ED Invites Districts to Apply to Fostering Diverse Schools Program; Deadline is July 7
- By Kristal Kuykendall
The U.S. Department of Education is now accepting applications for the Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Grants program and will hold a pre-application webinar on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Applicants can sign on at oese.ed.gov/fostering-diverse-schoolprogram-fdsp/
The Fostering Diverse Schools program provides competitive grants to local educational agencies, consortia of LEAs, or one or more LEAs in partnership with a state educational agency; the purpose of the program is to provide students with access to a well-rounded education and to improve school conditions for student learning by developing or implementing, and making publicly available as a resource for other LEAs and SEAs, comprehensive plans for increasing school socioeconomic diversity in preschool through grade 12, according the Federal Register grant announcement.
Grants are intended to help build the capacity of LEAs to meet the needs of students, including academic, social, emotional, and mental health, by increasing access to and equity in diverse and inclusive learning environments, ED said.
The FDS program does not require any matching funds.
Deadline to apply is July 7, 2023.
Approximately $10 million has been earmarked for the FDS grants, although ED said more may be allocated later on. Approximately 11 awards will be granted, with awards under Absolute Priority 1 ranging from $250,000–500,000 per year for up to two years; awards under Absolute Priority 2 will range from $1 million to $4 million per year for up to five years.
Applicants for the Fostering Diverse Schools grant program must focus their application on a “comprehensive plan to increase socioeconomic diversity”; applicants will either be developing/enhancing a plan or implementing a plan, ED said.
Applicants seeking grant funds under Absolute Priority 1 must include in their application:
A description of how the applicant will develop or enhance a plan to increase socioeconomic diversity across the LEA or LEAs
A description of how the applicant will document and publicly disseminate the results of the funded project
A timeline and approach for conducting a comprehensive assessment of the geographic area to be served
A timeline and approach for family, student, community, and educator engagement to inform the development of the comprehensive plan
Action steps and a timeline to produce a comprehensive plan approved by district leadership
Applicants applying for grant funds under Absolute Priority 2 must propose to implement its existing high-quality comprehensive plan, which must:
Provide evidence that the comprehensive plan to increase socioeconomic diversity is based on a comprehensive assessment of the geographic area to be served
Demonstrate that the comprehensive plan to increase socioeconomic diversity is based on rigorous family, student, community, and educator engagement
Document a commitment to ambitious, but achievable, goals for increasing socioeconomic diversity and transparent, published data analysis of progress relative to those goals
ED defined “comprehensive plan to increase socioeconomic diversity” as a comprehensive plan that is approved by an LEA’s leadership and that aims to:
(a) Increase socioeconomic diversity within schools, classrooms, and educational programs, or courses or across and within school district(s), for the purpose of promoting academic achievement; and
(b) Promote student academic achievement by fostering inclusive and welcoming learning environments that support the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students within classrooms and extracurricular activities in the district or districts and increase access to safe, healthy, and/or well-rounded educational opportunities.
More Information and Help
View and download the FDS grants program brochure at https://oese.ed.gov/files/2023/05/Fostering-Diverse-Schools-Demonstration-Program-Brochure.pdf
Find more information, applicant instructions, and detailed requirements at the FDS grant page on the OESE website.
For assistance, applicants can email [email protected] or call 202-401-1259.
Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can
be reached at [email protected].