School funding difficulties show no sign of abating this December, and school budgets are stretched to the limit. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students.
During the beginning of every month, the editors of eSchool News compile a list of the most current education grants expiring soon—from a focus on female-led projects to making the most of your antivirus software. You don’t want to miss out on these December school funding opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators!
(Next page: December’s funding opportunities)
From Dec. 1 to Dec. 24, Epson will donate 5 percent of select purchases made on Epson.com – up to $100,000 – to support eligible classroom projects across America. Teachers just need to submit a qualifying project to DonorsChoose.org – and with the help of donor contributions and Epson purchases it may become a reality.
The program is designed to provide high school students with education and training that combines rigorous academic and technical curricula focused on specific in-demand occupations and industries for which employers are using H-1B visas to hire foreign workers as well as the related activities necessary to support such training to increase participants’ employability in H-1B in-demand industries and occupations. Furthermore, given the large number of H-1B visas in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries, pending high quality proposals, DOL expects a large share of the grants to support education and training in STEM industries.
AVAST Software is celebrating its 25th anniversary by offering a $25,000 cash prize to the U.S. school that uses its free antivirus software and registers the most referrals to fellow students, parents, friends, coworkers and the school community. To win, schools, school districts, universities and colleges just need to apply for a free license and then recommend avast! Free Antivirus to their students, parents, colleagues, friends, etc. The school with the highest recommend score will be awarded $25,000.
Community Action Grants provide funds to individuals, AAUW branches, and AAUW state organizations as well as local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equality for women and girls. Special consideration is given to projects focused on K–12 and community college girls’ and women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering, or math.
There are over 7 billion people sharing the planet and we live in an increasingly connected world. In our global society, population pressures can affect our ability to sustainably use the earth’s resources and improve living conditions for all of the world’s people. Considering the interdependence of people and the planet, create a short (60 seconds or less) video that illustrates the connection between population growth and one of the following global challenges: climate change, global poverty, or water sustainability.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates are among several philanthropists who have pledged $9 million to a nonprofit organization that is trying to bring the internet to public school classrooms around the country, the Washington Post reports. Over the next two years, Zuckerberg has pledged to give $3 million and Gates has promised to give $2 million to Education Superhighway, a San Francisco-based nonprofit. A smattering of other, smaller foundations have agreed to give $4 million to the organization, said its chief executive, Evan Marwell…
In my September column, “Time to ask for more eRate funding,” I discussed how this is a historic moment. The eRate program is the largest and most important funding source for ed-tech infrastructure. For the first time in 17 years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched a comprehensive rulemaking to examine the eRate’s structure, the services it supports, and the adequacy of its funding.
To help inform the FCC and our community, CoSN and Market Data Retrieval (MDR) in August and September surveyed school district leaders about their broadband networks, garnering 469 responses.
[Editor’s note: You can read the key findings in our eRate Survival Guide.]
Here’s what the survey tells us.
We need more bandwidth—now
Despite the eRate’s success in promoting nearly universal basic internet access, 99 percent of districts agree they need more bandwidth now or will in the next 36 months.
(Next page: What else do school networks need?)
In one of the most comprehensive evaluations of the eRate since its inception in 1997, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year issued a rulemaking process to overhaul the $2.3 billion-a-year federal school wiring program from top to bottom.
The move came in response to President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, a call to bring broadband internet access to 99 percent of classrooms within the next five years. Even the eRate’s strongest supporters agree that the program—designed in an era when dial-up internet access was the norm—is ill-equipped to deliver on this promise as presently constructed.
This past year, schools requested approximately $5 billion in eRate funding—nearly twice the program’s capacity.
More than 52 million students in 113,000 individual school buildings rely on the eRate for internet connectivity. Without new regulations, 47 percent of schools will have no eRate support in 2014, and by 2015, there would be no support for 71 percent of schools, according to estimates from eRate consultant Funds for Learning (FFL).
Yet, despite a widely recognized need for change, it appears that any adjustments to the eRate for the 2014 program year will be minor at best.
(Next page: What experts suggest for eRate applicants; Download a PDF of this report)
The Youth CareerConnect Grants program, a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Labor Department, will use $100 million in funding to help school districts, institutions of higher education, and other partners bring evidence-based high school models to scale.
Experts say that many high school students fail to develop skills that help them relate their classroom education to what they learn in college, during apprenticeships or technical education, or in careers.
(Connect on Twitter with the hashtag #eSNSTEM. Next page: What will the program focus on?)
YouTube co-founder Steve Chen has made a $1 million gift to his alma mater, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, to help build a $1.9 million “Innovation Hub” modeled in part after the startup collaborative workspace at the Merchandise Mart, called 1871, the Chicago Tribune reports. School officials announced the donation Thursday, saying they hope to open the 6,400-square-foot center by late 2015 or early 2016. It will be an open space to house workshops, events for the Fox Valley business community, startup pitch contests and the academy’s Total Applied Learning for Entrepreneurs program, which teaches students about entrepreneurship…
Telecom giant AT&T will donate $1.6 million for New York City schools to fund computer coding classes and internships for about 1,200 students, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday. AT&T’s contribution to the Fund for Public Schools builds on the city’s recent efforts to promote software-engineering education in city schools. It will also support new enrichment programs, paid summer internships and other academic activities such as digital boot camps. Bloomberg said AT&T’s gift is the latest development in the city’s effort to remake public education to better prepare students for the global, digital economy of the future…
Ed-tech advocacy groups reacted to the confirmation of Tom Wheeler as Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, noting that the official move positions the agency to better act on pressing broadband connectivity and eRate needs.
Wheeler, the 31st chairman, has previously worked in various telecommunications companies and associations, such as Shiloh Group and the National Cable Television Association, for more than 30 years.
“Former Chairman Genachowski put us all on a course to a better broadband future and I am very cognizant that we are all building on his accomplishments,” Wheeler said during Nov. 5 comments to FCC staff.
(Next page: Ed-tech groups react to Wheeler’s confirmation)
School funding difficulties show no sign of abating this November, and school budgets are stretched to the limit. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students.
During the beginning of every month, the editors of eSchool News compile a list of the most current education grants expiring soon—from STEM opportunities to teaching awards. You don’t want to miss out on these November school funding opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators!
(Next page: November’s funding opportunities)
Proposals, from nonprofits, should address education related initiatives that promote the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and math on a national level.
The Teacher Excellence Award is one of the highest honors given to Technology and Engineering Education classroom teachers and is presented in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the profession and their students. The Teacher Excellence Award provides public recognition at the local through international levels. On the province or state level, recognition is granted at the affiliated association’s annual meeting. The honoree is formally presented with an engraved plaque and other recognition at ITEEA’s Annual Conference.
This award honors an individual member who has made significant contributions to and an impact on, library services to children and ALSC. The recipient receives $1,000 and an engraved pin at the ALSC Membership Meeting during the ALA Annual Conference.
Nearly one-third of school districts (29 percent) did not apply for federal eRate assistance because they assumed the program would have insufficient funds for their needs, according to a new survey on school eRate and broadband needs from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).
The current eRate funding level fails to meet schools’ broadband infrastructure needs, and almost half of responding districts (43 percent) said none of their schools are equipped to meet the goal of having 100 Mbps of internet access per 1,000 students as things are today. Only 25 percent of school districts said 100 percent of their schools meet this goal, which has been adopted and championed by the State Education Technology Directors Association, the LEAD Commission Blueprint, and by President Obama’s ConnectED initiative.
(Next page: How many districts can support broadband connectivity?)
Want to develop an app that can recommend the best courses, videos, or other resources for your students, based on their specific needs and interests? Or apply the principles of “universal design” to the creation of online courses? There’s a new grant for that.
Instructure, the Utah-based company that makes the Canvas learning management system, has announced $100,000 in grants to spur innovation in K-12 and higher education. Through its Canvas Grants, the company will provide $50,000 for higher-education projects and $50,000 for K-12 projects that use technology to advance learning in unique or creative ways.
(Next page: More about the grant)
During my career at four mid-sized school districts over the last 18 years, finding multiple ways to fund ever-changing technology needs was critical to my success, according to a recent ISTE blog. I learned to employ programs such as the Enhancing Education Through Technology program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and my favorite: E-Rate. E-Rate began with a mission to make advanced telecommunications and information services accessible for all elementary and secondary school classrooms as well as libraries. Today, it has evolved into a significant source of funding to help educational institutions keep up with technological changes. Districts can now apply E-Rate funds to web hosting services, fiber network services and more…