Friday, May 8, 2015

Grant Award Notice

This is good.

Comedian Stephen Colbert announced Thursday that he would fund every existing grant request South Carolina public school teachers have made on the education crowdfunding website

Colbert made the announcement on a live video feed Thursday at a surprise event at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville.

Colbert partnered with The Morgridge Family Foundation’s Share Fair Nation and ScanSource, which is headquartered in Greenville, to fund nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at over 375 schools, totaling $800,000.

Grants pay for programs that school districts can’t do on their own either because they don’t have the funds, more’s the pity, or there are programs that are created at the school-site level that are best done when they’re dreamed up by the teachers.  Even well-funded public schools need partners like DonorsChoose to do the job.

2 barks and woofs on “Grant Award Notice

  1. True, but it’s a little more complicated than that. The vast majority of grant funding to public schools is from federal direct or federal through state grants that pay for entitlement programs such as Title I for low-income schools and provide the free or reduced price lunches, and other entitlements such as Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that supports education programs for students with disabilities. The states can’t pay for them, so the feds step in and pay for such things as teacher salaries, classroom equipment, and support for infrastructure. Programs such as DonorsChoose are considered mini-grants; the amount of Mr. Colbert’s donation, while extremely generous, would be a drop in the bucket in a federal grant, but they’re not considered part of the entitlements. (For example, $800,000 is the budgeted amount for workers comp insurance in just one of the 38 programs that make up Title I in Miami-Dade public schools.)

    It’s also easier to manage a mini-grant like DonorsChoose at the school-site level without involving the public school’s central administration (trust me on that one) and gives the teachers and students the ownership of the project.

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