Smith Charitable Trust Re-aligns Priorities

The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust continues giving under its re-aligned priorities which focus on foster care children and youth; military veterans and their families; and youth with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities. Read the rest of this entry

Heard on Capitol Hill

ESEA Reauthorization Bill Stalls in House

Diminished support and a general dissatisfaction with funding levels forced Republican leaders to pull the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization bill from the House floor before a vote could be taken. The bill would make almost $5 billion in cuts to DoEd spending. HR 5, the proposed Student Success Act, also seeks to limit the federal government’s power to set education standards across the country, failed to secure enough support among moderate members. A number of controversial issues limited support for the bill, including the Common Core academic standards, school vouchers, and federal reporting and accountability mandates. Democrats support the proposed ESEA substitute bill, developed by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), which proposes a variety of measures to strengthen education for students with disabilities and disadvantaged students. Attention now turns back to the Senate, where Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) continue to negotiate a compromise bill. Read the rest of this entry

Dollar General Reading Grants Open for Adults, Youth

Dollar General Reading Grants Open for Adults, Youth

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation opens the 2015 Dollar General Literacy Foundation 2015 Youth Literacy Grants with a funding focus on education

Deadline: May 21.

Geographic Focus: Regional (in the 40 states where the store has locations); Eligibility: Schools & nonprofits; Funding: Up to $4,000 each. Read the rest of this entry

More Statehouse Roundup: Efforts to Improve Kids Dental Health, Workforce Investment


Beshear Rolls Out Children’s Dental Health Partnership: Gov. Steve Beshear (D) launches an initiative to provide children with access to dental care. It is a partnership between a dental nonprofit organization and the U. of Louisville Pediatrics and will provide a joint comprehensive care facility for children enrolled in Medicaid. Through co-located facilities, the two organizations will work to meet both the dental and medical needs while providing a health care home for children who qualify for health care services through the Medicaid program. Read the rest of this entry

New Center to Strengthen Children’s Health Care

The Health Resources and Services Admin. (HHS) will provide a $1 million grant for a Nat’l Fetal, Infant and Child Death Review Center Program (CFDA Number: 93.110) (Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-15-069).

(Deadline: March 20)

Any public or private entity can apply to run the center, which will improve and strengthen state and local capacity to perform Child Death Reviews and to use information from these reviews to improve child and adolescent health services and systems.

Info: Diane Pilkey,

ACF’s Asset Building Competition to Begin in March

The Admin. for Children and Families (HHS) is planning to reissue a new version in March to guide funding for the Assets for Independence Demonstration Program (CFDA Number: 93.602) (Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2015-ACF-OCS-EI-1005).

Generally, AFI is guided by a three-year standing solicitation and has multiple deadlines each fiscal year. This means a solicitation sets the parameters and deadlines for several years. The current solicitation was pulled in its second year last fall so it could be tweaked to meet new federal requirements for grantmaking. ACF has not provided specifics on how many years the reissued solicitation will cover. Read the rest of this entry

Turnaround Schools Get Break from ED, Streamlined SIG Regulations

The Education Dept. reworks regulations for a $5 billion grants program that funds local efforts to turn around poorly performing schools, giving states more time to resolve problems and greater flexibility in choosing a solution.

Effective Date: March 11.

The new regulations for the School Improvement Grants (CFDA Number: 84.377) competition allows school districts to implement additional interventions, provides flexibility for rural school districts and extends the grant period. Read the rest of this entry

New Controversial Community College Plan in the Works

During his State of Union Address, President Obama continued to make the pitch for his America’s College Promise proposal to make two years of community college, which could let students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree and earn skills needed in the workforce at no cost.

“By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education — two in three,” Obama said during his address. “And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need.  It’s not fair to them, and it’s sure not smart for our future.  That’s why I’m sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college — to zero.” Read the rest of this entry

New Rules for $5B Child Care Block Grant Program

The Health & Human Services Dept. proposes new program requirements for state agencies and tribes receiving funding under the $5 billion Child Care and Development Block Fund (CCDF) program (CFDA Number 93.575).

Public Comment Deadline: March 1.

CCDF supports state efforts to help low-income families, families receiving temporary public assistance and those transitioning from public assistance in obtaining child care so they can work or attend training & education classes. The CCDF Plan for States and Territories is required from each CCDF Lead Agency.

HHS has revised the FY 2016-2018 plan requirements to align them with the new program mandate written into the Child Care and Development Block Grant reauthorization bill Congress passed last year. Read the rest of this entry

Statehouse Roundup: Lawmakers Work to Improve Pre-K; K-12 Education


$41M Goes for Early Childhood Education: Gov. Robert Bentley (R) promotes an initiative to invest in early childhood education. The initiative includes $41 million in grant funding for low-income children and families dealing with issues related to homelessness, abuse, or neglect. The initiative will use the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership model to allow local child care facilities and providers to coordinate with Head Start early learning programs. Read the rest of this entry