The federal and state governments give away billions of dollars in funding every year with the approval of Congress, the President and State governments. Additionally, there are more than 50,000 foundations and corporations that also give away money. Schools across the country compete for these grants through an application and scoring process. Applications are individually scored by at least three reviewers and get a grade from 1-100%. Usually, applications with 95%-100% get the grant awards. In a recent competition that Carthage won, over 800 schools applied for the coveted Carol M. White Physical Education grant and only 70 schools won. It is fierce competition! Carthage Central School District has won over 5 million dollars in awards over the past 2 years!
The grants from the U.S. Department of Education have specific uses and priorities that are non negotiable. They do not just give the millions away without schools addressing government priorities. Congress and the President tell us what priorities need to be addressed, but we can choose how we want to address them as long as they are based on solid research. Most of the education grants are achievement grants in the content areas of English, Science, Math, Foreign Language, Social Studies, Special Education, Physical Education, Fine Arts and History.
To win a grant you not only have to meet priorities, but also the granting agency’s expectations for progress and reporting. They give you millions and expect you to make educational progress or they will cut the funding. Remember, this is accountability to our taxpayers. We have the responsibility to our community to show improvement, be financially accountable and report to the government as many as four times yearly. I work with professional evaluators who assist me with the reports and the business office assists me with the budgets and accounting. We follow federal regulatory laws.
CCSD has invested the time and energy into finding, applying for, and submitting grant proposals to improve education. Grants have also proven to be beneficial and provide cost savings to families too. Through grants, CCSD has provided additional part time jobs for our community members. CASE provides an after school academic enrichment and homework help program for 200 students enrolled daily in the CASE After School Enrichment Program; CASE offers a Summer Day Camp program; free after school busing is provided for our athletes; an intramural program and after school fitness weight room program is also staffed as a result of grants. The YMCA, our partner offers swim lessons and Sneaks and Treats provides winter family fun nights as recreation. Grants have also significantly been able to contribute to the high cost of technology purchases and upgrades. Over the past five years, over $525,000 has been won through grants such as the DoDea grant and the Learning and Technology grants and used to address district technology department priorities and grant goals. In these tough economic times, grants have enabled us to continue to give our children a quality education, support families, and provide recreational activities, academic support, enrichment and state of the art technology.
So, as we move ahead applying for and managing these grants, I seek your support, comments and positive feedback to continue this work. I look forward to hearing from you as community members and teachers as new opportunities arise.
Director of Grants and Projects