Grants Seekers Can Anticipate New Discretionary Grant Priorities

The Education Department proposes a new set of comprehensive education priorities that applicants will have to meet when applying for future discretionary grant competitions, according to a Federal Register notice.

Public Comment Deadline: July 24.

ED proposes 15 priorities and related definitions for use in discretionary grant programs. These proposed priorities and definitions are intended to replace the current supplemental priorities for discretionary grant programs that were published in 2010. This is an updated list culled from lessons learned after the department started using the 2010 set.

These priorities will support early learning and development programs; elementary and secondary schools and programs that keep all students on track to graduate from high school and postsecondary programs.

Not surprisingly, early education in the department’s top priority. The department notes that research suggests that participation in high-quality early learning and development programs may lead to improved school readiness for children in the short term, as well as higher graduation rates and higher earnings in the long term. Early education is the focus of this year’s Race to the Top competition, which is to be released this summer.

Priority Number 2 is about addressing the development of non-cognitive factors. Projects should focus on improving students’ mastery of non-cognitive skills and behaviors (e.g., academic behaviors, academic mindset, perseverance, self-regulation, social and emotional skills, and approaches toward learning strategies) and enhance student motivation and engagement in learning. Priority Number 3 involves personalized learning (or blended learning) which aims to differentiate content, tools, and materials for each learner so they can meet college- and career-ready standards.

The other proposed priorities include:

  • Improving Academic Outcomes for High-Need Students
  • Improving Job-Driven Training and Employment Outcomes
  • Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education.
  • Implementing Internationally Benchmarked College-and Career-Ready Standards and Assessments
  • Improving Teacher Effectiveness and Promoting Equal Access to Effective Teacher
  • Improving the Effectiveness of Principals
  • Leveraging Technology to Support Instructional Practice and Professional Development.

For more information, Contact, Margo Anderson, 202/205–3010; e-mail,

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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One Response to Grants Seekers Can Anticipate New Discretionary Grant Priorities

  1. David says:

    “Note that we do not include priorities for building evidence of effectiveness, supporting projects for which there is moderate or strong evidence of effectiveness, or improving productivity, all of which were included in the 2010 Supplemental Priorities. These policy objectives are codified in the Education Department Grant Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), effective August 13, 2013 (see 78 FR 49338), and can be used in discretionary grant competitions through that mechanism.”

    So by “replace” they don’t mean “eliminate” right?

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