WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Rodney Davis (IL-13) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved a grant of $326,327 for the McLean County Unit District 5 Schools to create an interactive Distance Learning network. This program, which will be made available to six school districts across central Illinois, will support over 17,000 students.

“The announced funding is great news for McLean County schools, and it will bolster educational opportunities for students working to achieve a college degree,” said Rep. LaHood. “This award is a testament to the tireless work being done by McLean County educators, and I applaud Secretary Perdue and the Trump Administration for recognizing this important work. I will continue to work with them to strengthen our education system in central and west-central Illinois.”

“With all of the technology at our disposal today, it’s inspiring to see that these advances are being used to improve the educational experiences for children, teachers, and staff in McLean County,” said Rep. Davis. “While rural schools had previously been at a disadvantage, this grant will help improve access to college courses ensuring that students in schools large and small have the same opportunities.”

“We are so grateful to have received this grant. These dollars will open up educational opportunities for students in central Illinois. This will provide technology for our district and offer rural districts access to curriculum that is not currently provided. It is a great partnership,” said McLean County Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel.

This rural development investment made by the USDA will allow the McLean County Unit District 5 Schools the ability to establish an interactive Distance Learning network. This educational opportunity will be made available to students in six school districts across central Illinois. The schools will be connected through a distance learning network, and advanced placement courses will be offered, as well as dual enrollment courses so that students can earn college credits.