Although we’ve seen a few years of economic growth and rising property values, education funding from state and federal sources continues to lag behind. Part of this is because of expired stimulus funding, while another part is an unwillingness to increase spending. Education is always one of the first expenditures cut during budget negotiations at both the federal and state levels. We cover the updated state of education spending in our new infographic, Funding Sources for Language Learning.
Although Title I and Title III federal funding is earmarked for English learner programs, world language studies have no such dedicated funding stream. For many districts and schools looking to improve their world language programs (and their students’ chances for professional success), the answer is entering the grant process. These grants come from either governmental sources like the ConnectEDucators initiative or private foundations. In either case, here are some steps to take to give your project the best chance of being funded.
Is this grant for us?
Most foundations with established grant programs publish winning grant proposals from years past. Do your research and figure out if your proposal represents too much of a departure from what the committee has been willing to fund in the past. If so, move on to another potential funder.
Is our program a “core” or “supplemental” service program?
A core service program is designed to serve all students. A supplemental program is meant to service only a specific segment of the school population. Some grants want a wide effect. Others don’t mind being relegated to a supplemental program. These differences also appear in federal spending programs funded by Title I and Title III, so make sure you know what your desired outcome is.
How will we demonstrate necessity?
This is the most important factor. Funders, both public and private, want to service an imperative need in the education community. It’s no secret that the country is growing mainly through immigration and that most districts are not adequately prepared. Demonstrate how you will serve that population and you increase your chances for success.
How will we hold ourselves accountable?
Funders at any level ask for their beneficiaries to show how efficacious their program is. A rock-solid accountability plan, include measurement and assessment, can really set your application apart. They particularly want to know who will be in charge of implementing the project and their background.
Finding funding to transform your language learning program with the latest blended learning strategies isn’t as difficult as it seems. All it takes is some commitment and organization. If you need some more support in this venture, visit our Funding Sources for Language Learning page for additional resources or to contact us.