“This is a great example of how elected officials can target support funds for needed projects within their districts. “

– Gary Leif, The late Oregon State Representative, House District 2

American Rescue Plan funding benefits students

April 5, 2022 -The late Oregon State Representative, House District 2, Gary Leif leaves a legacy that will benefit children in the represented district for years to come. Last spring each State House Member was allocated $2 million as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) with a short time period to complete an application for funding that could be used for each house district. 

Representative Leif and Gary Gray, business professor at Umpqua Community College and former strategy advisor to Leif, partnered with the Douglas Education Service District to serve as the lead agency to identify needed technology improvements in public schools within House District 2. Superintendent Michael Lasher, Chief Information Officer Asthika Welikala and school district superintendents worked together to provide a scope of projected purchases that centered around the themes of cyber security; improved bandwidth; and classroom equipment.

ARPA funds were approved for release by legislative action in December 2021 and will benefit the following school districts: Roseburg Public Schools, Winston-Dillard School District, Riddle School District, South Umpqua School District, Glendale School District, Days Creek School District and Douglas Education Service District.

As a huge supporter of education and love for the community, Leif was excited about this funding opportunity and had shared: “This is a great example of how elected officials can target support funds for needed projects within their districts. We need more programs and legislative actions, which are driven by the elected officials and not mandated from agencies without regard to the actual local needs and impacts. Our rural schools must be enhanced with modern technology. The traditional funding sources simply do not provide enough money to maintain current levels of technology that our teachers need and our students deserve.” 

“State Representative Gary Leif truly cared about our community,” says Douglas Education Service District Superintendent Michael Lasher. “As a business leader and public servant, his tireless efforts continue to positively impact our region. I can’t thank him enough for directing ARPA funding entrusted to him to lift up children in House District 2.”

Leif lived in Douglas County for most of his life and will be remembered as a leader who listened and asked questions to better serve his constituents with decisions that have resulted in positive and lasting changes.