Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Federal Education Budget for 2011 - BIG News!

I just finished participating in the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS) webinar.   The purpose of the call was to go through current SDFS grant competitions and answer questions.  There was not much information provided in the webinar that is not currently available through the U.S. Department of Education Funding Forecast or RFPs that are already out (The webinar PowerPoint will be available through the Grant Writing Resources page on our website).

There were two pieces of information about this year's grant competitions that were important and worthy of note (then keep reading for the BIG news about FY2011):
  • There had been some confusion about the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling program for this year.  If over $40,000,000 is allocated for the program, the program includes both elementary and secondary grants.  If under $40,000,000 is allocated, the program will only fund elementary school counseling proposals.  The RFP notes that over $15,000,000 was allocated for new grants this year, leading folks to believe that only elementary school counseling grants would be funded.  On the call, the FPO clarified that $55,000,000 has been allocated for this year (inlcuding funds for continuation grants).  Because the continuation grants are all elementary programs, this covers the $40,000,000 legislative requirement for elementaries.  This means that the FY2010 competition is open to both elementary and secondary programs.
  • Also, we have been waiting with bated breath for news of the new School Climate grants.  We learned today that for FY 2010 these will only be available to SEAs (State Education Agencies), not LEAs.
Ok, that was big news, but here's the really big news.....

Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings reported that the budget presented by the president yesterday for FY 2011 has some very good news for Education.  It includes a 6% increase for ED, and a 12% increase for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS).

In addition, OSDFS will be working to consolidate grant competitions to make it easier for LEAs to apply for and receive funds.  OSDFS will also be proting the funding of comprehenisve programs, rather small piecemeal programs (the current funding model). Specifically, they are planning to consolidate all of their little grant programs into four main programs:
1) Safe Schools/Healthy Students (which is, by the way, being revamped a bit in preparation for the big shift)

2) Emergency Management Grants (No information was provided regarding if these will be the same ones available now or new ones, or the same old ones with additions.)

3) Violence/Substance Abuse Prevention Grants (including those for higher education; Again, no news on how much of the current portfolio will be continued in this classification)

4) School Climate Grants (To be known as the Successful, Safe & Healthy Students Program - or something like that.  Mr. Jennings pointed out that these School Climate grants in FY 2011 will be available to both SEAs and LEAs (unlike this year, which is open only to SEAs).

Of course, all of these plans for FY 2011 depend on the approval of the President's proposed budget, and a lot can happen over the next several months as that process moves forward.  However, the preliminary news for Education is promising.

1 comment:

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Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.