provide schools with work-based learning opportunities, apprenticeships, certification courses, professional development for educators and customized post-secondary and career planning.

The Region One Education Service Center is part of a state-wide system of 20 regional education service centers created in 1965 by the 59th Texas Legislature to assist school districts across the state.

Originally slated to work with school districts as a media center, the role of the education service center has expanded to work alongside school districts to carry out the three main objectives as stipulated in the TEC §8.002: to assist school districts in improving student performance in each region of the system; enable school districts to operate more efficiently and economically; and implement initiatives assigned by the legislature or commissioner.

Located in South Texas on the United States/Mexico border, Region One ESC serves 38 school districts and 10 charter school systems in the eight county areas of Brooks County, Cameron County, Hidalgo County, Jim Hogg County, Starr County, Webb County, Willacy County, and Zapata County.





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