Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement announcing a $59 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment for Desert Junior Senior High School at Edwards Air Force Base:
“Edwards Air Force Base is home to our country’s most advanced technology. Yet, some of the school facilities are unable to fully support the current needs of the community. This award will go towards expanding the capacity and improving the facilities at Desert Junior Senior High School which will further enrich students’ educational experiences. These enhancements will also help give our base a competitive edge in recruitment efforts by offering military and government civilian families the added assurance that their children will receive the best education possible.”
“I thank the Muroc Joint Unified School District Superintendent Kevin Cordes, Major General Christopher P. Azzano, Commander, Air Force Test Center, and Brigadier General Ernest J. Teichert III, Commander, 412th Test Wing for their dedication and steadfast work to improve the quality of education for these students. I am confident that this grant will help to positively impact countless lives.”
Statement by Muroc Joint Unified School District Superintendent Kevin D. Cordes:
“The Muroc Joint Unified School District is extremely excited to learn that the Desert Jr/Sr High School project, through the Public Schools on Military Installations Program, has been approved for construction. We wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to the Department of Defense, the Office of Economic Adjustment, and Representative Kevin McCarthy for their support of students at Edwards Air Force Base. From the onset of this tremendous opportunity, Representative McCarthy has been front and center advocating for our students in Kern County, California. The work performed at Edwards Air Force Base is vital to our nation’s security, and the students of those who dedicate their lives to our nation’s defense deserve the best that we have to offer. Through this funding, the students at Edwards Air Force Base will be provided excellent school facilities to support their learning for generations to come.”
Statement by Brigadier General Ernest J. Teichert III, Commander, 412th Test Wing:
“Team Edwards is thrilled to be able to provide our families with a new Junior and Senior High School, one that is fitting for the Center of the Aerospace Testing Universe. We deeply appreciate the world class support of our Congressional delegation and the Office of Economic Adjustment.”
In 2011, the Department of Defense released a list of public schools on military installations that are in most need of funds to improve the schools’ facilities.
In 2018, McCarthy secured $235 million to improve these schools through the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 115-141). McCarthy also included Section 2818 in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-91) to ensure that the funds would be used to prioritize improvements at the top 33 schools nationwide ranked by need. Desert Junior Senior High School is ranked 31 on the Public Schools on Military Installations Priority List. Both provisions helped ensure that Desert Junior Senior High School was eligible to apply for funding.
Once completed, Desert Junior Senior High School will be able to accommodate 720 students from 7th through 12th grades.
The letter notifying McCarthy of the grant award can be found here.
Throughout the years, McCarthy has also secured federal funds to improve other local schools, including Irving L. Branch Elementary School on Edwards Air Force Base, Murray Middle School on Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, and Burroughs High School also on NAWS China Lake. Because of funds secured by McCarthy last year, Richmond Elementary School on NAWS China Lake is eligible to apply for funding and is in the process of developing an application.