Rules for the Optional Competitive Grant Competition

  • If a state chooses to run the competition, the state must preserve the integrity of the buckets. For instance, a state receiving $1 million would have to ensure that at least 20 percent of funds are distributed to districts for safe and healthy programs, 20percent for well-rounded programs and the remaining 60 percent for any or all three of the programs (safe and healthy, well-rounded, technology).
  • It is up to the states to determine what they want to do with the third bucket: they could choose to be very specific about what districts apply for, or they can be vague and allow the district to determine what they would like to spend the money on.
  • Districts can apply for one, two or all three of the buckets and must complete a needs assessment prior to applying to receive funds from the state.
  • Priority must be given to high-needs districts in a manner that ensures geographic diversity among sub-grant recipients representing rural, suburban, and urban areas. This will ensure that rural districts are able to receive some of the grants as well as high-density urban areas.
  • There is now a 25 percent cap on technology infrastructure (hardware, software, equipment) purchases for competitive grants. A 15 percent cap remains if the dollars are allocated by formula.
  • The minimum grant award is $10,000 and the duration is for one year.
  • Districts will have until September 2018 to obligate the funds.