State Board OKs New Round of Grants for Digital Teaching and Learning

Raleigh, NC

Digital Teaching and Learning in North Carolina’s public schools will benefit from a new round of competitive grants approved Thursday by the State Board of Education.

Up to $1.2 million provided by the General Assembly through the Digital Learning Initiative will be shared by school districts, charter schools, or regional schools during the 2020-21 school year for planning and implementation of effective innovative models for digital learning. During the past three years, the Digital Teaching and Learning Division has committed more than $5.2 million towards these efforts to help schools and districts develop and strengthen digital-age learning initiatives.

Following the board’s approval, the Department of Public Instruction is now seeking proposals for grants intended for two purposes: planning and implementation. All North Carolina districts, charter schools, and regional schools are eligible to apply.

The one-year planning grants are intended to target districts and schools at the beginning stage of development. School districts, charter schools, or regional schools will use the grant funds to complete a structured assessment of their needs for digital teaching and learning, aligned with the state’s definition of personalized learning, and ultimately produce a high-quality implementation plan. School districts may apply for funding up to $50,000 and charter or regional schools up to $15,000. The department hopes to award as many as 10 planning grants.

The two-year implementation grants will provide an opportunity for districts and schools to put into action high-quality plans they have developed for personalized learning. School districts may apply for funding up to $75,000 for each year, or a two-year total of $150,000, and charter schools or regional schools up to $25,000 each year, for a total of $50,000. Based upon available funding each year, DPI hopes to fund up to 12 implementation grants.

Both types of grants require districts, charter schools or regional schools to specifically align their work on personalized learning to DPI’s definition as outlined in the state’s plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. For more information on Personalized Learning in North Carolina, visit: https://sites.google.com/dpi.nc.gov/personalizedlearning

The application deadline for the grants is April 27 at 5 p.m. Final decisions for selecting grantees may be based on DPI priorities, geographic and socioeconomic needs, available funding, and applicants’ prior performance.

The grant initiative was authorized in 2016 by the General Assembly as part of a collaboration between the State Board of Education and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at N.C. State University to advance the state’s Digital Learning Plan. The goal of that plan is to develop a long-term strategy that sets directions and

priorities, supports innovation, and provides resources to enable educators and students to benefit fully from digital-age teaching and learning.

Click here for more information about Digital Learning Initiative Grants.

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