Dysart Awarded $450,000 AZ Transportation Grant
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 11/16/2021
The Dysart Unified School District was awarded a $450,000 grant from A for Arizona through the Arizona Transportation Modernization Grant Program. The funding will allow Dysart Schools to create a shuttle system, through the purchase of busses, for district Career and Technical Education (CTE) students that attend the Northwest Campus of West-MEC.
Dysart Unified School District covers 140 square miles and serves over 8,000 high school students at its four high schools - Dysart High School, Shadow Ridge High School, Valley Vista High School, and Willow Canyon High School. Dysart offers 19 CTE programs on its campuses, and partners with West-MEC to provide additional opportunities to students. Currently, over 5,000 Dysart students take CTE classes, and over 250 students attend West-MEC. Career and Technical Education programs have been proven to keep students engaged in school, and promote focus, higher levels of achievement, and high school completion. Dysart CTE students have a 96% graduation rate and have earned over 600 industry certifications.
“Dysart Schools is pleased to be able to support students pursuing Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes at West-MEC with bus transportation through this grant,” said Dysart Schools Superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellis. “This grant will allow us to expand the accessibility of extraordinary CTE classes for Dysart students, provide a safe commute between the high school and West-MEC, and leverage funds from outside the Dysart district.”
Dysart applied for the grant to address the transportation challenges that create a barrier to access for students who desire to enroll in CTE programs, but lack the transportation to participate. The grant-funded pilot program will serve as a model for other schools to use in enhancing access for students who choose CTE programs. The plan is to have a soft start in the second half of the 21-22 school year, as soon as the new busses are available, with full implementation in the 22-23 school year.
Grant applications were reviewed by a committee of local and national industry, philanthropic and community leaders. In the first cycle, more than $18 million was awarded to support 24 proposals across Arizona. The Arizona Transportation Modernization Grants Program was established by the Arizona State Legislature to provide resources to incubate and advance ideas to improve access to reliable and safe transportation for students, and to accelerate innovation and efficiency solutions in all systems.