Jun 01 2020

Department of Education Announces $180 Million Grant Program Under CARES Act

The Rethink K–12 Education Models Grant aims to make remote learning more accessible to students nationwide.

The U.S. Department of Education launched a new grant competition in April to help states struggling with providing equitable access to remote learning, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

The $180 million discretionary Rethink K–12 Education Models Grant will be available to states most affected by the coronavirus so they can “create adaptable, innovative learning opportunities” for all K–12 students, according to a press release from the Department of Education. It is funded by the Education Stabilization Fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which also authorized $127.5 million for short-term postsecondary and work-based learning programs.

“If our ability to educate is limited to what takes place in any given physical building, we are never going to meet the unique needs of every student,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in the press release.

State educational agencies can apply for funding by proposing projects that fall under one of the following three categories:

  1. Microgrants for families to help deliver technology and educational services for high-quality remote learning to students who need them most
  2. Statewide virtual learning and course access programs that enable students to access a wide range of subjects, regardless of whether or not they’re taught in a traditional classroom setting
  3. New, field-initiated models that reimagine remote education

Final applications for the grant are due on June 29, 2020. The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education will host a pre-application webinar on June 3, 2020, that will cover eligibility, application requirements and selection criteria in more detail.

“This is the time for local education leaders to unleash their creativity and ingenuity, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do to provide education freedom and economic opportunity for America’s students,” said Secretary DeVos.

Nutthaseth Vanchaichana/Getty Images

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