Jan 29 Audio Conference: Getting the federal grants you need in 2015

With the enactment of the FY 2015 omnibus funding bill, grant seekers should expect the release of a steady stream of new funding competitions over the next few months as agencies squeeze this year’s grant-making into a shorter solicitation window.

President Obama has signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 to fund the 26 grant-making agencies and the rest of the federal government through Sept. 30. The trickle of solicitations released should grow exponentially.

This is good news. Most competitive grants programs will see about the same level as FY 2014 and the major programs, like the Early Learning grants ($250 million) will again be offered in FY 2015. But, how does the savvy grant seeker position themselves to take advantage of this funding torrent?

Join us Jan 29, 2015 2 – 3 pm EST for our next audio conference Getting the federal grants you need in 2015

Click here for more information

Louisiana Wins NCLB Flexibility Extension

The Education Dept. grants Louisiana a one-year flexibility extension from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Louisiana has implemented reforms that go beyond the NCLB waiver requirements, according to the ED. For example:

The Louisiana Department of Education has revised its support structure by clustering school districts into several Network Teams comprised of former Louisiana teachers, principals and superintendents. Read the rest of this entry

More Giving News Briefs from Around the Country

The Grant Advisors are always trying to provide their readers with extra resources. This includes keeping up with the news on innovative programs and giving efforts from across the country. Recent highlights include activities in Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and North Carolina.

Maine

$20M to Help Student Study Abroad: The Council on International Educational Exchange pledges $20 million to eliminate some of the barriers — including cost, curriculum, and culture — that keep students from studying abroad. The commitment — in the form of scholarships and grants to American students — will support the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, with the goal of doubling the number of Americans studying abroad by the end of the decade. To that end, CIEE will also sponsor passports for 10,000 students to enable their participation. Read the rest of this entry

New Safety Awards to Draw from Existing Applicant Pool

The Education Dept. will be selecting FY 2015 school safety grants winners from the existing pool of applicants that previously applied for the grants but did not win any funding, ED officials say.

ED officials said they will be “funding down the slate,” for the “Now Is The Time” and School Climate Transformation grants that were introduced last year. The funding supports efforts to reduce school violence and eliminate bullying. Congress set aside about $110 million for the Now is the Time competitions, but ED officials have not yet determined how much will be available for distribution in FY 2015. Read the rest of this entry

Good News for State High School Graduation Rates

The Education Dept. is touting new statistics that show more states are posting higher high school graduation rates that are part of a nationwide trend that has the U.S. graduation rate remaining at 80% for the first time ever, official said.

The new data, for the 2012-13 school year, indicate that 18 states have graduation rates at or above 85%, up from 16 states in the 2011-12 school year and nine in 2010-2011, said Joshua Pollack, special assistant to the ED Secretary. This is the third year that states are using a common method, called the adjusted cohort graduation rate, to calculate four-year high school graduation rates. Eighty percent of students nationwide received a regular high school diploma within four years of starting 9th grade in the 2011-12 school year. Read the rest of this entry

Walmart Chain Offers State, Regional Grants

As we’ve noted before, the Walmart Foundation should be on everyone’s top prospect list. The Walmart State Giving Program is robust, making multiple awards of up to $2,500 each. 501(c)(3) nonprofits can apply; national eligibility.

Funding: Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000; Deadline: Varies, see below. Read the rest of this entry

ED Clarifies Requirements for Offering Single-Sex Classes

The Education Dept. releases new guidance that offers insights into how K-12 public schools can offer a full range of single-sex classes outside the ones they normally provide for physical education and sex ed.

The new regulations, actually a makeover of a 2006 guidance that generally expanded single-sex classes, look to reverse that trend. Under the new regulations, schools that want to offer single-sex classes need to have a good, educational reason for doing so. They must also get a parental opt-in for the single-sex model and offer a similar co-ed option on the same subject, according to guidance released by the ED Office for Civil Rights.

OCR says it responded to numerous inquiries about the legality of single-sex classes. It addresses concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has questioned the reasoning behind single-sex classes in states including Alabama, Maine, Mississippi, Virginia, and West Virginia. The guidance charts a path for schools on how they can provide boys-only or girls-only instruction while remaining in compliance with civil rights laws. Read the rest of this entry

Foundation Highlight: Charles Lafitte Foundation

Grant Advisors Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko are constantly on the lookout for good opportunities offering vigorous funding streams. Regularly, our site will highlight a foundation or federal agency which may fall under the radar, but provides funding that can help you achieve your programming goals.

Over the past few weeks, we highlighted the MAC AIDS Fund, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics for Grades Pre-K–5 grants, the National Forest Foundation, Whole Foods Markets, Dedalus Foundation, the Best Buy Foundation, the Dr. Scholl Foundation, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries grants and the Colin Higgins Foundation.

This week, we want to talk about the giving efforts of the Charles Lafitte Foundation. Read the rest of this entry

Heard on Capitol Hill

Measure Would Enhance Social Security Child’s Insurance Benefits: Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) introduces the Child’s Insurance Benefits Improvement Act (HR 5715) which would enhance Social Security’s Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefit. The DAC benefit allows a person age 18 or older who meets the Social Security disability standard to receive benefits based on the prior contributions of a parent, who is themself eligible for Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Currently, to qualify for the DAC benefit, a person’s disability must have started prior to age 22. Read the rest of this entry

Applications Sought for Health Funding

The Grant Advisors are always on the lookout for special grants that could be important to the GA community. We found two health-related funding opportunities of interest.

Wayne & Gladys Valley Foundation

Opportunity: Foundation grants; Funding Focus: Education, at-risk youth, health and faith-based efforts; Geographic Focus: California; Eligibility: Nonprofits; Funding: Varies (the foundation distributed about $27 million in grants last year); Deadline: Rolling.

The foundation makes grants to organizations which have broad-based funding support, specifically defined goals and purposes, and demonstrated effectiveness in its programs. Read the rest of this entry