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The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education has awarded just over $2.35 million in lottery grants to CareerTech programs for the 2020-21 school year, along with $500,000 in scholarships in the 2019-20 school year.
ODCTE receives almost 5 percent of the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund, which it uses to help CareerTech programs upgrade equipment and to provide scholarships to educators to continue their own education to fulfill CareerTech teacher certification and credential requirements. Oklahoma CareerTech starts each year’s competitive grant process only after it receives the lottery funds.
CareerTech sixth through 12th grade programs and technology centers submit grant proposals that include their plans for using the funds to innovate and positively affect students. Because it is a competitive process, not all those who apply will receive funds.
“Instructors and students throughout the system benefit from funds received from the Oklahoma Lottery,” said Marcie Mack, CareerTech state director. “Through the competitive grant process each year, there is a direct investment in the classroom and training experiences with new equipment, technology and enhanced instructional resources in a variety of ways.”
Ninety CareerTech programs in 69 PK-12th grade schools and nine technology centers received grants in the 2020-21 school year. CareerTech awarded 486 teacher and administrator certification scholarships worth a total of $500,000 in the 2019-20 school year.
Technology centers will invest in a wide range of equipment; examples are a police driver training simulator and other law enforcement training equipment; welding and metal fabrication equipment; computers, printers and other hardware; software; and virtual reality equipment for health careers education.
The 69 PK-12th grade schools received 90 lottery grants. Examples of classroom resources are welding equipment; tablets and other computer equipment, including software; greenhouse equipment; digital cameras and other photography equipment; apparel design and production equipment; food preparation and nutritional sciences equipment; microscopes; patient simulators and other health equipment; drones; construction shop equipment; and other equipment to enhance the CareerTech programs.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 394 K-12 school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.