There is much to be said about the election of Donald Trump as it relates to education in the U.S.. I want to talk about some changes I see coming as we shift gears in Washington D.C. to President Trump’s newly confirmed Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos.
Keep in mind that drastic changes in your school are unlikely to occur. Your day-to-day school life will mostly stay the same. You may, however, hear a good deal about budget cuts in public schools and a different focus on standards. You may feel a new focus on voucher programs and charter schools.
First of all, what’s a taxpayer funded voucher program? A voucher is a credit given to parents who want to move their child from a public school to a private school of their choice. There are many rules around how this transfer might take place, but needless to say, the programs are very controversial. Issues of fairness are frequently described.
In contrast, school choice programs allow parents to choose which public school they want their child to attend, usually within a school district. Voucher programs involve transferring money (tax funds) from one school to another, usually from a public school to a private school.
Many claims have been made for and against voucher programs:
Claims For Voucher Programs:
- Help children escape bad schools.
- Provide flexibility to parents.
- Increase public school accountability.
- Produce productive competition between schools.
A majority of parents from minority communities support voucher programs.
Claims Against Voucher Programs:
- Public education is in crisis and voucher programs will only make the situation worse.
- Voucher programs take needed money away from poorly performing schools that need funds to improve.
- Unequal funding but will they be held to the same standards?
- Private schools do not have to take students with special needs or language challenges. Public schools are left with an unequal proportion of students with expensive disabilities and language training needs.
- Vouchers don’t fully cover the schooling costs for poor parents.
- Vouchers are tax cuts for wealthy families.
This primer on voucher programs can hopefully lay the groundwork for articles I’ll be writing about school grant writing for charter schools and private schools. Because of Betsy Devos’s devotion to both, we can expect to see corporations and foundations stepping up to create special grant funded projects to support them.
If you are not aware of it, there is a Resource Center for Charter Schools that includes lists of grant opportunities. You may want to check it out. The Center also provides a useful FAQ’s page that can answer many of the questions you may have about how charter schools fit into the educational fabric of our country. If you teach in one, you’ll want to stay tuned here and to my blog for more information about sources of funding and ideas for projects that align with new attitudes at the federal level.
Grant Name: Education Grants
Funded by: Applied Materials
Applied Materials and its Foundation make community investments in Education, Arts and Culture, Civic Engagement and the Environment in regions where Applied does business. The foundation supports strategic education efforts focused on academic achievement, teacher professional development, and specific university projects – opening opportunities for students to explore new ideas and experiences. Applied Materials has a special interest in proposals that benefit students in grades K-12; focus on traditional skills such as reading, writing, math, science and technology,
Program Areas: After-School, Arts, Community Involvement/Volunteerism, Disabilities, Early Childhood, ESL/Bilingual/Foreign Language, General Education, Health/PE, Library, Math, Professional Development, Reading, Safe/Drug Free Schools, Science/Environmental, Social Studies, Special Education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
Recipients: Public School, Higher Education, Other.
Proposal Deadline: 6/15/2017
Proposal Deadline Description: January 15 and June 15
Total Amount: $6,000,000.00
Average Amount: $100.00 - $150,000.00
Address: 3050 Bowers Avenue, No. 0106 Santa Clara, CA 95054
Availability: All States.
Grant Name: W. R. Grace Foundation Educational Grants
Funded by: W. R. Grace Foundation, Inc.
The Foundation’s main focus is on STEM education and basic needs, such as food, shelter, first aid and healthcare. It also supports civic and environmental programs. Support is provided to organizations based in areas where Grace has a significant employee presence.
Program Areas: After-School, Arts, At-Risk/Character, Community Involvement/Volunteerism, General Education, Health/PE, Math, Reading, Science/Environmental, Social Studies, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
Recipients: Public School, Private School, Higher Education, Other.
Proposal Deadline: 11/30/2017
Total Amount: $800,000.00
Average Amount: $1,000.00 - $10,000.00
Address: 7500 Grace Drive, Columbia, MD 21044
Availability: California, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia.
Free Grant Search Database
MySchoolGrants is a complete grant search tool that is manually updated and checked for accuracy. It includes federal grants, state grants, corporate grants, and grant alerts.
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