When seeking technology funding, don't overlook new or obscure grant sources, even if their connection to K12 may not be obvious at first glance.
A good example is the recently-announced Promise Neighborhoods program, a $10 million program from the Department of Education. It's a grant you might have missed because it doesn't directly target school districts. However, school districts can nevertheless tap into this funding source to acquire computers and other tech hardware.
Open to nonprofits and institutions of higher learning, Promise Neighborhoods will support up to 20 organizations with a one-year grant to plan for the implementation of services to improve educational outcomes in high poverty areas. Though K12 schools cannot apply directly for a grant, the focus of the grant applications must be on neighborhood schools and preparing students for success in college and career. Wise K12 technology planners should partner with local nonprofits and colleges and universities to make sure their neighborhood schools are the focus of a Promise Neighborhood grant.
This grant offers countless possibilities for private-public partnerships to build technology infrastructure to improve student achievement at all age ranges. The Department of Education will award up to 20 planning grants, ranging between $400,000 and $500,000. Applications are due June 25.
Being on the ground-level of future planning will be advantageous. Recipients of Promise Neighborhood grants will be well-positioned for the subsequent $210-million competitive grant round, to be held in 2011.