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Tag Archives: K-12 education grants

Social, economic, and political trends directly impact the possible roles of American teachers in winning grants for classrooms and schools. This post identifies several trends and roles teachers can and do play as incubators and planners of proposals, as implementers of funded projects, and as evaluators of project outcomes. Such roles are not yet universal, but they are frequent.

 

Background Trends:

  1. Public schools, as workplaces, are ever more labor-intensive and capital-intensive.
  2. Demographic shifts are eroding traditional bases of support for public schools.
  3. Public willingness to pay ever-higher taxes to support public education is declining.
  4. Doctrines of continuous improvement compel adoption of effective (or best) practices.
  5. Standards-based educational accountability perpetuates calls for systemic reform.

 

Proposal Incubators:

  1. Many teachers seek to improve results of teaching and learning.
  2. Often teachers seize the initiative in embracing change in their classrooms.
  3. Many teachers pursue their pedagogical enthusiasms with passion and creativity.
  4. Often teachers seek and do what works best for learners.
  5. Many teachers serve as critical vectors for continuous school reform.
  6. Often teachers care about the children they are charged to teach.

 

Proposal Planners:

  1. Adults learn better by doing, applying, and practicing what they learn.
  2. Those asked to do the work of educational reform need to have a hand in shaping it.
  3. Adults resist change less when they own a problem and its solution.
  4. Schools are communities in microcosm, as well as workplaces and social institutions.
  5. Active participation in decision-making is critical to democratic self-government.
  6. Policies of shared decision-making compel input from school-based staff.

 

Implementers of Funded Projects:

  1. Many teachers test and refine new, research-based instructional practices.
  2. Often teachers develop and use integrated, thematic curricular materials.
  3. Teachers often design, pilot, and use new authentic assessments.
  4. Teachers often design and use collaborative and inclusive learning spaces.
  5. Often teachers set priorities for site-specific professional development.
  6. Many teachers engage in continual, reflective self-development.
  7. Teachers often collaborate as members of teams of change agents.
  8. Many teachers incorporate community resources in their classrooms.

 

Evaluators of Outcomes:

  1. Assessment often uses both criterion-based and norm-based measures.
  2. Assessment often reflects stages in child development as well as universal academic standards.
  3. Many teachers are encouraged to act more as guides on the side, rather than always as sages. on the stage
  4. Reflective self-assessment is integral to life-long learning as professional teachers.

Proposals that win grants for K-12 education have many predictable information needs. Applicants that have such information at the ready before the announcement of a grant opportunity greatly improve the likelihood of funding.

 

Applicants may not need every item listed here for every description of commitment and capacity; however, among the proposal narrative elements they should anticipate are: history of commitment, capacity development plans, plans to leverage resources, and experience and coordination.

 

History of Financial and Programmatic Commitment:

  1. History of growth of local budgets for similar programs or initiatives (from outset if possible)
  2. History of growth of applicant’s commitment of staff to similar programs or initiatives
  3. History of resources dedicated to local programs or initiatives similar to the one proposed:
  • Materials and supplies (e.g., curricular materials, software subscriptions)
  • Infrastructure (e.g., networks, computers, telecommunications, software)
  • Assessment instruments and evaluation processes
  • Specialized training (e.g., pre-service, in-service, credit-awarding courses)
  • Reimbursements for professional development (e.g., tuition, course completion)
  • Collaboration with other project-related agencies (e.g., in proposal planning)

 

Capacity Development Plans:

  1. Year-by-year plan to develop programmatic capacity during the grant period
  2. Year-by-year plan to absorb related costs (as specific and quantified as possible)
  3. Plan for follow-up services, as needed, for participants during grant period

 

Leveraging Resources:

  1. Federal funds  – recent history related to new proposal (e.g., sources, amounts, purposes)
  2. State funds  – recent history related to new proposal (e.g., sources, amounts, purposes)
  3. Foundation funds  – recent history related to new proposal (e.g., sources, amounts, purposes)
  4. Corporate funds – recent history related to new proposal (e.g., sources, amounts, purposes)
  5. Local funding – recent history related to new proposal (e.g., sources, amounts, purposes)

 

Experience and Coordination:

  1. Earlier experience with the same funder and/or the same funding program, if any
  2. Earlier experience with funder’s other programs related to the present grant program, if any
  3. Relationship or relevance to the funder’s other grant programs or initiatives, if any

 

Later posts will cover information needs for other aspects of educational grant proposals.

Proposals that win grants for K-12 education have many predictable information needs. Applicants that have already such information on hand before the announcement of a grant opportunity greatly improve the likelihood of funding.

 

Applicants may not need to provide every item listed here in every staffing plan; however, among the proposal narrative elements they should anticipate are: local non-discriminatory employment plans, position descriptions, résumés or vitae, time commitments, and local salary/wage schedules.

 

Non-Discriminatory Employment Plans:

  1. Description of local staff recruitment and retention plan
  2. Description of local non-discriminatory employment (or affirmative action) plan
  3. Evidence of compliance with local non-discriminatory employment (or affirmative action) plan
  4. Number and ratio of proposed staff members by categories such as: elderly, racial/ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women
  5. Number and ratio of existing staff members by categories such as: elderly, racial/ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women

 

Position Descriptions:

  1. Position descriptions for all personnel to be paid for out of a new grant
  2. Position descriptions for all other project-related key personnel

 

Résumés and Curricula Vitae:

  1. Résumés for all personnel to be paid for out of a new grant
  2. Résumés for all other project-related key personnel to be involved in the proposed project

 

Time Commitments and Wages/Salaries:

  1. Time commitments for all anticipated personnel as percent of full-time equivalent (or % FTE)
  2. Local salary and wage schedules for all positions to appear in the proposal’s itemized budget
  3. Analysis of anticipated time and effort for all positions (sorted by key functions/tasks)

 

Later posts will cover information needs for other aspects of educational grant proposals.

Proposals that win grants for K-12 education have many predictable information needs. Planning a project budget is no exception! Applicants that have their budget basics ready before responding to a grant opportunity greatly improve the likelihood of funding.

 

Although applicants may not need every item listed here for every proposal budget, among the elements it is prudent to anticipate are: salaries and fringe benefits, travel, consultants, and indirect costs.

 

Salaries and Fringe Benefits:

  1. Local established salary schedules for all positions
  2. Percentages used in calculating fringe benefits: workers compensation, retirement (pensions), health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, professional development incentive increments, and social security (FICA)
  3. Local fringe benefits rate for all administrative staff
  4. Local fringe benefits rate for all certified staff
  5. Local fringe benefits rate for all classified staff
  6. Local fringe benefits for all staff already on payroll for non-contract work on a consultant basis

 

Travel:

  1. Typical round-trip airfares
  2. Typical round-trip ground transportation fares (subways, trams, taxis)
  3. Typical per diem lodging costs
  4. Local round-trip highway tolls
  5. Round-trip mileages to frequent destinations
  6. Local established per diem rates
  7. Local established mileage reimbursement rates
  8. Federal per diem schedule
  9. Federal vehicle use per mile rate

 

Other Items:

  1. Typical consultant hourly and daily rates
  2. Typical evaluation hourly and daily rates
  3. Course tuition rates per credit hour
  4. Applicant indirect charges rate and its basis

 

Later posts will cover information needs for other aspects of educational grant proposals.

Many types of data are useful in winning grants designed to benefit schools and students in academic subjects (and other areas) in grades K-12. Among the useful types of data are: demographics, income, poverty, staff, educational attainment, and performance in core academic subjects. Here I indicate the types of useful data by N (for number) and % (for percent).

 

Demographics

  1. N and % English language learners by grade level, by school site, and by district
  2. N and % aged 5 and older in community who speak a language other than English at home
  3. N and % racial and ethnic categories by grade level, by school site, and by district
  4. N and % special education students by grade level, by school site, and by district
  5. N of students by grade level, by school site, and by district

 

Socioeconomics (Income)

  1. Per capita personal income by district or community or census tract
  2. Per household personal income by district or community or census tract

 

Socioeconomics (Poverty)

  1. N and % of persons under age 18 living in poverty by district or community or census tract
  2. N and % of persons aged 5 to 18 living in poverty by district or community or census tract
  3. N and % eligible for free lunch by grade level, by school site, and by district
  4. N and % eligible for reduced price lunch by grade level, by school site, and by district
  5. N and % of total enrollment by every Title I-eligible school site and by district

 

Instructional Staff

  1. N of instructional staff by subject area, by school site, and by district
  2. N and % of highly qualified instructional staff by subject area, by school site, and by district
  3. N and % of instructional staff with advanced degrees, by school site and by district
  4. N and % of Instructional staff by average years of experience, by school site and by district

 

Educational Attainment

  1. N and % high school completion (graduation rate) by school site and by district
  2. N and % high school dropout (dropout rate) by school site and by district
  3. N and % of adults ages 25 and older in district who have less than a high school diploma
  4. N and % of adults ages 25 and older in district who have a bachelor’s degree or higher

 

Academic Performance – Reading

  1. N and % did not meet State Reading Standards, by grade level and by school site
  2. N and % partially met State Reading Standards, by grade level and by school site
  3. N and % met or exceeded State Reading Standards, by grade level and by school site

 

Academic Performance – Mathematics

  1. N and % did not meet State Math Standards, by grade level and by school site
  2. N and % partially met State Math Standards, by grade level and by school site
  3. N and % met or exceeded State Math Standards, by grade level and by school site

 

Academic Performance – Science

  1. N and % did not meet State Science Standards, by grade level and by school site
  2. N and % partially met State Science Standards by grade level and by school site
  3. N and % met or exceeded State Science Standards by grade level and by school site

 

Academic Performance – United States History

  1. N and % did not meet State US History Standards, by grade level and by school site
  2. N and % partially met State US History Standards, by grade level and by school site
  3. N and % met or exceeded State US History Standards, by grade level and by school site

 

Academic Performance – Fine Arts and Performing Arts

  1. N and % did not meet State Arts Standards, by grade level and by school site
  2. N and % partially met State Arts Standards, by grade level and by school site
  3. N and % met or exceeded State Arts Standards, by grade level and by school site

 

The more such data are available before they are needed in a proposal the better. The more that the data can be disaggregated by subgroup, the more useful for winning grants it is likely to be. Among relevant subgroups are: disabilities, English language proficiency, race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and mobility.

 

A later post will focus on where to find data useful for winning significant grant awards.

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