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K-12Lead of the Week (1)

21st Century Schools for California

From the December 10 issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report.

Announcement: 21st Century Community Learning Centers - Elementary & Middle Schools Due February 4 (Dec 5), California Department of Education (CDE)

Their Description:
Any public or private organization is eligible to apply.... Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), including school districts, county offices of education, direct-funded charter schools... Nonprofit agencies... City and county government agencies, organizations, or other public entities... Institutions of higher education... Community-based organizations... including faith-based organizations... Private entities, including private schools... For-profit corporations... Consortia of two or more of the above agencies, organizations, or entities....

The 21st CCLC program’s specific purposes are to:

• Provide opportunities for academic enrichment, including tutorial services to help students (particularly students in high-poverty areas) meet state student performance standards in core academic subjects, such as reading/language arts and mathematics.

• Offer students a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities, such as youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs; art, music, and recreation programs; career-technical education programs; and character education programs. All of these programs and activities are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program of participating students.

• Offer families of students served by community learning centers opportunities for literacy and related educational development.

CDE will provide 21st CCLC program grant awards only to quality applications... that propose to primarily serve students from.... Schools that are eligible for Title I Schoolwide programs (applies to applications proposing to serve public school students).... Schools that serve a high percentage (40 percent or more) of students from low-income families (applies to applications proposing to serve private school students)....

Applicants are required to plan their programs through a collaborative process that includes parents, youths, representatives of participating schools, government agencies (e.g., cities, counties, parks and recreation departments, and libraries), community organizations, and the private sector....

An estimated $20 million in funding has been allocated for new 2008-09 21st CCLC program grants.... Grantees... will receive five one-year grants, subject to the continued good standing and performance of the grantee..... The minimum 21st CCLC elementary and middle/junior high school grant award per application will be $50,000 per year.... [T]he maximum cap per school for after school funding will be $112,500 for elementary schools and $150,000 for middle/junior high schools. The maximum cap per site for before school funding will be $37,500 for elementary schools and $49,000 for middle/junior high schools....

[A]pproximately $5 million is available statewide to fund new optional grants... [U]p to $25,000 per school per year for providing equitable access... according to needs determined by the local community. ... [U]p to $20,000 per school per year... to support the adult family members of the pupils....

My Thoughts: Were I managing a small to medium sized for- or nonprofit school improvement provider, I’d be looking for multi-year funding opportunities, in areas the large publishers avoid, where local connections work to my advantage.

Were I managing a for-profit, I’d be looking for footholds normally held by nonprofits, that offer the potential for growth in several directions and ways to become embedded in client school district operations.

This RFP meets both sets of criteria.

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