Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Josh Harder (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona urging him to release funds for the Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Grant Program as soon as possible.
“Our rural students have faced unique challenges during the past year and a half, making it critical they receive the necessary support to keep them on track for success after graduation,” Stefanik said. “This funding will provide rural schools and communities the necessary resources to adopt innovative approaches that fully equip our students with the skills to succeed. I am proud to lead this important initiative, so our North Country students have greater opportunity to receive their degree, enroll in college, and engage in the workforce.”
“Every kid, no matter where they’re from, deserves the same opportunity to pursue their dreams,” Rep. Harder said. “This funding will make sure we give rural students the tools they need to enroll in higher education, get a degree, and make those dreams into reality. It’s time students in our Valley had the same access to higher ed as those growing up in the Bay.”
Stefanik and Harder led the bipartisan Success for Rural Students in Communities Act, which would provide grants to rural communities across the country to spur innovation, improve access to higher education, and prepare rural students to receive the credentials necessary to step into high-demand jobs in their communities.
Last December, Stefanik and Harder secured $10 million for this initiative in the Fiscal Year 2021 Labor, Health and Health Services, and Education appropriations bill. The Department of Education is directed to make awards under this program by December 31, 2021.
In June, Stefanik asked Secretary Cardona about the status of the Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Grant Program during a House Education and Labor Committee Hearing.