The Calallen Independent School District is teaming up with two other school districts in the hopes of receiving a federal education grant worth $4 million.
Superintendent Arturo Almendarez said on Monday the district has entered into an Interlocal Agreement with the Taft and Odem-Edroy independent school districts in an effort to apply for the U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation Fund i3 Grant.
The grant allows for participating school districts to jointly develop and implement innovative practices, strategies and programs designed to meet student needs and provide multiple pathways to high school completion, he said.
If awarded, the funds would be divided up among the three school districts, Almendarez said.
All three would use the money to hire additional counselors, he added, with Taft and Odem-Edroy hiring one each and Calallen ISD looking to hire two.
Calallen ISD currently has eight counselors employed at all three grade levels.
The counselors would be employed by the school district and funded by the grant over a five-year period, Almendarez said.
"The grant would be used to train counselors at all three levels - elementary, middle school and high school - in a way that they better understand how to guide our students into a career pathway," he said.
Almendarez said he is confident in the district's chances, but added there are other school districts from around the country applying for this grant, as well.
"It would be great if we could receive this, but there's a lot of competition out there," he said.