Creating or expanding career and technical education programs, such as at Baker Technical Institute, are a primary focus of Measure 98 funding. (Photo by Blue Chalk Media.)
The Oregon Department of Education has released the final calculations for Measure 98 grants.
Every district and charter high school is eligible for funds from the $170 million the Legislature allocated for the High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Fund.
The biennial grants are divided into two distributions, with 49 percent in the first distribution and 51 percent in the second.
For the first distribution, schools only have to sign a letter of agreement from the Oregon Department of Education. ODE plans to send those letters in the next 10 days, according to Jan McCoy, ODE research and planning specialist.
Schools can be reimbursed for expenses between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019, that address Measure 98’s goals: career and technical education, college preparation and dropout prevention.
“That is pretty broad, and it would be hard to imagine that somebody wouldn’t come up with a chance to use the money,” McCoy said.
Requirements for the second distribution are more stringent. Schools must submit a four-year plan between Feb. 1 and June 30, 2018, along with meeting other eligibility requirements. McCoy said ODE plans to release the application form with details on the requirements about Nov. 1.
Schools will have one year ̶ from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019 ̶ to spend the second distribution. Money cannot be carried over into the next biennium’s budget.
ODE will work with all eligible schools to help them take advantage of the grants. If schools do not claim their share of the fund, the money cannot be redistributed to the rest of the schools, and the Legislature will have to decide what to do with the leftover funds.
“The law actually requires that if a district or school doesn’t request the funds or is determined to be ineligible, we have to hold onto those funds while we work to get them to be able to take advantage of them,” McCoy said.
Measure 98 called for $800 per student. The Legislature allocated $170 million, which worked out to about $778 per ADMw, the weighted student average that is the basis for awarding the grants.
The Legislature altered the law to give schools more flexibility. Schools that receive less than $100,000 per year only have to use it for one Measure 98 focus area, and schools that receive between $100,000 and $350,000 have to use it for CTE and one other area. Districts or schools that receive more than $350,000 have to use it in all three areas. About a quarter of Oregon’s 197 districts and one charter school are eligible for more than $350,000 the first year.
Some grants are only a few thousand dollars, and a few are for more than $10 million. Portland Public Schools has the largest grant at $12.2 million.
The Legislature also added the Oregon School for the Deaf, the Youth Corrections Education Program and the Juvenile Detention Education Program to Measure 98 funding, about $840,000 combined.