PART THREE – Tips for your SSAE Grant Planning Committee
Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) funds can be used for a wide variety of K12 purposes, so there’s likely to be a lot of interest from stakeholders in how the money will be used locally. Consider the following steps to help your district coordinate in advance.
Step 1: Anticipate distribution. Most States are distributing SSAE funds by formula, but some plan to use competitive grants. To help your district plan ahead, visit your State’s department of education website to find out if your State will distribute SSAE funds by formula or competitive grants, when funds will become available, and what unique requirements have been added.
Step 2: Form a planning committee. To receive SSAE funds, districts must engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders. Initiating an SSAE planning committee can fulfill this requirement. Committee members might include:
- Federal Programs Director
- Technology Director
- Professional Development Director
- Humanities Director
- STEM Director
- School counselors or mental health personnel
- Drug prevention personnel
- Private school representatives
Step 3: Initial planning meeting(s). Use the questions below to help jumpstart your SSAE planning meetings.
- Discuss state’s plans for funds: competitive versus formula. What is the timeline for distribution of funds? Is there an estimate available of what our district is likely to receive?
- What is our vision for well-rounded education? Safe/healthy students? Technology?
- What data do we need to gather to identify local needs and root causes?
- Are there alternative funds available to accomplish this vision? What funds could be coordinated with SSAE to achieve our vision?
- Which schools will be served? Must be:
– among those with the greatest needs,
– have the highest numbers of students from low-income families,
– identified for comprehensive support and improvement,
– implementing targeted support and improvement plans, or
– identified as a persistently dangerous public school
- How will we determine which project ideas are ultimately included in our SSAE budget?
- Do we need any partnerships to accomplish our SSAE vision? (Example: institutes of higher education, business, nonprofits, community-based organization, or other public/private entities with experience implementing allowable activities)
If your State will distribute SSAE funds via competitive grants, here are additional items to discuss with your planning team:
- Are we eligible to apply?
• When is the grant due? Do we have the bandwidth and resources to complete the application?
• What specific grant requirements does our State have? Do those requirements fit with our district’s vision?
• What will set our application apart? Why should our project be selected over others?
• How often do we need to meet as a planning team?
For more SSAE insights, register to join our webinar, “What You Need to Know About the New SSAE Funds” on July 27 or August 1.