Federal Grant Opportunities

ED to Award $5M to Organizations Working With Families and Schools to Boost Academic Recovery

The U.S. Department of Education has released the 2022 application for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers grant program, which will award $5 million to organizations working with state educational agencies and schools to implement family engagement programs to help improve student achievement and pandemic recovery.

“It is critical that states and districts work in partnership with parents and families to help address the impacts the pandemic has had on children across the country, and that their experiences can help inform how our schools address academic recovery and students’ needs,” said a news release from the Department of Education.

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s stated commitment to ensure parents and families can help inform their children’s education, the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund requires states and school districts to engage with parents about how ESSER funds should be spent. The 2022 grant process marks the second round of funding from the program.

“Parents’ voices are critical to the success of our education system. They are our children’s first and most influential teachers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Meaningful parent engagement in schools has never been more important than now as we work together to support our learners during a pandemic. … These new grants will help support the vital role that parents and families play in nurturing our students’ academic success, mental health needs, and developing critical life skills.”

To qualify for the grants, applicants must be a statewide organizations or consortia working with at least one state education agency. The grant funds must be used to establish Statewide Family Engagement Centers that (1) carry out parent education and family engagement in education programs, and (2) provide comprehensive training and technical assistance to states, districts, and schools identified by states and districts, organizations that support family-school partnerships, and other such programs, the Department of Education said.

Up to $5 million for an estimated 5 to 7 new grants will be awarded, with an estimated first-year award of $500,000 to $1 million per grantee. Grantees will receive funds annually over a period of five years.

Applications are due on Feb. 17, 2022. Winners will be named and awards made by September 2022. Officials from the Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education will conduct several webinars for potential applicants; webinar participants must register in advance. Registration and additional information about the program is available at ED’s Statewide Family Engagement Centers website.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].