Posts Tagged ‘federal grants’

Community College and Career Training Grants Now Available

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Shortly after taking office in 2009, President Obama pledged that America would have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 and would increase the number of workers who attain degrees, certificates, and other industry-recognized credentials. An announcement from the Administration today should go a long way in helping to reach that goal. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that grant applications for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program are now available. The grants were authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and funded at $2 billion over four years by the health care bill in 2010.

“These grants will help colleges create programs that make it possible for workers to come back to school and acquire skills and industry-recognized credentials needed to compete for good jobs in growing industries,” said Secretary Solis.

The grants are authorized at $500 million a year (FY 2011 to 2014) and will be available to community colleges or other two-year degree granting institutions of higher education as defined in the Higher Education Act. The goal of the grants is for schools to expand their capacity to provide education and career training to TAA for Workers program participants and other individuals to upgrade their knowledge and skills so that they can find family-sustaining employment. Each state will be guaranteed a minimum of 0.5% of the total funding, or $2.5 million per state per year.

The solicitation for grant applications can be accessed here. Applications must be received no later than 4 PM ET on April 21, 2011.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Department of Labor Awards Workforce Data Quality Initiative Grants to 13 States

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $12 million to 13 states under the Workforce Data Quality Initiative, which aims to help states build or expand longitudinal databases that link workforce and education data. States will use these longitudinal databases to determine the effectiveness of employment and training programs to better inform workforce system customers. The grants will last for three years.

Eleven states will use the money to expand and improve linkages between education and employment in existing longitudinal databases:

Two more states — Louisiana and Minnesota — will use the funding to develop and implement new systems.

“These grants are an important part of the administration’s efforts to increase the availability and use of high-quality data,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “By developing and improving databases, states will help those seeking training make better informed decisions, all while more clearly demonstrating the link between employment and education in the long-term success of workers.”

For more information on the Workforce Data Quality Initiative grantees, visit

By Nancy in Public Policy
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New Federal Career Pathways Funding Toolkit Available

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

In an effort to support inter-agency state teams to identify and use federal resources that support career pathways and career pathway bridge models, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has recently released a toolkit to support state planning and design. The resource provides a Funding Options Worksheets and information on ten Federal programs that can interweave the legislative priorities or “braid” the design and development of career pathways and bridges in a more thoughtful and effective manner. The toolkit also may assist teams to identify state policy barriers to using federal resources and strategies for managing the challenges.

More information and links to the toolkit, released as part of its forthcoming Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is available under Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States at

By Dean in Career Clusters®, News, Publications, Resources
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Community College Grant Solicitation Expected This Month

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Last year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act amended the Trade Act to authorize a new Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program, which was then funded at $2 billion over four years by the healthcare bill in March. These grants will be available to institutions of higher education to expand their capacity to provide education and career training to TAA for Workers program participants and other individuals to upgrade their knowledge and skills so that they can find family-sustaining employment. The grant solicitation is expected to be released later this month.

The Department of Labor has released a fact sheet on the grant program outlining key issues and questions for colleges interested in applying for funds. Additional information can be found in the most recent issue of the Association of Community College Trustees’ Trustee Quarterly magazine, which features Q&A with Department of Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter and Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Jane Oates.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Department of Education Announces RPOS Winners

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the six winning states of the Promoting Rigorous Career and Technical Education Programs of Study grants. The grants are aimed at improving state and local development and implementation of rigorous programs of study.Each winning state will develop and implement a program of study in a specific discipline or set of disciplines:

The grants will be awarded for up to four years. Approximately $1.5 million is available for the first year, while funding for years 2 through 4 is subject to the availability of funds and to a grantee meeting the requirements of its grant award. For more information and grant amounts for the first year, please read:

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Improving Student Testing Act, Education Jobs Fund

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Congress returned from their August recess this week and is planning to be in session until October 8.

Improving Student Testing Act

Senators Russ Feingold (WI) and Pat Leahy (VT) this week introduced S. 3771, Improving Student Testing Act, which would provide grants to States, SEAs, LEAs and schools to design and implement high-quality and innovative assessments, including adaptive assessments, performance assessments, standardized portfolio assessments, interim assessments, and other assessments that measure higher-order thinking skills and are aligned with common core standards or State challenging academic content standards and challenging student academic achievement standards. This bill is aimed to be a part of the larger Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization which will likely not happen until next year.

Education Jobs Fund

The U.S. Department of Education has approved 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas for Education Jobs funding. Texas’ application was denied because it did not contain assurance to spend the money on education over the next three years. Department officials have asked the state to reapply. South Carolina and Wyoming do not have their applications posted on the Department’s website.

By Nancy in Legislation
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All Investing in Innovation Finalists Secure Private Match

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

As we told you earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Education announced the highest rated Investing in Innovation (i3) grant applicants, giving them until September 8, 2010 to secure a commitment from the private sector for a 20 percent match in funds. We have just heard that all 49 of the highest-rated applicants were able to do so.

These grants are funded with $650 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic-stimulus program. Grants ranged from $5 million to $50 million. While the funding from the stimulus only covers fiscal years 2009 and 2010, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has asked for an additional $500 million in the federal budget process to continue the program for another year. The House Appropriations education subcommittee’s bill included $400 million for i3 grants, and the Senate Appropriations Committee’s bill included $250 million, so the program may see some additional funding in fiscal year 2011.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Race to the Top Assessment Winners Announced

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Today, the Department of Education announced more than $330 million in Race to the Top assessment grant awards to the consortia of states that submitted applications. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) will receive $170 million and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) will receive $160 million. The goal of these two consortia is to develop a “new generation” of math and English language arts assessments for third grade through high school that will be aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The assessments will be put into place by the 2014-2015 school year.

PARCC is a coalition of 26 states and will test students’ ability to read complex text, complete research projects, excel at classroom speaking and listening assignments, and work with digital media. The consortia will replace the single year-end high stakes test with a series of assessments given throughout the year. PARCC’s application stated that its assessment system “will provide the tools needed to identify whether students—from grade 3 through high school—are on a trajectory for postsecondary success and, critically, where gaps may exist and how they can be remediated well before students enter college or the workforce.”

SBAC is comprised of 31 states that will test students using computer adaptive technology that will ask students tailored questions based on their previous answers. The consortia will still use a single test at the end of the year for accountability purposes, but will create a series of interim tests throughout the year to let students, parents, and teachers know whether students are on track. You can see which states are included in both of the consortia here.

In a speech this morning at Achieve, Inc. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that states in both consortia have agreed to set the same achievement levels or cut‐scores on their  assessments and that the Department will ask them to collaborate to make sure student test results are comparable across participating states. Duncan also laid out how these assessments differ from existing state tests, including the use of smart technology, immediate feedback, accommodations, and the use of formative assessments that document student growth. Finally he said that “for the first time, the new assessments will better measure the higher‐order thinking skills so vital to success in the global economy of the 21st century and the future of American prosperity. To be on track today for college and careers, students need to show that they can analyze and solve complex problems, communicate clearly, synthesize information, apply knowledge, and generalize learning to other settings.”

As you may be aware, there was a third group of states, the State Consortium on Board Examination Systems, that applied for $30 million in funding under the competition to support assessments at the high school level. However, this group did not win an award.

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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Ten Race to the Top Winners Announced

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Today Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the round two winners of the $3.4 billion in Race to the Top grants.  These winners are:

  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Hawaii
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Maryland
  6. New York
  7. North Carolina
  8. Ohio
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Washington, D.C.

The 10 winning States have adopted rigorous common, college- and career-ready standards in reading and math, created pipelines and incentives to put the most effective teachers in high-need schools, and have alternative pathways to teacher and principal certification.

There was no immediate word on how much money each winner will receive, but awards will be based on States’ student population. In the first round of grants, Delaware was awarded $100 million and Tennessee received $500 million. In a statement, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that this round of finalists was very competitive and that the Department hopes to have a round three of grants, using $1.35 billion requested in the President’s FY11 budget.

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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Highest-Rated Investing in Innovation Applicants Announced

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the 49 school districts, nonprofit education organizations and institutions of higher education have been selected as finalists for funding under the Investing in Innovation (i3) program which will support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for high-need students. The Department narrowed down the nearly 1,700 applicants down to these 49 finalists based on recommendations from independent peer review panels.

Grants fall into three categories:

  1. Up to $50 million per “scale-up” grant for programs with a strong track record of success;
  2. Up to $30 million per “validation” grant for growing programs with emerging evidence of success; and
  3. Up to $5 million per “development” grant for promising ideas.

To receive a share of the $650 million in i3 grants, the applicants must now secure a commitment from the private sector for a 20 percent match in funds by September 8, 2010. You may view all 49 finalists here.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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