Despite speculation earlier this year that funding for education grants would be casualties of federal budget cuts, reality has been quite different. What has become apparent now that the budget has been passed is that there have been relatively few cuts to education grants and that the funding priorities established under the Obama administration with a few notable exceptions.
According to Elizabeth Evans, Grants Development Consultant – Education at the Grants Office, LLC., there are four key areas that continue to be funding priorities for the Department of Education. “Fortunately, most education grants have returned and some, including those supporting the creation or replication of charter schools, STEM programs, early literacy programs, and workforce development, have even received a slight bump in funding,” she shared.
As well as grants from the Department of Education, there is funding available for K-12 schools from other federal agencies. For example, the Department of Defense will be offering grants for STEM education and training grants to support workforce development for the Navy and Marine Corps, while the Department of Labor will be offering grants for workforce development under the YouthBuild program to help at-risk teens and young adults acquire employable skills through rehabbing and building new houses.
Other federal agencies offering grants this year include:
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for environmental literacy, Bay Watershed Education and Training, and Educational Partnership Programs Cooperative Science Centers.
- Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security for school safety.
- United States Department of Agriculture for distance learning grants.
The grants offered by these agencies cover a wide range of activities from teacher training to equipment and supplies, and support of research and partnerships between K-12 schools and universities to develop best practices.
As we wrapped up the conversation, Evans shared that while the spring funding ‘season’ has passed, the fall season will soon be in full swing. “Administrators should use the summer to identify grants that will best support their educators and students,” she shared. “With a plan in place, it’s easier to start the process, identify partners and collaborators at the state and local level, solicit peer review, and ultimately submit a compelling application.”
Want to learn more about supporting early literacy? Here’s a great article about supporting early academic success.