Funding sources

There are a number of funding sources that can be used to provide our software to your students.

With school budgets often stretched thin, finding the funding to purchase special education software can be challenging. But grants can make it possible - if you know where to look. 

When applying for a grant, here are some strategies that can increase your chances of success.

Pay attention to grant guidelines. The guidelines exist for a reason. Don’t waste your time—or the reviewers'—by applying for a grant you don’t qualify for. Pay close attention to who is eligible for funding, what types of projects are appropriate, and what the funder’s priorities are. Make sure these align with your own project or intent.

Explain how the grant will improve student learning. Funders want to know how the software you intend to purchase will support better student outcomes. In other words: Who will benefit—and how? This is really the bottom line for any grant proposal. If you can’t show how your request will improve teaching and learning, then your proposal won’t stand a chance.

Write clearly and succinctly. Use an active voice, and avoid using jargon or big words. Many people who write grant proposals write so densely that the reader has to struggle to understand the proposal. As soon as that happens, you’ve lost the reader’s attention—and most likely the grant as well. Don’t fall into the trap of using the stiff, official-sounding language that we tend to use when we’re trying to impress someone or want to sound like an authority. A simple, conversational style, written in an active voice, will bring your proposal to life.

Don’t forget to proofread. Proposals that contain spelling mistakes or poor grammar will be read—but what kind of message does this send to the reviewer? If you can, give your proposal to someone from outside the field of education to read before you submit it. This will help you determine whether your proposal makes sense or if you should rewrite parts of it to make your proposal clearer.

Competitive funding:

A competitive/discretionary grant awards funds on the basis of a competitive process.

The applicant must design the proposal, and the funding department will review and rank the proposals. The review procedure gives the department the option to determine which applications best address the program’s purpose and requirements, and are therefore most deserving of funding.

Current competitive grants

For a list of all (current) competitive grants, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.

Assistive Technology Act

The Assistive Technology Act makes assistive technology devices and services more available and accessible to individuals with disabilities, and their families. Each state has an Assistive Technology program. Find yours by clicking the link below.

Program Link: http://www.ataporg.org/programs

Special Education – Technology and media services

The purpose of this program is to support children with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology in the classroom setting.

Program Link: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/oseptms/index.html

Demonstration and training programs

The program is designed to increase and improve the provision of rehabilitation and other services.

Program Link: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/demotrain/index.html

Impact Aid

This program provides financial support to school districts affected by federal activities. Payments are generally deposited in eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) general fund accounts and are used for basic operating costs within the LEA, including books and supplies.

Program Link: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/8007b/index.html

School Improvement Grants

School Improvement Grants are awarded to schools on a competitive basis that are in need of improvement (eligible schools must receive Title I, Part A funds).

Program Link: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html

Investing in innovation fund (i3)

The purpose of this program is to provide competitive grants to applicants with a record of improving student achievement and attainment in order to expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates.

Program Link: https://innovation.ed.gov/what-we-do/innovation/investing-in-innovation-i3/

Private grants and other funding sources

If you are interested in finding out more about Private Grants and other funding sources, we would recommend that you visit Sheryl Abshire’s website and CDW-G’s GetEdFunding website for additional funding resources

Non-competitive (Federal Entitlement) programs:

Federal Entitlement Programs allocate funds from the US Department of Education to State Education Agencies, which are in turn distributed to school districts.

Title I

This program provides financial assistance to school districts to ensure that all students, including those who are considered most at-risk, will be provided with a high-quality education allowing them to meet challenging state academic standards.

Program Link: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/index.html

Title III – English language learners

The Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students program aims to ensure English language learners (ELL) and immigrant students attain English language proficiency and meet the same challenging state standards required of all students.

Program Link: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg39.html

IDEA

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides services to children with special needs. IDEA entitles all students with special needs the tools they need to access a quality education appropriate to their individual needs.

Program Link: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/

Title IV, Part B – 21st Century community learning centers

This program supports community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours, intended to help students meet state standards in core academic subjects, including literacy.

Program Link: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/21stcclc/index.html

Title IV, Part A - Student support and academic enrichment grants

The newly enacted bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes a flexible block grant program under Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants. Title IV, Part A authorizes activities in three broad areas:

  • Providing students with a well-rounded education (e.g. STEM, arts, civics, IB/AP, health and physical education).
  • Supporting safe and healthy students (e.g. school mental health, drug and violence prevention, training on trauma informed practices, health and physical education).
  • Supporting the effective use of technology (e.g. professional development, blended learning, technology devices). This section makes up 60% of the funding allocation, and only 15% can be used on infrastructure. In other words, a great opportunity to source funding for software and apps.

Program Link: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/essassaegrantguid10212016.pdf

Title VI – Rural and low-income school program

This program provides assistance to rural and low-income districts to help them meet their state’s definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP). Funds can be used to purchase educational technology, including software.

Program Link: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/reaprlisp/index.html